University of Vermont

Information Technology

Preparing Your Computer for Telecommuting

Basic Preparation

Before you begin telecommuting, you'll want to make sure your computer is prepared and in good working order:

  • Verify that the laptop you'll bring from UVM (preferred) or the computer you have at home goes online successfully with your home network, and is able to access web pages at
  • Leave UVM data on UVM servers. Access data on UVM servers using UVM's VPN software, and do not store files locally.
  • Follow the requirements in UVM's Information Security Policy and Procedures, including:

    6.3. No institutional data may be stored unencrypted on non-UVM or personally owned computers,including student employees computers.

    7.8. Physical documents, CDs, and DVDs containing Protected University Information secured in locked cabinets or rooms should not be removed from campus. Protected University Information on computer systems or storage devices may be removed from campus only if those devices are encrypted.

    7.9. Any University-owned laptop computer used to access UVM non-public data or file services must have its storage system encrypted using a University-approved encryption system, with UVM retaining the encryption key.

    7.10. Any personally owned computer system, laptop or desktop, used to access UVM file services or non-public data for anyone other than the individual user must have its storage system encrypted with a system of the owner’s choice.

    7.11. USB thumb drives, “Secure Disk” or “Compact Flash” drives, CDs/DVDs, PDAs, SmartPhones, etc., that are used to store or transport Protected University Information must be encrypted with University-approved encryption systems.

    7.12. Any computer, computer storage system, or removable storage medium that has been used to hold Protected University Information must be physically destroyed or electronically “scrubbed” using software approved by the Information Security Office before being discarded or transferred to any individual or entity not authorized to view the information. The mere deletion of Protected University Information is not sufficient to render it unreadable. Any non- erasable medium (such as CDs or DVDs) that has been used to hold Protected University Information must be physically destroyed before being discarded. The ISO can provide assistance in scrubbing or destroying media. Prohibited software: Do not download, install, or use prohibited software programs listed on Backups:Make sure that off-line backups are encrypted or physically secured.

    17.10. Telecommuting and use of personal equipment

    • Only the employee may have administrative rights on personal equipment used to manage enterprise information resources.
    • Virus protection must be used at least for Windows systems and at the employee’s expense if on personal equipment.
    • Operating system automatic updates must be enabled.
    • No software may be installed on personal equipment that is not allowed on UVM- owned computers (as determined by the ISO).
    • Operating system firewall must be enabled.
    • Home network hardware (NAT) firewall is encouraged.
    • Protected University Information, and information that is protected by law, professional ethics standards, or University policy, may not be stored unencrypted, including unencrypted email.
    • UVM credentials must not be transmitted unencrypted.
  • If you must use a personally owned computer, remove any user accounts used by others and run your virus-checker's scan-disk function. Because of security risks associated with compromised PCs, do not reinstall other accounts or allow others to use your PC account while you intend to use that PC to access UVM's internal network.
  • Verify that you have the latest Windows/Mac OS updates:
    • Windows 8.1 & Prior: select Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update > Check for updates
    • Windows 10: select Start > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Check for updates
    • OS X 10.7 & Prior: click the Apple menu, select Software Update
    • OS X 10.8 & Newer: click the Apple menu, select App Store, then Updates
  • Configure your computer to automatically install OS updates:
    • Windows 8.1 & Prior: select Start > Control Panel > System and Security >Windows Update > Change Settings > Turn automatic updating on or off, and set it to Install updates automatically.
    • Windows 10: select Start > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update > Advanced options > Choose how updates are installed > Automatic (recommended).
    • OS X 10.7 & Prior: open System Preferences, click Software Update and check Download updates automatically.
    • OS X 10.8 & Newer: open System Preferences, click App Store, check Automatically check for updates, then select your desires choices for downloading & installing updates.
  • Verify/configure working Internet connection (most relevant to persons using wireless routers):
    • Windows: select Start > Control Panel* > Network and Internet** > Network and Sharing Center. From there you can view your various network connections, their status, and diagnose or repair them. Using the diagnose/repair function may be necessary if your computer goes into low-power sleep or standby mode and turns off the wireless connection. If the connection does not automatically reestablish itself, use the repair option to reconnect.
      • * Windows 8 & up: type "Control Panel" to search for it if it's not in your Start screen/menu.
      • ** Only appears if viewing control panels by category.
    • OS X: Verify that Wi-Fi (Airport) is turned on, or connect an Ethernet cable to your home router, to connect to your home wireless network See for more info.
    • Secure your router's settings and transmissions
  • Install/Update antivirus software (Windows 7 only):
  • Check/configure firewall
    • In Windows, from Start menu, choose Control Panel, and select Security or Security Center. Click on Windows Firewall to see your Windows Firewall status and to turn it on/off (it should be on).
    • OS X: In System Preferences, click Security and set firewall to Allow only essential services (10.5) or On (10.6).

Last modified October 06 2016 09:40 AM

Contact UVM © 2018 The University of Vermont - Burlington, VT 05405 - (802) 656-3131