This advice may change as the University develops new technologies. You must only use approved secure methods of accessing your information.
Last updated: June 2023
You can access Office 365 via a web browser. We strongly recommend that if you are working on Outlook or documents saved in your One Drive, Teams or any other Microsoft products, that you log on 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 Office 365 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 set up.
- Multiple users with administrator access allow for the 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 on 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.
- Windows Defender Antivirus is free to use on Windows 10 & 11 devices and can be set to automatically update.
- 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 is available through Windows 'Professional', 'Enterprise' and 'Education' versions.
- Ensure safe internet browsing. Make sure your web browser is displaying HTTPS when entering usernames, passwords or classified information. Note: some new browsers might not show HTTPS before the link but a 'locker' icon instead; when clicking on the locker icon, you should be able to check the website's security certificate settings & the website's cookies and site data settings.
- 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 (such as USB sticks) 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. You can encrypt your USB flash drive using BitLocker, and more info can be found on Microsoft's website.
- 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 and unique password.
Can I use Public Wi-Fi?
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
File Encryption for file(s) or folder(s)
- 7zip – Can be used to protect one or multiple files and folders. Encryption options will be available when "right-clicking file(s) > 7zip > Add to archive...". For more info on 7zip for university computers and systems, please check KB0012910
- Microsoft Password Encryption – Excel, Word etc, all have the option to password-protect the file you're working on.
- Encrypto - Initially developed for macOS, is now also available for Windows.
Note: University IT won't be able to recover your file(s) if you lose your encryption key/password.
Software only goes so far to protect your device. The key factors in preventing compromised accounts infections are:
- Be cautious of suspicious email attachments. Are the email and attachments 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.