The Oregon State University Human Resources Office offers a multitude of resources, forms, and additional information to assist you in determining if remote work is an appropriate arrangement as the University continues to resume operations. For more information click the button below:

Remote Work Resources

Working Securely from Home: 10 Actions to Take

When working remotely, you no longer have all the protections that are in place at the office to keep your data safe from the bad guys. The following ten easy steps can help mitigate this change to your security posture. We’d ask you please do the following:

1.    Use OSU’s cloud and VPN services (for systems that require it) when working remotely.
2.    Keep your operating system current. 
3.    Be sure to use Anti-Virus and keep it up to date.
4.    Turn on your host-based firewall.
5.    Disable auto login.
6.    Turn off file and print sharing.
7.    Disable remote access and turn off any public folder.
8.    Enable disk encryption, and write down that key. You may need later if there's a problem.
9.    Update your applications and remove those that can’t be updated. Use auto-update settings if available.
10.  Report any suspected data security incident, no matter how small. This includes phishing emails.

How to Secure Your Computer

1. Use OSU’s cloud and VPN services when working remotely

See the following Knowledge Base article for downloading and installing the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client on your computer:  https://oregonstate.teamdynamix.com/TDClient/1935/Portal/KB/ArticleDet?ID=51154

For a list of all the useful cloud services OSU offers as well as which services require VPN, head to the Keep Working site.

2. Keep your Operating System current

Note: The current version of Windows is Windows 10. If you are still using Windows 7 (or a previous version) it is no longer supported, and will not receive updates. Please upgrade to a current version.

To keep Windows 10 up to date:

  1. Click on the Windows icon on the lower left-hand corner of the taskbar.
  2. In the “Type here to search” area, search for Windows update.
  3. Select “Check for updates.”
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen. Repeat the above step until there are no more updates.
3. Be sure to use Anti-Virus and keep it up to date

Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender built in, which is kept up to date automatically. To check the status of Windows Defender, or to update threat definitions manually:

  1. Click on the Windows icon on the lower left-hand corner of the taskbar.
  2. In the “Type here to search” area, search for Windows Security.
  3. Select the Windows Security App.
  4. Select virus & threat protection from the left-hand column.
  5. Scroll down to virus & threat protection updates, and click on "check for updates."

If you have installed a third-party anti-virus solution, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions for performing updates.

4. Turn on your Host-based Firewall

Windows 10 enables the host-based firewall by default, but you should verify that it is on. To do so:

  1. Click on the Windows icon on the lower left-hand corner of the taskbar.
  2. In the “Type here to search” area, search for "Windows security."
  3. Select the Windows Security App.
  4. Select firewall & network protection from the left-hand column.
  5. Verify domain, private, and public network firewalls are on. If not, click “Turn On” to enable the firewall.
5. Disable Auto Login

This one should be easy. If you are using an account with a password, auto login is disabled by default in Windows 10. If not, please set up passwords for all accounts on the computer. 

If auto login continues after setting up passwords, please contact the OSU Service Desk for assistance.

6. Turn off File and Print Sharing
  1. Click on the Windows icon on the lower left-hand corner of the taskbar.
  2. In the “Type here to search” area, search for "Control Panel."
  3. Select Control Panel.
  4. Select Change advanced sharing settings from the left hand column.
  5. Under File and printer sharing, ensure “Turn off file and printer sharing” is selected.
7. Disable Remote Access and turn off any public folder
  1. Click on the Windows Icon on the lower left-hand corner of the taskbar.
  2. In the “Type here to search” area, search for remote settings.
  3. Select Allow remote access to your computer.
  4. Uncheck the “Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer” box.
  5. Click "apply."
8. Enable Disk Encryption—and be sure to write down that key—you may need it if there’s a problem with your computer later on

Disk encryption, called Bitlocker, is available on Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows 10. If it is available, please enable it.

