In anticipation of an increased need to support remote work and remote teaching, we want to answer some of your most asked questions. To stay updated on the conditions or status of the University, please visit the web site of the IT Division for your campus.
- Q: Can I use my home computer to work remotely?
- A: Yes, with some caveats:
- You are responsible for keeping sensitive work-related information safe and private. If your computer at home is shared by others in your house, you may not want to use it for work purposes. There are specific security requirements for using personally owned devices for University business.
- Highly restricted information such as patient information, credit cards, or SSN’s should never be stored on personally owned devices.
- You may need specific software that isn’t available for installation on your home computer. Please contact your IT support team to discuss the best option for your situation.
- Q: I only have a desktop computer for work, can I get a laptop to work remotely?
- A: Many faculty and staff already have access to a computer that they regularly use for remote work in the evenings, weekends, etc. If you do not have access to a computer that you feel comfortable using in a remote work situation, please contact your IT support team to discuss the best option for your situation.
- Q: Do I need to be concerned about the Internet service package I have at home?
- A: That depends on the package as well as the number of people who are simultaneously using your home Internet connection. If you are trying to work from home, and several other people in your home are streaming movies or games, your connection (and theirs) will likely be degraded. If you are using Zoom for a work meeting and the connection is poor, you may want to block the use of video and only use the audio portion which consumes less bandwidth. Those are just a couple of examples of things you should be aware of when working from home.
- Q: Are there security issues that I should know about if I choose to work remotely?
- A: As always, best practices regarding cybersecurity should be followed.
Now, more than ever, you should be vigilant about recognizing phishing scams. Phishing scams occur when cybercriminals send emails claiming to be from legitimate organizations with important information. Any time something receives a lot of news coverage (such as a virus outbreak), criminals will use that as an opportunity to prey on your uncertainties. While designed to appear authentic, these emails direct you to links that are actually controlled by the attacker and are intended to harvest your personal information. To learn more about how to protect yourself from falling victim to one of these attacks, see the best practices at the bottom of this webpage.
Increased remote work can increase challenges to information security, please be aware of the University’s information security policies.
- Q: Will I be able to access MyHR, Peoplesoft and other tools from home?
- A: Some on-campus IT resources require the use of Virtual Private Networking (VPN), a tool that provides encryption between your computer and campus resources. If you don’t already use VPN, please contact your IT support team for assistance in installing and using VPN.
- Q: What collaboration tools are available when in-person meetings aren’t an option?
- A: Zoom videoconferencing software is available to all University faculty, staff and students at no cost (this was just announced on 3/5/20). Zoom mobile videoconferencing enables you to facilitate online audio/video conferencing for meetings, classes, and other group work. With plugins for the major web browsers, Zoom is supported on all major computer operating systems and both iOS and Android. Tutorials may be found here.
- To secure a Zoom session, either a passcode or waiting room is required on new Zoom meetings created in the umsystem.zoom.us and umsystemprotected.zoom.us domains. Beginning on Aug. 6, 2020, security options enabling waiting rooms and passcodes will be enabled by default. Users can choose which of the two security options will work best for that particular meeting by unchecking one setting or the other. Please refer to the Managing Zoom Security Options user guide for more details on navigating Zoom following this change and other recent security updates.
- Q: What’s the best way to save files and share files with my workgroup?
- A: Ensure that your files are available from wherever you may work by utilizing Microsoft 365. Microsoft OneDrive (included as a part of the Microsoft 365 suite) is the new standard for storing documents and files. Utilize Microsoft Teams to chat, audio conference and share documents in one convenient location. Learn the basics about Teams during these sessions, or check out our online, prerecorded tutorials here. Contact your IT support team for more information on file storage and access practices specific to your workgroup.
- Q: What is the best way to receive my work phone calls if I’m away from my office?
- A: Each campus has its own phone system and voicemail system. Please visit the web site for your campus IT division for instructions on phone system features such as voicemail and call forwarding.
- Q: Is it urgent to start planning for remote work?
- A: Making plans now may reduce lost productivity and stress. Your IT support team is ready to support remote work! Please proactively contact us if there is a possibility of you or your team working remotely.
- Q: I’m looking for more detailed information for my own campus. Where can I look?
A: For the MU Campus in Columbia: https://doit.missouri.edu/techknowledge/remote-work-resources-faq/
For Missouri S&T: Remote Work - Being Prepared
- Q: Are there resources available if I don’t currently have Internet to be able to work from home?
- If you live in an area where Mediacom is available, please contact them at (855) 904-2225 or visit this link. Mediacom currently offers a $9.95 per month internet connection for residences without internet. To see if you qualify for Mediacom, please visit this link.
If you live in an area where Charter/Spectrum is available, please contact them at (844) 488-8395 or visit this link. Charter/Spectrum is currently offering free internet for 60 days for residences without internet. To see if you qualify for Charter/Spectrum, please visit this link.
If you live in an area where Comcast/Internet Essentials is available, please contact them or visit this link. They are offering free internet for two months.