Best Practices for Using UT Box
Data integrity and preservation is very important, especially to the academic community. In this article, you can find a number of recommendations for how to ensure that your experience with using UT Box is as easy and worry-free as possible.
Eligibility to Access UT Box
Your ability to access your UT Box account is dependent upon having an affiliation of one of the following types:
- Current Faculty
- Current Staff
- Current Student
Access to UT Box is lost as soon you no longer have one of these affiliations. For employees, this would generally be their last day of work as defined by HR. For students, it will generally be the 12th class day of the next long semester after their graduation (or after the semester in which they were most recently enrolled). Once this happens, the contents of your UT Box account will be preserved for 120 days before being permanently deleted. Please be aware that this includes only files that you have uploaded and are the owner of; files that have been shared with you by others will not be included in the contents.
If you anticipate leaving the University (that is, before your last day in the office, or before graduation), we strongly recommend that you back-up any data you need to retain in a storage medium that you personally own. We also recommend that managers ensure that they back-up any departmental data shared from their departing employee’s UT Box account, as any items owned by and shared from that account will be automatically unshared 120 days after they go “former.” This also applies to student UT Box accounts.
Departmental Box Accounts
Departmental UT Box accounts function EXACTLY like personal UT Box accounts, except that they are associated with a guest EID that the requester creates for it. There are a few best practices ITS recommends:
- Associate a departmental email address with the EID that will be accessible by multiple users of the Box account; this will ensure that – should the need arise – users can self-reset the password via email. We recommend the UT Lists service for this.
- Store the EID and password for your departmental Box in a secure, centralized credential repository, so that all who need to access it can. This reduces the risk that access to the account will be interrupted by one or more users forgetting the password. We recommend using Stache for this.
- When creating the EID for your departmental Box, you will also be prompted to input biographical information (specifically first and last name, and date of birth) as well as set password reset questions. We recommend saving this information in Stache as well, since it will make self and Service Desk-assisted password resets quicker and easier.
Shared links enable you to quickly share content from your UT Box account with people both within and outside of UT. You can find some recommendations regarding the use of shared links below:
- “Evergreen” shared links (that is, shared links that never expire) are not considered to be secure; users sharing files via this method should manage the expiration of their files closely by setting an appropriate expiration date. Shared links default to an expiration date that is 30 days from when the link is created. Once a shared link has expired, you will need to create another if you wish to continue sharing via a link. This will generate a new URL.
- Link expiration can be an issue if you are linking a file from a static resource, such as a public website. Users might try mitigating this by using the “Non-private custom URL” option (Box Support - Configuring Individual Shared Link Settings). This will NOT prevent the link from expiring, however once it does, you can re-use the custom URL, eliminating the need to update your website.
- Confidential data (aka, Category 1 data) should never be shared via a public link without a password set.