This advice may change as the University develops new technologies. You must only use approved secure methods of accessing your information.
Last updated: February 2023
You can access Office 365 via a web browser. We strongly recommended that if you are working on Outlook, or documents saved in your One Drive and Teams and any other Microsoft products that you logon through your web browser. This will help ensure you have good, consistent access and will take the pressure away from the University systems that are needed to access specific applications and data. We recommend people use a web browser rather than the Office 365 mobile apps for security. If you are using the mobile apps make sure they are not syncing with your personal device (see below)
Accessing other services
If you need access to services that are not available off-campus or through Minerva or Office365, such as SAP or the Employee/Manager Self Service system (ESS/MSS), you can use the Virtual Windows Desktop
Find out more about the recommended remote access methods
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most likely risks involved with using my own device?
- Data that is created or accessed on a device is often cached (stored) and it may be recoverable even after the files have been deleted.
- Personally-owned devices used by multiple people can cause concerns over security. If a device is shared, then multiple user accounts must be setup.
- Multiple users with administrator access allow for download and spreading of malware, only allow one administrator and don't use the administrator account for normal use of the computer.
- Insecure configurations leave the device vulnerable to attacks.
- Personal applications may not be patched for vulnerabilities.
- Institutional information downloaded or cached to the device may be exposed to other family members.
What must I do?
- Update and patch the operating system and applications on your device. In particular Microsoft and Adobe applications.
- Install anti-virus software on your device and ensure it is up to date. Run a full scan of your device on a regular basis.
- Microsoft Security Essentials is free to use on Windows devices and can be set to automatically update.
- University members may access a free 6 month trial of Trend Micro Maximum Security on Windows and Mac devices. http://store.trendmicro.com
- Enable a firewall on your device(s). Default firewall settings are acceptable for current Macs and PCs, but make sure they are turned on.
- You can also encrypt your Windows device. The in-built security BitLocker facility available through 'Professional' and 'Enterprise' versions of Windows 7 (and later) and through Windows 10 'Education' is recommended. If you don't have a 'Professional', 'Enterprise' or 'Education' version of Windows you can order Windows 10 Education through On The Hub while you are employed by the University. See more at Software for Home Use Website.
- Ensure safe internet browsing. Make sure your web browser is displaying HTTPS when entering usernames, passwords or classified information.
- 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. This is in addition to your mobile provider, insurer and police where relevant.
- All available security functionality on portable devices should be implemented prior to them being used to process University information. This may include PIN / password / biometric access controls, encryption, find my phone / device and remote wipe. Please remember that you have an obligation to encrypt the portable device.
- Password-protect all of your devices with a strong password or PIN. In addition, enable a lock screen on your devices and set them to lock the screen after no more than 5 minutes of inactivity.
Is my home WiFi Safe?
- You should ensure that your home WiFi is not open and is protected with a password.
- Only allow users and devices on your home WiFi that you trust and that have been secured appropriately.
- Ensure all default passwords of other devices have been changed to a strong, unique password.
Can I use Public Wi-Fi?
- If using public WiFi, please ensure it is a company or service provider you trust and that the connection is encrypted (HTTPS)
- For added security use the campus Virtual Private Network (VPN), the Virtual Windows Desktop or use your phone as a personal hotspot instead.
What do I do with confidential data?
If you are working on confidential data check the guidelines on the Data Protection website.
Are there options for Encryption?
Whole disk encryption
- Microsoft Windows BitLocker – Check the Windows Webpages for more information
- Apple MacOS FileVault – check the Apple webpages
- dm-crypt – for Linux devices
File Encryption for a file or folder
- 7zip – KB0012910
- Microsoft Encryption – Excel, Word etc all have an option to password protect
Software only goes so far to protect your device. The key factors in preventing compromised accounts infections are:
- Be cautious of suspicious email attachments. Is the email and attachment expected? Is it from someone you know?
- When using the web, only download software and files from trusted and reputable sources.
- Ensure your computer is being updated with the latest operating system patches and software updates. Reboot your computer regularly to ensure the updates apply.
- Use approved cloud file storage systems such as OneDrive for transferring data instead of USB drives.