  1. Sign into Windows with an administrator account.
  2. Select the Start (Windows) button in the far left-hand side of the task bar.
  3. Select Settings (the gear-shaped icon) > Update and Security > Device encryption. (If Device encryption doesn’t appear, it isn’t available on your version of Windows).
  4. Select "Turn on" if encryption is disabled.
  5. Follow the instructions as they appear on screen.
9. Update your applications and remove those that can’t be updated. Use Auto-update settings if available

Sorry, this might be a bit painful, and sometimes varies from application to application. But please note that using Windows Update only updates Windows itself, not the applications installed. For those, you’ll have to explore each application you’ve installed to insure it is up-to-date. In general, “check for updates” is found under Help in the applications menu. 

We recommend that you check for updates on all applications on a monthly basis.

10. Report any suspected data security incident, no matter how small (including Phishing emails)

If you are the victim of a security-related issue, please use the following form to report it to OIS.
Report an Incident

1. Use OSU’s cloud and VPN services when working remotely

See the following Knowledge Base article for downloading and installing the Cisco AnyConnect VPN Client on your computer:  https://oregonstate.teamdynamix.com/TDClient/1935/Portal/KB/ArticleDet?ID=51154

For a list of all the useful cloud services OSU offers as well as which services require VPN, head to the Keep Working site.

2. Keep your Operating System current
  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen (far left of the menu bar.)
  2. Click on About this Mac
  3. Note—the current Mac Operating System is MacOS Catalina. If you have an earlier version, you can download and install Catalina from the App Store
  4. Click on the Software Update button and install all updates
3. Be sure to use Anti-Virus and keep it up to date

This depends on which Anti-Virus you have installed. The instructions below are for Avira, a free anti-virus client which is recommended by the OSU Service Desk. If you have a different software, please consult the manufacturer’s website for update instructions.

  1. Click on the Avira icon (an umbrella) on the menu bar on the top of the screen
  2. Select Update
  3. Click OK when the update completes

If you don’t have an Anti-Virus installed, please install one. Avira is available for free from https://www.avira.com/en/downloads

4. Turn on your Host-based Firewall

In MacOS Catalina this should be on by default, but please verify:

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen (far left of the menu bar.)
  2. Select System Preferences
  3. Select Security and Privacy
  4. Click on Firewall
  5. Make sure the Firewall is on. If not:
  6. Click on the lock icon on the bottom of the screen and enter your login information when prompted
  7. Turn the Firewall on, then select Firewall Options
  8. Select Block all incoming connections
5. Disable Auto Login

This is likely on by default, but to verify:

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen (far left of the menu bar.)
  2. Select System Preferences
  3. Select Users & Groups
  4. Select Login Options
  5. If Automatic login is On, click on the lock icon on the bottom of the screen and enter your login information when prompted
  6. Turn Automatic login to Off
6. Turn off File and Print Sharing
  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen (far left of the menu bar.)
  2. Select System Preferences
  3. Select Sharing
  4. Uncheck all boxes on the left-hand column
7. Disable Remote Access and turn off any public folder
  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen (far left of the menu bar.)
  2. Select System Preferences
  3. Select Sharing
  4. Uncheck all boxes on the left-hand column
8. Enable Disk Encryption—and be sure to write down that key—you may need it if there’s a problem with your computer later on

Disk encryption protects the contents of your hard drive if your computer is lost or stolen. Apple uses a built in disk encryption product called FileVault.

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner of the screen (far left of the menu bar.)
  2. Select System Preferences
  3. Select Security and Privacy
  4. Click on FileVault
  5. Make sure the FireVault is on. If not:
  6. Click on the lock icon on the bottom of the screen and enter your login information when prompted
  7. Click Turn On FileVault
  8. Follow the on-screen instructions to setup FileVault. If there are multiple users of the Mac, they will need to enter their login passwords
9. Update your applications and remove those that can’t be updated. Use Auto-update settings if available

Sorry, this might be a bit painful, and sometimes varies from application to application.

For any application that was purchased and installed through the App Store, you can simply launch the App Store, click on the Updates icon and install all updates.

For other applications, you’ll need to open the application itself and find how to update it. This varies. For Microsoft Office, click on Help in the Menu Bar and click on Check for Updates. For the Chrome web browser, simply clicking on Chrome in the Menu bar and selecting About Chrome will prompt an update check. 

