IT security at home

The University is continually targeted by scams and phishing emails, but the coronavirus outbreak brings a new set of challenges and risks. Find out how to protect your devices and information.

Working at home, you have remote access to information without the physical protections available on campus and without the University firewalls and access controls. It is hugely important that you understand how to protect your devices and information.

What you need to do

For everyone

  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. Always stop and think.
  • Remember, scams aren’t just limited to email – they can come through text messages and voice calls as well.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email requests for this information
  • Follow the normal data protection guidelines (see and save data in the appropriate location
  • If you need to access services that are normally only available on-campus such as ESS (Employee Self Service) read the ‘How to work from home or off-campus’ page on the IT website.
  • Report your device if it is lost or stolen. If your device contains University data and is lost or stolen you should report the incident to the IT Service Desk, even if it is a personal device.

At home

  • Think about your location. Is your computer safe from theft? Could other people see confidential University data?
  • Make sure your wi-fi is password protected and you have changed the default password.

If you are using your own personal device

  • You should not download University data to personal devices. Use Office 365 to access your email and Office apps rather than the mobile apps, as these may sync to your device.
  • If you are sharing a device, you must set up separate user accounts on it before accessing University data.
  • Make sure you have anti-virus software installed and keep it up to date and install operating system updates (eg for Microsoft Windows).
  • Make sure you have switched security features on, for example using a PIN, password or fingerprint access.
  • Enable a lock screen on your devices and set them to lock the screen after no more than five minutes of inactivity.

If you are using Zoom

Be aware that there has been a rise of ‘Zoom bombing’ attacks. This is when online Zoom meetings have been crashed and interrupted by unwanted participants. Read the ‘Keeping your Zoom meeting safe’ page on the IT website to help prevent your meeting from being disrupted.

Useful websites

Use trusted sources—such as the NHS or government websites —for up-to-date, fact-based information about coronavirus. Be aware of sites offering ‘cures’ or apps claiming to give virus updates.

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