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General Info:

Box has several ways for you to store and access your data. These are some of the options available to you here:

    • Box Sync -- This should be the Box solution that users are most familiar with. It functions just like Dropbox in the sense that it has a folder on your computer that has a local copy of the data, and then syncs that data with Box as a cloud backup. As an office, this is the Box solution that we'll be recommending for all CoSE Faculty and Staff.
    • Box Drive -- This is much like Box Sync where it gives you full access to all of your files on Box, streaming them directly to your desktop, except this application does not store a local copy of the data, unless you specifically set it to.
    • Web Client -- This works very similarly to Google Drive or Dropbox where files can be dragged and dropped, or uploaded to the Web. Connect to in order to access this functionality.
    • Box Edit -- This lets you easily edit files on Box using the native applications you have installed on your computer. If you can edit it on your desktop, you can edit it on Box! Just click on the 'Open' button in the file preview page to open any file directly from Box. This is the fastest, most reliable approach to utilizing Box. You'll need to access Box Edit through the Web Client.
    • Box for Office -- This adds a Box Save option to any document you create in Microsoft Office products. When you create a new Word document, for example, and go to save that document, Box appears as one of the Save options.


What information can be stored in Box?

All information can be stored on Box. Ultimately it is up to the user to determine what they'd like to store on Box of course, but ISU, and this IT office, will always encourage ISU faculty and staff to put Private Sensitive Information and institutional data into their Box account.

Can I use Box to store personal files?

Yes you can! However, you'll need to realize that Box access is not for life, and once you leave the university, you may not have access to Box anymore. Additionally, ISU has the ability to revoke your access to Box and access your data on Box at their discretion. Personal files, photos, videos, etc, may be better suited to be stored on Google Drive, as if you are a retired faculty, staff, or graduated student, your Google Account is for life.

How secure is Box? Can other people reach my files?

Other people cannot access your files unless you share the files and/or folders with someone or if they have physical access to your computer and you are using Box Sync. If you use Box Sync with a laptop, and it is stolen or otherwise compromised, someone could access your data. That's why using a strong password is important, and encrypting your hard drive is recommended. Please contact us if you have any additional questions about this.

Can my interns or student employees use Box?

Absolutely! You will need to have these individuals fill out the form at the following link: Request Box Form

Can I use Google Drive, Dropbox, or a different cloud solution?

ISU policy states that anything related to ISU work needs to be stored in Box. You're welcome to store personal files in other cloud services such as Google Drive or Dropbox, but it is against policy for anything related to university work, academic/research or otherwise. This data is known as Private Sensitive Information, and the ISU policy describing Private Sensitive Information can be found in detail here.

Can I use both Box Sync and Box Drive on my desktop?

No, these two applications cannot co-exist on a single desktop; however, you can have Box Sync on one computer and Box Drive on another, using the same Box account (e.g. having Sync on your office desktop and Drive on the laptop you take to meetings).

Should I install Box Sync on my personal, non ISU computer(s), such as my home computer?

This is not something that CoSEIT recommends doing. While you can in fact determine which folders you sync locally to whatever computer you install Box Sync on, the risk of institutional or other private sensitive information such as HIPPA, Ferpa, Social Security Numbers, etc. being stored on your personal computer is high. This is definitely against ISU policy, and is the reason why Box Sync hadn't been enabled for users until just recently.

Unless you see a real justification for syncing data to one of your non ISU computers, it isn't worth the risk. Utilizing the Box web app should be sufficient for editing the handful of files that most faculty and staff in CoSE would be editing or viewing from home. This approach doesn't have a local copy of the data on the hard drive, so there is a much lower risk of having confidential data getting transferred to your personal computer.