During the coronavirus crisis, you may be asked to work from home to limit exposure to other people. It is important that your home computing environment is secure.

Secure your home networkwifi icon

Secure your computer

If you are using a UW-provided computer: 

  • Use this computer exclusively for work. If you do not have a UW provided machine, discuss with your manager whether a computer can be provided for you.
  • Do not allow family members or others to use the UW computer you use for work. 

If you are using your own computer:

  • Avoid blending your work and personal environments (e.g. use separate user accounts for different roles, do not allow anyone else to use your accounts). 
  • Ensure your home computer is up-to-date (e.g. operating system, web browsers, software, vendor-recommended updates are applied, etc.)

If necessary to access your work environment, use the UW virtual private network (VPN). This allows you to connect securely, as though you were working on-campus. See some examples of systems that do and do not require VPN

Secure the datasoftware icon

  • Use UW file storage, such as Sharepoint or Office 365, for documents you work on. This ensures that data will be backed up, and will allow access to these documents by co-workers if required.
  • Do not use your personal cloud storage (Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud, etc.) to store UW documents.
  • Do not send UW documents via email.
  • Confidential or personal data that you use as part of your work should only be kept on UW devices. All IST-managed laptops have full-disk encryption enabled by default. If you need to work with information classified as Highly Restricted on a home computer or computer that does not employ full disk encryption, then you must use Office 365 protected with Duo 2FA and use the online versions of the Office tools to do your work.

Secure your collaborationschat icon

  • Use Skype for Business and Teams to maintain contact with co-workers.
  • Test your hardware and software to ensure that webcams and microphones function properly. Support for any issues you encounter may be delayed, so it is important to verify that you have the tools needed to work remotely.
  • Be wary of coronavirus spam that is being distributed via email and social media (e.g. messages with references to legitimate coronavirus information sites to induce recipients to click on malicious links) 
  • Do not click on links in suspicious email messages. Avoid clicking on any links in email if possible; browse to known sites by entering the URL yourself into the browser address bar.

Need help? 

Learn more about the resources available to you while working remotely.

If you require further guidance on working from home, please contact your supervisor. For more information on home computing security, please contact the IST service desk.

Policy 46 - Information Management and its supporting guidelines must be followed while working remotely. Please see the Secretariat's COVID-19 & Work From Home resources on the University's COVID-19 website.

References and resources