Top 5 Steps to Securely Work From Home


Please be assured that we know that working from home can be new to some of you, perhaps even overwhelming as you adjust to your new environment. One of our goals is to enable you to work as securely as possible from home.


Below are some simple steps to working securely. The best part is all of these steps not only help secure your work, but they will make you and your family far more safe as you create a cyber secure home.


Quick Take-Away’s to protect University and your personal data.


· Check your remote working PC is Secure (personal devices).

           o Stay with your device or secure them. (see also point 2 below)

           o Keep software and Anti-Virus up to date. (see also point 4 below)

· Continue to be cyber wise

           o Be careful about what you click on the web and social media

           o Avoid Phishing / Scams - beware of suspicious emails, texts and calls. (see point 1 below)

           o Stay with your devices or secure them (see also point 5)

· Maintain good password management. 

         (see point 3 below)

· Collaborate safely online using

         o University Office 365 tools

         o and other tools provided by the university never save University Confidential information on non-Roehampton devices

· Keep you data secure by storing on UR systems

         o Use O365, SharePoint OneDrive etc.


Please do consider that devices maintained by Roehampton tend to be more secure than your own personal devices at home as our IT put in a good measure of work

to keep you and the university safe at work. So please take a few moments and review the practical advice below to ensure that when using your device, you continue to protect university data adequately

Also, please weigh up whether to print university data on personal printing devices as domestic paperwork waste inevitably end up in landfill where anyone could access it, unlike at University where we use secure waste disposal services.


Below are five simple steps to working securely. The best part is all of these steps not only help secure your work, but also will keep you and your family safer as you create a cyber secure home.


1. - YOU

First and foremost, technology alone cannot fully protect you – you are the best defense. Attackers have learned that the easiest way to get what they want is to target you, rather than your computer or other devices. If they want your password, work data or control of your computer, they’ll attempt to trick you into giving it to them, often by creating a sense of urgency. For example, they can call you pretending to be Microsoft technical support and claim that your computer is infected. Or perhaps they send you an email warning that a package could not be delivered, fooling you into clicking on a malicious link. The most common indicators of a social engineering attack include


o Urgency: Someone creating a tremendous sense of urgency, often through fear, intimidation, a crisis or an important deadline. Cyber attackers are good at creating convincing messages that appear to come from trusted organizations, such as banks, government or international organizations.

o Policies: Pressure to bypass or ignore security policies or procedures, or an offer too good to be true (no, you did not win the lottery!)

o Contacts: A message from a friend or co-worker in which the signature, tone of voice or wording does not sound like them.

o Using current events: Attackers might use events like the current pandemic (‘log in to receive the latest…’), seasonal events (‘your Amazon order didn’t get through, verify your details…’)

Ultimately the best defense against these attacks is you and we thank you for your vigilance and support

(see also “What to do if you have already clicked?” at the bottom of the document)


2. - HOME NETWORK

Home Network: Almost every home network starts with a wireless (often called Wi-Fi) network. This is what enables all of your devices to connect to the Internet. Most home wireless networks are controlled by your Internet router or a separate, dedicated wireless access point. Both work in the same way: by broadcasting wireless signals to which home devices connect. This means securing your wireless network is a key part of protecting your home. We recommend the following steps to secure it:


o Change the default administrator password: The administrator account is what allows you to configure the settings for your wireless network. An attacker can easily discover the default password that the manufacturer has provided.

o Allow only people that you trust: Do this by enabling strong security so that only people you trust can connect to your wireless network. Strong security will require a password for anyone to connect to your wireless network. It will encrypt their activity once they are connected.

o Make passwords strong: The passwords people use to connect to your wireless network must be strong and different from the administrator password. Remember, you only need to enter the password once for each of your devices, as they store and remember the password.


Not sure how to do these steps? Ask your Internet Service Provider, check their website, check the documentation that came with your wireless access point, or refer to the vendor’s website.


3. - PASSWORDS

Please see also “Passwords at Roehampton” at the end of the document for Roehampton related information around passwords. When a site asks you to create a password: create a strong password, the more characters it has, the stronger it is. Using a passphrase is one of the simplest ways to ensure that you have a strong password. A passphrase is nothing more than a password made up of multiple words, such as “bee honey bourbon.” Using a unique passphrase means using a different one for each device or online account. This way if one passphrase is compromised, all of your other accounts and devices are still safe. Can’t remember all those passphrases?


Use a password manager, which is a specialized program that securely stores all your passphrases in an encrypted format (and has lots of other great features, too!).

Any time you are asked to enter your password, even if your login name is already there, double-check the address in the address bar of your browser. Attackers tend to mimic the websites you know to trick you into revealing your information on websites they created (e.g. broehampton.com instead of Roehampton.ac.uk).

Finally, enable two-step verification (also called two-factor or multi-factor authentication) whenever possible. It uses your password, but also adds a second step, such as a code sent to your smartphone or an app that generates the code for you. Two-step verification is probably the most important step you can take to protect your online accounts and it’s much easier than you may think.


4. - UPDATES

Make sure each of your computers, mobile devices, programs and apps are running the latest version of its software. Cyber attackers are constantly looking for new vulnerabilities in the software your devices use. When they discover vulnerabilities, they use special programs to exploit them and hack into the devices you are using. Meanwhile, the companies that created the software for these devices are hard at work fixing them by releasing updates. By ensuring your computers and mobile devices install these updates promptly, you make it much harder for someone to hack you. To stay current, simply enable automatic updating whenever possible. This rule applies to almost any technology connected to a network, including not only your work devices but Internet-connected TV’s, baby monitors, security cameras, home routers, gaming consoles or even your car.


5- KIDS/GUESTS

Kids / Guests: Something you most likely don’t have to worry about at the office is children, guests or other family members using your work laptop or other work devices. Make sure family and friends understand they cannot use your work devices, as they can accidentally erase or modify information, or, perhaps even worse, accidentally infect the device.


What to do if you have already clicked?


The most important thing to do is not to panic. There are number of practical steps you can take:

· Open your antivirus (AV) software if installed, and run a full scan. Follow any instructions given.

· If you think your university password has been compromised, try and use a different device to change your password via Password Self-service. Details can be found on the Staff / Student Portals. Once changed, inform the ServiceDesk.

· If you're using a work device or used it to work on university data, contact ServiceDesk and let them know.

· If you've been tricked into providing your password on non UR systems, you should change your passwords on this and all your other accounts where you might have used the same password.

· If you have lost money, you need to report it as a crime to Action Fraud. You can do this by visiting www.actionfraud.police.uk .


You can find additional advice at: - https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/top-tips-for-staying-secure-online - https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/



Passwords at Roehampton


Password must meet the following complexity requirements:

• It can’t contain the user’s account name or parts of the user’s full name that exceed two consecutive characters

• Be at least eight characters in length If you don’t make use of non-alphabetic characters, please create a longer password

• Contain characters from three of the following four categories: While not enforced as of now, we strongly suggest to make use of all four categories

o English uppercase characters (A through Z)

o English lowercase characters (a through z)

o Base 10 digits (0 through 9)

o Non-alphabetic characters (for example, !, $, #, %)