Cybersecurity while working remotely

Cybersecurity tips for working remotely

Given the unusual recent circumstances, the University has decided to move to virtual operations allowing faculty and staff to work remotely from home. While we work remotely from our different locations, the bad guys on the internet will see this as an opportunity to send phishing scams, hoping that unsuspecting users will click through and hand over passwords or grant them access to personal or financial data.

The following security tips people should follow while working from home:

  • Ensure your home network is secure. A secure network is one that requires you to enter a password when connecting to it (i.e. one that is password enabled).
  • Ensure you have an antivirus installed on your device and it is updated regularly.
  • Ensure you perform regular updates on your computer systems when due or required.
  • Use a VPN when connecting to university critical systems or data (information), especially if your daily operation has to do with handling data such as financial data, personal information or when accessing ERP systems such as Banner or other critical departmental systems to ensure data integrity and confidentiality.
  • Ensure you maintain the confidentiality of information in your care while working from home. This can be achieved using a privacy screen filter if supplied by your department and by preventing access to your computer system from occupants in your home.
  • Be cautious about clicking on links or opening attachments received from both external and internal senders within the university unless you trust and have verified the source.
  • Kindly report all suspected phishing emails to reportphishing@smu.ca
  • Enrol in the cybersecurity awareness training and take the required training. Please note that while some members of the university community have started this training, ITSS will reach other to others who have yet to start this training through the head of department and the departmental administrative assistants.
  • If you notice any suspicious activities on your computer while working remotely, disconnect it from the internet and shut down. Ensure you reach out to Helpdesk as soon as possible. Contact the Help Desk by email helpdesk@smu.ca on another device.

For every other inquiry or help with technical difficulties, contact the helpdesk through the Helpdesk client portal. Click on "Submit a service request", select from the list of key services then sign in with your s-number and password to submit a request.

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