Security Tips for Remote Work Environments

The BGSU Information Security Office recommends reviewing and following the precautions outlined below to help ensure that your remote work environment is secure.

This includes apps, web browsers and operating systems. Setup automatic updates on your device and do not download/install software updates on hotel internet connections or public Wi-Fi.

Use passwords for all computers, tablets and smartphones and never leave them unattended in public places.

  • Passwords should be unique to each account.
  • Use a mix of letters, numbers and symbols.
  • Do not use personal information or common words in your password, for example: “Bgsu2020!”
  • Make sure your Forgot Password options are up-to-date and secure.
    • If using security questions, try to select questions or provide answers that aren’t easily guessed by either having a small number of potential answers, such as color, or by being easily searchable on social media. Add a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols to strengthen answers.
  • Where possible, use a sentence or phrase instead of a standard password. This is a simple way to create a strong password that is easy to remember.
  • Track your passwords using a password manager (see recommendations here under Other Security Suggestions > Password Managers)

Turn on multi-factor authentication (when available) for any personal accounts.

University-owned devices are already encrypted, but we recommend enabling encryption for any personal devices that may contain your identifiable information or contain restricted data as well. This includes laptops, tablets, smartphones and removable storage devices.

Public charging stations and ports can be used to transfer malware to your device or to retrieve data from it.  It is always safest to use your own charger whenever possible.

If not at home, the safest recommendation is to use a cellular connection on your phone or personal hot spot.

  • Don’t use free wireless.
  • Don’t use public computers to access restricted information.
  • Expect that any computer network you use while traveling may be insecure. This includes networks you may use while staying with friends and family, attending a conference/other business or visiting cyber-cafes, libraries or hotels.
  • Turn off wireless and Bluetooth on your devices when you are not using them.

If at home, protect your home wireless network.

  • Secure your wireless router:
    • Change the default name and password.
    • Ensure remote management is disabled.
    • Log out as an Administrator once the router is set up.
  • Use at least WPA2 encryption.
    • Make sure your router offers WPA2 or WPA3 encryption, and that it is turned on.  Encryption protects information sent over your network so it can’t be read by outsiders.

When working with restricted information, keep it on your BGSU computer – do not access this type of information from a personal device. This can be done by working directly from a BGSU device, or by remotely connecting to one through the BGSU VPN.

Dispose of restricted data securely, don’t just throw it in the trash or recycle bin.

  • If working with physical documents use a cross-cut paper shredder.
  • If working with digital copies of documents, use Microsoft sDelete that is available from the Microsoft Software Center (Windows devices only).