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Work from Home and Campus

Working from Home & Campus

Working from two locations

The gradual return to campus means that many employees are now working in two locations part of the time. This introduces some additional complexities and potential security issues. 

The key concerns when working in two locations are : 

  • Keeping your data in sync (e.g., Word and Excel files) 

  • Commuting with your laptop or tablet 

  • Securing two computers, especially if sharing the computer at home 

Note: if you’re not back to campus yet, the standard work from home guidance is still available. 

 

Recommended Approach (Always use work computer) 

If you have a computer dedicated to you on campus, IT Services recommends that you use Remote Desktop to log into your work computer when working from home. Using remote desktop means that you are doing all your work on your office computer, even when you are on a machine at home. 

This provides several security advantages: 

  1. Your work machine is more secure than a machine at home, especially if you share your home computer with other family members. 

  1. Your working files are stored in protected offices, on robust network hard drives, or in secure cloud storage like OneDrive. 

  1. You have consistent work experience, making it easier for you to recognize when something is different, and a first clue that something is wrong. 

You can follow these steps to get setup to use Remote Desktop

 

Working from Home & Campus - Mystery Wifi

Question mark inside circle graphic illustrationTest Your Instincts

Scenario (Mystery Wi-Fi):

You are outside of the office working on your laptop or phone. You notice that there is a Wi-Fi network available that you recognize.

Questions you might ask yourself before connecting to the Wi-Fi network: 

  • Do I expect to find this particular Wi-Fi network in this location? Why would it be here? 
  • Does the network say that it is secured? 
  • What does it mean if the network is unsecured? 
  • Do I have a Virtual Private Network installed to protect myself?

Hackers can setup a lookalike network to lure you into connecting so that they can intercept all your communication. Only connect to wireless networks that are secured and in a place you expect them to be. Use a VPN to prevent eavesdropping.

Recommended Response

Don’t connect.

Be a "Human Firewall"

A human firewall is someone who thinks about the cybersecurity implications of a situation and takes appropriate action to safeguard accounts, information and research, and computing resources. It’s the digital equivalent of looking both ways before crossing the street. A human firewall pauses to stop, think, then clicks only if appropriate.

Many users have a false sense of security, believing that technology solutions such as passwords, anti-virus, and network firewalls protect them from the evils of the Internet. Technology cannot protect against everything, so online users also need to be human firewalls.

Hackers can setup a lookalike network to lure you into connecting so that they can intercept all your communication. Only connect to wireless networks that are secured and in a place you expect them to be. Use a VPN to prevent eavesdropping.

Recommended Response

Don’t connect.

Be a "Human Firewall"

A human firewall is someone who thinks about the cybersecurity implications of a situation and takes appropriate action to safeguard accounts, information and research, and computing resources. It’s the digital equivalent of looking both ways before crossing the street. A human firewall pauses to stop, think, then clicks only if appropriate.

Many users have a false sense of security, believing that technology solutions such as passwords, anti-virus, and network firewalls protect them from the evils of the Internet. Technology cannot protect against everything, so online users also need to be human firewalls.

Commuting with a Laptop or Tablet 

If you have a corporate laptop or a tablet that you carry between campus and home,  there are several things you should do. 

First, you should take care when travelling with your device: 

  • Never leave your laptop or tablet unattended or visible in your car. People can quickly break a window and snatch it. Lock it in the trunk. Use a less obvious bag than a laptop case. 

Second, make sure your laptop is setup to keep your data secure: 

  • Make sure your laptop is setup for device management so that basic computer care is ensured and that your files are synced and backed up securely. 

 

Working from Home with a Household PC 

Some staff may now be working from home using their personal or shared household PC for the first time, for instance if they had previously brought their campus desktop computer home. This can cause additional complexities and security issues.   

Our recommended approach is to use remote desktop if possible (see above), but if you do not have a dedicated computer on campus (for instance you share a PC on campus), you could have to use your home computer. In this case, you should follow the best practices for working from home, including: 

  • Keeping your operating system and software up-to-date 

  • Use VPN to connect to the campus network 

  • Install Microsoft 365 and use OneDrive to save and sync your files 

Following one of these three approaches will help to ease the experience of working in two locations while also keeping your data and devices secure. 

It is also recommended that you ensure that your campus computer also receives basic computer care, including an upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10