Taking a few moments to explore the Menu bar while in an application, or searching the internet for instructions on updating a particular application is a good approach.

We recommend checking for and updating all applications on a monthly basis.

10. Report any suspected data security incident, no matter how small (including Phishing emails)

If you are the victim of a security-related issue, please use the following form to report it to OIS.
Report an Incident


How To Encrypt Microsoft Office Documents and PDFs

When sharing files containing confidential information via email, those files must be encrypted. This is relatively easy to do in Microsoft Office or Adobe Reader.

Important: When sharing the password you've chosen with the intended recipient, it should never be done via email since that would allow someone who gained access to your email account to decrypt the document. Use a different communication method such as phone, text, or some other secure messaging client.

If you find that you need to do this frequently, please contact the Office of Information Security for alternative solutions.

How to Encrypt Documents Based on Your File System

  1. Click the File tab, then click Info. On the menu to the right, click on Protect Document, and choose Encrypt with Password.

    Word Document info page in Microsoft Office 2010

  2. The Encryption dialog will now appear. Please enter a strong password and press OK.

 

  1. Click the File tab, then click Info. On the menu to the right, click on Protect Document, and choose Encrypt with Password.

    Word Document info page in Microsoft Office 2013/2016

  2. The Encryption dialog will now appear. Please enter a strong password and press OK.

 

 

  1. Click the Review tab, then select Protect Document.

    Heading of a Word Document on Mac

  2. Enter a password to open the document, and optionally set a different password to modify the document. NOTE: If you only set a modify password, the document will NOT be encrypted. The document is only encrypted if you specify an open password.

    Password Protection prompt for Microsoft Word on Mac

 

  1. Open the PDF and choose Tools > Protect > Encrypt > Encrypt with Password.
  2. If you receive a prompt, click Yes to change the security.
  3. Select Require a Password to Open the Document, then type the password in the corresponding field. For each keystroke, the password strength meter evaluates your password and indicates the password strength.

    Encrypt Document prompt for Adobe Reader

  4. Select "Acrobat 7.0 and later" for compatibility, and "Encrypt all document contents".

    Encrypt Document Prompt for Adobe Reader

  5. Click OK. At the prompt to confirm the password, retype the appropriate password in the box and click OK.

 


How To Securely Share Data on Box

OSU Account vs Private Account

When doing any university related data storage and sharing, be sure to use your OSU Box account and not a personal one you may already have. This is especially true if it’s sensitive university data. When sharing these folders and files with others, be sure to share to their OSU Box accounts as well.

OSU Box login screen

Sharing Sensitive Data

When you are sharing a file or folder, or emailing someone a link to a folder containing sensitive information, be sure to check that you are sending it to the correct person and not someone else with a similar name. An easy way to do this is through the Outlook contact cards. https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Find-people-and-contacts-f86874...

Sharing Confidential Data

If you need to share confidential data we ask that you contact the Office of Information Security and we can work with you to find the best way to securely share your data.

Contact Us

Shared Folders

It’s also good practice to only share files with the people who need access to them, keeping the pool of those with access as small as possible and up to date. If you regularly work with a group of people on things, it’s best to have a shared folder with them, where everyone can edit the documents directly within Box, using Office 365. Keeping the work within Box minimizes the risk of someone gaining access to any of those files saved to your local machine.

edit online

Encryption

Box automatically encrypts the files you upload, but if you’re uploading sensitive information OIS recommends you encrypt it yourself first. This can be done easily in Microsoft Office products: http://is.oregonstate.edu/ois/how-encrypting-microsoft-office-documents-...

When uploading sensitive information, we require that you share the passwords to these files via phone or in person (anything other than email.)

Recoverable deletions

If you accidentally delete something or find that you later need something you previously deleted, it can often be recovered if it’s within a couple months. Try looking in the trash folder first.

Avoid Box related phishing attempts

The login uses your ONID account, so if someone asks for your Box account password it’s probably phony. The storage is also unlimited so any email saying you’ve reached your quota and your account will be shut down is also likely a phishing attempt. For the safest experience, please use DUO two-step authentication.