UM Best Practices for Telecommuting and Teleworking Securely

Use your UM-owned and UM-managed device for all work-related purposes.  

Using a university-owned laptop [UM] while working remotely is strongly recommended, as those devices are the responsibility of the institution and are managed by UM IT. If you do not have a UM laptop for telecommuting, coordinate with your supervisor and UM IT for possible solutions. UM recognizes that occasional use of a personal device [Personal] for work-related purposes may be necessary. Review the following best practices for telecommuting with either UM or personal devices. If you have questions about any of these topics, please contact UM IT Help.

Digital Security

  • [UM] [Personal] Check your computer for updates regularly. 
    • Many updates include security patches and fixes. Security issues need to be fixed quickly, as these can be exploited by malware or hackers. Other updates will address other bugs, and issues, and can help with the stability of your operating system.  
    • UM devices should already be configured to install security updates automatically.
  • [UM] [Personal] Enable MFA, multi-factor authentication. 
    • This adds an additional security step and makes it more difficult for an attacker to access your data. It dramatically reduces the risk of your account being compromised, data loss, and fraud.  
    • Visit the UM DUO MFA page on the UM IT Security site for additional information. 
    • We suggest that you enable multi-factor authentication for your non-UM accounts as well, especially if using them for work purposes. 
  • [UM] [Personal] Back up your work frequently. Use one of the UM cloud-based services, Box or Microsoft OneDrive instead of saving your work to the local computer. 
    • Frequent backups will help you recover from any unplanned events. Storing you work on one of the UM cloud-based services provides a more resilient solution than storing your work locally.
  • [Personal] If you are using a personal device, make sure that it has anti-malware software enabled. There are many third-party-based options for anti-virus products to protect your systems. Apple and Windows devices both have built-in anti-malware software.
    • Microsoft Defender is a built-in anti-virus solution for Windows devices.
    • XProtect is a built-in anti-virus solution for Macintosh devices. 
  • [UM] [Personal] If you are using a VPN or alternative remote connection, make sure to log off at the end of the day. 
    • When using a personal computer, log off of the VPN at the end of the day in order to avoid using the campus network for personal reasons. If you are using Citrix, make sure to save your work and log out of your session at the end of the day.

Wireless Network

  • [UM] [Personal] Make sure your home wireless network is password protected and using an industry-standard security protocol such as WPA2.
  • [UM] [Personal] Avoid using public wi-fi networks.
    • There are several risks that go along with using public wi-fi. Often, the security is either lax or nonexistent, leaving you vulnerable to attacks.

Physical Security

  • [Personal] If you are using a personal device, it is very important to protect it with a strong password.
    • Password-protecting your device is the first line of defense against unauthorized access. The stronger you make your password, the more protected your devices will be. This applies to your personal computer as well as your mobile device. 
  • [Personal] If using a personal computer, make a separate user account for work use only, doing so protects your data from others who may also be using the device.
  • [UM] [Personal] Lock your screen when you walk away from your computer. Do not leave it unlocked and unattended. 
    • Locking your screen when you walk away will help protect your data from unauthorized access. You can also set your computer to auto-lock your screen after a certain amount of inactivity.

If you have questions or concerns about updates on your UM device, please contact UM IT at 406-243-4357.

For security-related questions, please send an email to the Information Security office at

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Article ID: 132982
Fri 6/4/21 1:59 PM
Fri 2/3/23 11:27 AM