When you are working for the University off-campus, you can use IT services to communicate and collaborate with your colleagues.
Connecting to the Internet
A high-speed internet connection is essential for accessing University resources while teaching, learning, and working remotely. In line with the FCC’s Keeping America Connected Pledge, most internet service providers (ISP) in Connecticut have agreed to: not terminate service due to financial hardship; waive late fees for people affected financially by circumstances; and provide free, public use of Wi-Fi hotspots.
While at home, you will need a broadband (cable or DSL) connection that has the bandwidth for video conferencing and streaming. You will need at least 3.2Mbps outbound and 4.0Mbps inbound in order to video conference effectively. You can test your internet speed at www.speedtest.net.
Accessing your Email Online
Faculty, staff, and student employees have email accounts on Outlook. Outlook is part of Office 365, the Microsoft suite of communication, collaboration, and productivity tools. You can access Outlook online through the Office 365 portal (login at email.uconn.edu). The portal page also displays and gives you access to all Office 365 apps available to you.
Using a Shared Mailbox
If your department or area needs a single point of contact while telecommuting, you can use a shared mailbox. It will allow you to have a single email address for your department that multiple people can use to receive and respond to messages.
- To request a shared mailbox, contact the Technology Support Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You can also access an existing shared mailbox.
Storing your files
While working remotely, faculty and staff should save their files on cloud-hosted solutions or remote offerings. This will ensure that you can safely and securely store and access your files from multiple devices and locations.
Do not save files on personally owned devices. All work related materials should be stored on UConn supported infrastructure. This will ensure that you can safely and securely store and access your files from multiple devices and locations, and it will also enable the university to properly respond to litigation holds or discovery obligations without impacting your equipment.
OneDrive (recommended): Faculty and staff should save files for work on Microsoft OneDrive. This cloud-hosted service allows you to save files, share them with others, and edit the files simultaneously via the Office Online products. When your files are stored on OneDrive, you can access them on any device with an Internet connection. You have access to this cloud-hosted storage through your Office 365 account.
Google Drive: Google Drive is also available to faculty and staff, although it is not recommended for storage of institutional files and data. Since G Suite apps are heavily used by the students, it can be effectively used for sharing documents with students. To use the Google Drive and the other productivity tools within G Suite, faculty and staff must first create an account. You have unlimited storage with your university account.
Enterprise File Services
Enterprise File Services (EFS) is a system designed for secure computer file storage and online file sharing for faculty and staff. Through EFS, you have individual home directories (P: drive) and departmental file storage (Q: drive).
To use these services, you will need remote access, and depending on the method used, may need to map to the P and Q drive.
Collaborating and Sharing Files
The cloud-hosted storage solutions also enable you to share and simultaneously collaborate on files.
OneDrive: Your OneDrive associated with your Office 365 account integrates with the other Microsoft applications, including Outlook, Teams, and the Office applications, such as Word and Excel.
While working in an Office application, you can choose to share the file by selecting that option in the File menu. If you have your file saved to OneDrive, you can send recipients a link to the file. This gives them the ability to open your file on any Internet-connected device and make updates. If you have not saved your file to OneDrive, you have the option of attaching a copy of it to an email message.
If you have opened OneDrive in a browser, you have access to the files saved in your OneDrive account and can choose to share individual files or entire folders. Selected recipients will receive a message, which you can customize, from Microsoft with a link to the file or folder.
OneDrive is the file storage backbone for the Microsoft applications. While in other Microsoft applications, you can connect to and share the files in the OneDrive associated with your Office 365 account.
Google Drive and Docs: You can also use the productivity tools in G Suite, such as Drive and Docs, to share files with students. Like OneDrive, you can select who has access to the file and edit the file collaboratively.
Hosting and Attending Meetings with Video Conferencing
You can schedule and attend meetings using conferencing solutions that support video and audio communication.
Microsoft Teams is a collaboration and productivity tool that is included with Office 365. With teams, you can chat with individual or groups, hold video conferences, store and share files, present and share desktop content, and connect with other third-party applications. All faculty, staff, and students can install teams from either the Office 365 online portal page or directly from Microsoft. Teams and Outlook are integrated, and you can schedule and manage meetings through Outlook as well as other emerging communication/collaboration features. All team interaction is fully encrypted and secured. Meetings can be created with individuals inside or outside of the University and can be recorded.
