close-up view of hands on a laptop's keyboard

Secure Remote Access Tips

Security Tips for Safer Remote Computing

With increased use of remote access during this emergency period, it is important to remain mindful of ways to minimize the risk to University and personal information. Here are some tips for safer remote computing:

1) If you have an University-issued laptop, please use it for all of your work related needs to take advantage of the built-in security features.

2) Avoid sharing your University laptop with others (family, children, etc.), and of course never share your NetID password with anyone.

3) If you must use your personal computer for work related needs, please consider the following:

a) Make sure your computer is up-to-date with all system patches and bug fixes.

b) Always use antivirus software and check that it is running and actively updating. If you do not have anti-virus software, you can download Sophos Antivirus by logging into the MSU Software Repository.

c) Do not use your NetID password as the login to your personal computer. This can help to protect your NetID account if your personal computer is compromised by malware or other security issue.

4) Be very cautious when connecting to wireless networks off-campus in public spaces such as restaurants, airports, etc. These wireless networks are often not using secure connection methods.

5) When reading email, be extra vigilant in regards to possible phishing scam messages. This is especially important during emergency situations as scammers may try to take advantage of the added stress and anxiety that people may be experiencing.

a) Do not click links or download files attached to an email that you are not expecting or from someone you do not recognize. Attempt to contact them directly first if you are unsure.

b) You can move your cursor over a URL/link and check that the resulting link displayed (usually in the bottom bar of your browser or email client) does not appear suspicious.

c) Continue to be aware of “social engineering” attacks such as someone posing as a colleague or manager and asking you (often with a sense of urgency) to provide information or perform uncommon tasks (“Please purchase four gift cards and send them to this address.”)