Dropbox, $$$$, Griffith Policy and You!


  • For many people, Dropbox is a convenient solution to the problem of adequate online file storage. However when used for Griffith University purposes, Dropbox not only poses risks related to IT security, privacy, copyright and University Record Management, but it can also lead to MASSIVE Internet bills!

Dropbox is a cloud based service that lets you store all your files including photos, documents and videos in the one location that is hosted externally from Griffith. A pitfall of Dropbox is that as soon as you have an Internet connection (including wifi, 3G or 4G), Dropbox can automatically synchronise to each device where your account has been set up. This can result in massive Internet bills as all Dropbox downloads are charged – either to the University via our Internet service provider (AARNet) or by your Griffith Mobile carrier.

For example: a client recently queried an internet charge of $250 that transpired within a couple of hours. This was the result of the client installing Dropbox onto their new device and data being automatically synchronised.

Dropbox and the Griffith Cloud Hosting Policy

The use of cloud based services such as Dropbox, must adhere to State and Federal legislation and the Griffith University Policies.

While the use of cloud services at the University can be beneficial as they are easy to use and cost effective, there are risks associated with externally hosted services that must be assessed by the Griffith Chief Technology Officer. In accordance with the Griffith Cloud Policy:

“The holding of University data and information on externally hosted cloud computing services requires appropriate contractual agreements be in place and University authorisation for the data to be stored off site.

University data and information must not be stored in external repositories that do not have contractual agreements in place with the University (e.g. Dropbox)”.

Refer to the Cloud Hosting Policy for more information.

What can I use instead of Dropbox?

For sharing files the University recommends using G & H Drives and Google Drive. Google Drive allows 30GB combined quota across Gmail and Drive which can be used to store, organise and share files and folders.

For more details on resources available to manage your data and information, see the University’s Information Management Framework  which has Prezi guides about Data and Information Management at Griffith and Getting the most out of Google Drive.

The Research Storage Service is also available for storing and sharing the digital data and related documentation generated in research projects.

Find out more about the Research Storage Service.



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