VeraCrypt is a very secure container utility that allows you to create encrypted virtual hard drives to store sensitive information. This allows you to securely store student data, personal info (DOB, SSN, etc), and more in a very safe manner. As an added bonus it is very easy to backup the containers once they are in an offline state.
Dismount the VeraCrypt container whenever it is not actively being used. This is especially important on laptops as a sleeping (vs turned off) laptop may keep the container mounted until a shutdown or manual dismount which defeats the entire purpose.
You should have multiple copies of the container if it is not easily replaced. It is safe to backup containers to UW Google Drive
Do not try and backup the volume while it is mounted; the backup will be useless. Only backup dismounted volumes
You should create the container a bit bigger than you expect to use as they cannot be expanded easily; rather you create a new volume and migrate the data with both mounted