RSpace Blog

November 13, 2018

Keeping your work safe and secure

FAIR Data

With data-breaches almost continually in the news, it seems a good time to describe some simple steps you can take to help keep your data as safe as possible. While we at RSpace take a great deal of time and effort to keep data safe on the server, you can also make a big contribution to minimizing risk.

Choosing a good password

This is the easiest and most effective way to improve your security and is your main line of defence against adversaries that may wish to capture your data or impersonate you. There are many excellent advisory pages on the web about this; here are a few pointers.

  1. Choose at least 10 characters and include upper case, lower case, and numeric characters.
    Using a wide  range of characters, and just adding 2 more characters to a typical 8-character password makes an enormous difference to security. If, for example you just use lower case characters, and an 8 character password, you have 26^8 combinations – about 2 x1011 – something easily crackable in a few hours. But with 62 characters to choose from (26 lower case, 26 upper case, 10 numeric), and a 10 character password,  there are a million-fold more combinations – 62^10 or 8.4×1017 – which would take many years to crack by brute force. More characters, and/or including some punctuation characters,  are even better!
  2. Don’t use dictionary words, or proper nouns such as places or people’s names – these are trivial to crack, and even worse, these passwords may well have been used by other people on other sites
    An excellent website, https://haveibeenpwned.com/Passwords enables you to safely check if any of the passwords you use have been captured from  a world-wide list of  data breaches, and also to check potential new passwords.
  3. Consider using a password manager such as https://1password.com to create really secure passwords that you don’t have to remember.
  4. Use a unique password for RSpace that you don’t use for any other online service. In this way, if another service is breached, your RSpace account won’t become vulnerable.
  5. Change your password regularly – ideally every few months, and immediately, if you do use it elsewhere on another site, and that site is compromised.

Keep your browser up to date

RSpace requires modern browsers to work in, but it is always a good idea to use the latest version which will contain the latest security fixes and use up-to-date best practices in client-server communication. This is easier than ever now as most browsers detect when updates are available and prompt you to do so.

Good session hygiene

This is pretty standard advice, but if you’re using a public computer, always log out of RSpace when you’ve finished working and close the browser.

Don’t give away your personal information

Here at RSpace we have no idea what are your passwords, and we don’t want to know! We will never contact you to ask for your password. If you do get any suspicious e-mails requesting information, please don’t reply, and forward them to us.

Thanks for reading – taking a few minutes to follow these guidelines will help protect your data in RSpace.

Richard Adams

RSpace is a fully integrated sample management and electronic lab notebook solution. Build a record of your research in an ELN that connects with the research tools you already use: request a demo or contact us to learn more.

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