If your work requires you to access Departmental documents, shared drives or email from a computer at home or anywhere else away from the office, you must apply all of the same considerations as you would when working in the Department, including details of your computer equipment, software and the security precautions that you take. If you do not, you will put not only your own work at risk, but also that of your colleagues – and potentially the whole Department.
This page sets out some requirements and expectations for working on computers away from the office. If you need technical advice on any of these issues, please contact the Department’s IT Helpdesk at email@example.com.
Whether you are using your own computer equipment when away from the office or equipment purchased by the Department, ICS recommends that you have the following items:
- Laptop or desktop computer capable of running currently supported operating systems (see below)
- Monitor (optional with a laptop, but may be helpful for certain kinds of work)
- Keyboard (optional with a laptop, but some people will find a separate keyboard more comfortable)
- Mouse (optional with a laptop, but an external mouse or similar device may be helpful for certain kinds of work and/or more comfortable)
- Webcam (if your computer does not have one built in)
- Headset (optional, if your computer has microphone and speakers built in, but a separate headset will frequently give better results if you are making a lot of video/audio calls).
For all of these, ICS maintains lists of recommended items that should normally be readily available. If you need to purchase any of these items for use at home, discuss it with your manager or supervisor first.
If you apply to use the VPN to access the Departmental network, ICS will ask about your computer’s operating system and anti-virus software, and you will not be given access if your computer does not meet minimum requirements.
- Your computer should be running a currently supported operating system (e.g. Windows 10, MacOS Mojave/Catalina/Big Sur, Ubuntu 18.04/20.04)
- Anti-virus software (Departmental computers may already have this installed; McAfee software is available free to staff and students from the UIS.
- If you use Microsoft Office for your work, we recommend a minimum version of Office 2013 for Windows or Office 2016 for Mac – or Office 365 on any platform. Older versions of Office may still work, but they are not supported, and do not receive security updates.
When you are working away from the office, all of the same security issues apply as in the Department – and a number of additional ones, too. See our cyber security page for information, guidance and training resources on the precautions you should take.
If you require support for your Departmental work on a computer away from the office, you can contact the Department’s IT Helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org. However, please understand that, if your computer is running older software than the versions listed here, or if it is configured in some non-standard way, it may not be possible to resolve every issue. You should also note that, in order to resolve some issues, you may need to grant ICS staff access to your computer over the network. They will advise you on how to do that if necessary.