Working From Home
This article applies to: Security & Policy
University data stored on a computer you use at home, whether the computer is owned by you or the university, is subject to the same policies as data located on campus. Per university policy, you are the custodian responsible for all Cornell data on any computer you use. See Protecting University Data for more information about these responsibilities.
It is your responsibility to know what types of Cornell data you have on your computer at home and to take steps to protect it as outlined here and elsewhere in this security guide.
Use a separate login account
If other members of your household use the same computer, create a separate login account for your Cornell work and data, with a strong password that only you know. Using a separate login ensures other users on your computer cannot view or access your Cornell documents.
Encrypt all confidential data
If you have confidential data on a computer that is located at home, or that comes home with you, that data must be encrypted. Check with your department’s technical support staff to find out what encryption solutions are used in your department.
Connect to campus with the Virtual Private Network
Connecting to Cornell’s network from home increases the risk of data exposure or password compromise because you have to use networks that are not controlled by Cornell. To minimize these risks, you should use the campus Virtual Private Network (VPN) when working with sensitive Cornell data. This will ensure that everything you do is encrypted as it goes over the network. VPN protects your data from electronic eavesdropping.
To connect to some department and central resources from off campus, you may be required to use VPN. To find out how to install and use Cornell's Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Secure your home wireless network
Home wireless networks are easy to set up and extremely convenient to use. However, an insecure wireless environment poses several risks that need to be addressed:
- Anyone near your home can use your Internet connection.
- Anyone near your home may be able to access your computer.
- Anything sent over the wireless connection could be stolen.
The manuals that came with your wireless router should provide detailed information on how to secure your home wireless network. If you no longer have the manual, use the brand name and model type to search for an electronic copy online.
Keep your computer secure
Most of the things discussed in this book apply to your home computers, in addition to your work computers. A very common problem with home computers is having out-of-date operating systems and browsers, as well as not having activated current firewall and antivirus software. If you're working on university business on a computer at home, whether you or Cornell own the computer, you must take measures to secure your computer and mobile devices.