Working from home can be great. However, you should take extra care as the benefits and ease of this modern working pattern can lead to simple mistakes with huge consequences.

Be Patient

If working from home is new to you, you may not simply be able to turn your computer on and do everything you would do at your desk.  The Managed Desktop PCs at the university are configured specifically to provide you with everything you need, connected via a fast and secure network.

Working from home is very simply a different environment. Laptop screens are smaller, keyboards are different, your home network is unlikely to be as fast as the university network, and while you will connect directly to cloud based services, accessing services hosted on campus, you may find things a bit slower. 

With all the variations, the message is simple.  Take your time.

It is better to get the right email address, the right attachment or to stop and read before clicking than to type and click in frustration.

Use the systems and services the university provides: 

Whether you are an academic or professional services staff member, working from home will undoubtedly create some unforeseen complications.  It is important to use the tools and systems the university has approved, such as Office 365, OneDrive for Business and official university email system.

  • Using "rogue" systems, especially from home is a huge security risk and should not be considered for any reason

Beware Phishing and Spam

The university email protection system, Mimecast scans email coming to university addresses. Unfortunately, malicious email does still occasionally make it through to your inbox.

As working from home becomes more common, so do the scam / phishing emails tailored to those particular circumstances.

Cyber Security companies have already noted an increase in spam and phishing emails related to the COVID-19 Coronavirus, enticing people to find more information or purchase fake vaccines, claim tax relief or donate to needy causes.

Remember that phishing schemes are a form of social engineering so if you receive an email with an unusual request, check the sender's details carefully to make sure that you are communicating with colleagues, not criminals.

Updates, Firewalls and Anti-Virus

The risk to information security can be greater if you use a personal computer for work purposes. If you have to use a home or personal computer for work, talk to the IT Service Desk about how to strengthen security – for example, by adding a strong anti-virus and security package to it.

If your Microsoft Windows or Apple computer already has anti-virus software installed, they should all be set to check for any updates. 

Check any software you have is also up-to-date.