All faculty, staff, and students have access to the Cisco Webex videoconferencing service. You can use Webex to host and join meetings that can accommodate up to 1,000 participants. In a Webex virtual meeting room, you can share any combination of audio, video, and the content on your screen. Webex Rooms can also be recorded for future viewing.
Google Hangouts Meet
Google Hangouts Meet is a video-conferencing tool that is available to all UConn faculty, staff, and students through G Suite. This tool enables you to host and join video meetings on your chosen device and is integrated with the tools in G Suite, allowing you to send meeting invitations from Gmail and Google calendar and save recorded meetings to Google Drive.
There are many applications that support video conferencing. ITS strongly encourages the use of centrally contracted and supported software and services for university activities. Security concerns and vulnerabilities have been addressed in these services.
We understand that you may prefer alternative applications and approaches, such as Zoom. While ITS does not recommend that you use unsupported tools, it is not prohibited either. If you choose to use Zoom, please use it in a safe and responsible manner.
Checking Office Telephones
When you are away from your office phone, you can check your voicemail messages from a different phone. ITS is enabling a notification feature; you will receive an email message when you receive a voicemail on your office line.
On a case-by-case basis, ITS can forward office phones to off-campus numbers, including cell phones. We have a limited capacity to forward these phones. Requests should be submitted to techsupport.uconn.edu or by email at email@example.com with your office and cell number. If you are using a personal mobile phone and do not want the person you are calling to see the number, some carriers enable you to dial *67 before entering their number. Your number will appear as "No Caller ID."
Accessing UConn Resources Remotely
Many university resources that require privileged access are protected by Single Sign On (you login with your NetID and password). This means that for many services, you do not need to install or enable remote access options, like VPN.
Remote Access Services
Direct Access: UConn Windows workstations managed by ITS can remotely access protected resources, such as the personal (P) and department (Q) drives, through Direct Access (DA). DA is a Microsoft service that provides remote access without the need for Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections. When a DA-enabled computer connects to the network (either internal or external), it automatically creates a protected connection back to its domain.
- Check to see if you have Direct Access enabled
Virtual Private Network: Virtual Private Networking (VPN) software creates a secure, encrypted connection between your off-campus computing device (laptop, phone, tablet) and the campus network. There are two ways to connect to VPN, either via the downloadable client or via the web.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) with Duo
Two-factor authentication provides an additional layer of security to the authentication process. At UConn, 2FA is required for access to Core-CT, but you may have it turned on for all services behind Single Sign On. If you have set your desk phone as your second factor, you will need to add another option, like a mobile device, before leaving campus. The “remember me for 30 days” option is specific to the browser and machine you were using. If you are using a different device, you will be prompted to authenticate with 2FA.
If you store files to a cloud-hosted service, like OneDrive, you can access them using your account credentials and do not need to set up a VPN connection. Access to your P: and Q: drives while working off the UConn network is an exception. You will need to have Direct Access enabled or a VPN connection established.
Download: You can download select software for both university, and personally-owned computers at software.uconn.edu. Under available software, select faculty or staff. You will see all of the university-licensed software available to you. When you click on an individual product, you can find out more information about it as well as begin the download process.
Online: You can also access software through the browser of many internet-connected devices through AnyWare. With Desktop, you connect to a virtual desktop that includes all the available software, and in Apps, you can select only the applications you wish to use. AnyWare 2.0, our newest virtual offering, provides a virtual desktop experience and saves your settings and preference between sessions.
Lab Access: If you need access to software that you would typically use on a Windows computer in a UConn lab, you can schedule time to access a lab computer remotely.
Following Security Best Practices
While the University has security systems in place to help to monitor and track threats in the university environment, most individuals do not have many of the same protections available in their home or while travelling. Below are key practices to keep in mind while you are working remotely. For a more detailed description of issues and our recommendations, view Security Best Practices for Telecommuting.
Workstations that have up-to-date operating systems, software, and security patches are better protected against security vulnerabilities. ITS recommends using your university-owned workstation to conduct university business. If you choose to use a personal device, ensure that you are current with all patches and updates.
Key tips to protect your data and equipment
- Use a screen lock when you step away from your workspace.
- Never share your NetID password with anyone.
- Phishing attempts always increase during global events. Be wary of interactions you did not initiate and urgent requests for assistance.
- Use secure Wi-fi (padlock symbol) whenever possible. This indicates that your session is encrypted. Only use published Wi-Fi networks when travelling or in public.
- Do not leave equipment unattended in vehicles or in public space. Items such as phones, tablets, and laptops are valuable targets and subject to theft.