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Security Plans for Restricted-Use Data

Below are a number of different locations where you might choose to store the Add Health data.

Please make your selection and then read the associated document “How to secure ...” from the Add Health website to see the essential components of a good security plan for that analysis/storage location. 

Submit the completed Attachment A: Form to Describe Sensitive Data Security Plan for your analysis/storage location.

If your analysis/storage location is not listed, or if you need assistance with the security plan, please email . It is recommended that you ask for a consult with our security administrator prior to spending a large amount of time working through your local institution’s security office and IRB.

Data stored on an Encrypted Stand-Alone Desktop Computer
A stand‑alone computer is one that is in no way connected to another computer or networked device such as a switch, hub, or router.

The security plan form and information on how to secure a stand‑alone computer are available at 
Security plan form and information on how to secure a stand-alone desktop computer

Data stored on an Encrypted External Hard Drive

The external hard drive is a modified version of the stand-alone computer, in effect keeping the Add Health data off the Internet or a local area network (LAN), while using your daily-use computer.

The security plan form and information on how to secure an external hard drive are available at 
Security plan form and information on how to secure an external hard drive

Data stored on a Server
There are two types of Servers possible.

The most secure option is a Compute Server:

  • Files are stored on the server.
  • All processing of the data files is done on the server.
  • Data files are not served to the user's computer over the network.

The least secure option is a File Server:

  • Files reside on the server.
  • Files are served to the user's computer over the network and analyzed on the local computer.

The security plan form and information on how to secure a server are available at
Security plan form and information on how to secure a server