External Drives

External drives are a convenient way to back up and store your personal intellectual property and other important files, without having to access the network. This makes them a convenient option when you're on the go—although special care must be taken to protect any information, especially when traveling.

Approved Classification Levels

External drives must be encrypted if you plan to store information classified as Restricted. While encryption is not required for Confidential information, care must be taken to protect its integrity. This is especially important, as a small external drive may be easier to lose than other devices when traveling.

Restricted or personally identifiable information may only be stored on your personal or University devices for legitimate business purposes. This information should be removed from the device once that purpose has been served, in accordance with Princeton's Information Security Policy.

Types of External Drives (examples)

Encrypted Aegis Padlock: The University's preferred external drive is the encrypted Aegis Padlock.
Not Encrypted 
  • Most thumb drives

Security: Protecting Your Drive & Your Data

Most external USB drives are not encrypted by default. If you need to store University information externally, the encrypted Aegis Padlock drive described above is recommended. Always resist the urge to plug in unfamiliar USB devices. Malicious software, or malware, can be spread by infected USB devices (like thumb drives, external drives, and other types of removable media). This malware can spread quickly to other devices on the network and can lead to stolen personal and University data.

Data Destruction

Even if you use software to delete information from an external drive, it may not be removed completely. Contact the Resource Recovery Program (formerly Surplus) for information about the proper recycling and disposal of University devices.

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