IT has put together a toolkit and advice for working remotely. Some of these tools you already use, others are entirely new, and some introduce issues when used remotely. As you come across challenges we don't address here, let us know at the Help Desk: firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-596-5544.
What is the best way to connect to things I may need on campus?
- Remote Desktop - This is the recommended remote access strategy. It allows you to connect to your on-campus desktop and control it remotely.
- Remote Apps - Alternatively, remote apps allow you to run limited applications on an on-campus server, but display them to you on your local computer. This is less secure and slower. You should only do this if you can't use Remote Desktop.
- VPN connection - Some users require an enhanced level of access, they will need to connect a virtual network "tunnel" to our on-campus network.
- Mitel Soft Phone - You can use your college Mitel phone remotely using Mitel's "soft-phone" functionality
What online tools are available and supported?
- O365 - Access your email and share and edit files in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.
- Canvas - SPSCC's Learning Management System
- Smartsheet - Online project tracking
- Compass - Used by advisors, counselors, and faculty to communicate with students
- Local Applications on your home computer
- Zoom - Video conferencing. Be sure to check out our Zoom tips!
How do I pick which tools to use?
Many of these tools have overlapping functionality, For example, to edit a Word or Excel document, you could use O365, Remote Apps, a remote desktop connection to your workstation, or local copies of Word or Excel. You should make your decision based on the type of data you are working with. Files containing FERPA-protected data, or Personal Identifying Information (such as Names, Addresses, SIDs, SSNs, Birthdays), or payment information such as credit card numbers, or banking information should not be transferred to your home computer or via email. Here is a general chart of security levels:
- Most Secure
- Working on an SPSCC-provided laptop Remoting to your work desktop
- Working on an SPSCC-provided laptop using the Remote Apps
- Working on your own computer Remoting to your work desktop
- Working on your own computer using the Remote Apps
- Working on an SPSCC-provided laptop using local apps and transferring files via the vpn
- Working on an SPSCC-provided laptop using O365 apps and OneDrive
- Working on your own computer using O365 apps and OneDrive
- Working on your own computer using local apps and transferring files via the vpn
- Least Secure
No matter what tool you select, you must ensure that your home setup is as secure as possible. There are some basic precautions you can take:
- Use strong passwords on your local network (wifi, router, home computer, etc.).
- Don't share passwords with others.
- Keep your OS, browsers, and anti-virus software up-to-date.
- Lock or Log Out of your computer when you're not using it.