Working Remotely Safely

Working Remotely Safely

Whether you are working from home, at a conference or at the cafe, there are some simple things you can do to stay cyber safe:

Visit encrypted sites
Make sure the websites you visit are using an encrypted connection as it is much harder for cyber criminals to intercept your data and steal it. Encrypted sites have https in the URL and display a lock icon.

Encrypted Sites

Visit sites with valid authenticity certificates
If you visit a website and the browser displays a dialog box stating that there is a problem with the site's authenticity certificate do not continue to the site. It may contain malware.

Keep software up to date
Software and apps including Windows and antivirus should be kept up to date. Updates fix system vulnerabilities often used by cyber criminals to compromise your systems.

Install antivirus and firewall software
Antivirus and firewall software should be on all your devices as well as your computer and/or laptop. Remember to activate the firewall

Doing these simple things help keep most users safe. However, if you are going to remotely access the Mount Royal network, Mount Royal applications or use public WiFi there are a few additional things that you need to keep in mind.

If you need to remotely access data on the Mount Royal network or use Mount Royal applications such as Banner or FAST remotely, use the MRU Secure Remote Access Service (SRAS). SRAS allows you to connect to the network or your workstation using a secure VPN (virtual private network). When using SRAS, we ask you to follow these guidelines:
  • If you need to work with sensitive data, please leave the data on the Mount Royal network and connect to your on-campus workstation remotely  through the Terminal Access pane or the Network Connect pane in the SRAS.
  • Cyber criminals will still try to compromise the encrypted SRAS connection. Man-in-the-middle attacks via a wireless connection is well known. If your browser displays a dialog box that states "This site's security certificate is not trusted" or "There is a problem with this website's security certificate" someone is attempting to hack the line, do not proceed to the site. Choose to go back to safety or close the webpage.

WiFi hot spots and public WiFi connections are convenient ways to stay connected, however they also come with security risks. To stay safe when connecting to public WiFi, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Check the name of the WiFi you connect to and make sure it is spelled correctly. Criminals can set up their own hotspots or WiFi access points with names very similar to legitimate ones to trick you into connecting to them.
  • Do not use a kiosk, public computer, hotel workstation or other machine that you don’t own to connect to the Internet or SRAS.  These types of machines often contain keyloggers and malware that record the computer screen and every key stroke you make. Casual web surfing that doesn't require you to enter a username, password or other private information should be fine.
  • Don’t advertise where you work or go to school. Keep branded swag, business cards and your campus card under wraps. Once a cyber criminal knows what network you have access to, it makes it easier for them to hack you.
  • Watch for shoulder surfers. You have the right to move if someone is standing behind you. Cyber criminals love to shoulder surf and take photos of your screen to learn usernames, passwords and other information they can use against you later. If you can't ensure someone isn't standing behind you, don't use your laptop or tablet.