Tips for working safely from home

As many employees are working from home as a result of corona virus, we cannot offer our regular high-level network protection. On this page, you can read what you can do yourself and what action you must take to work safely from home.

Be alert

Attention! Turn on your VPN connection at home

When you work from home you connect to the Internet through your own network connection. As a result, you do not have direct connection and access to the campus network. In addition to not being able to directly access the O:/drive and the Software Center, this has the disadvantage that the university cannot provide the security normally provided on campus, such as performing automatic updates.

We solve this problem with a VPN connection. A connection is then established between your computer and that of the university's network. Unfortunately, we cannot automatically enable this VPN connection for you. You need to connect to VPN from home - every time you log in

This instruction explains how to install the VPN client. You will then need to reconnect to VPN each time you log in (see steps 7 and 8 of the tutorial).

Additional benefit: by connecting through VPN, you will get access to the O:/drive and the Software Center again, whereby you are able to access your documents and install applications by yourself.

Be on the alert for phishing mails

'Phishing' comes from 'fishing', angling. Malicious people ask you via fake e-mails or fake WhatsApp or text messages to give them information about your bank, passport or driving license. They use this information to, for example, steal money or take over your identity. Phishing often involves the use of URL spoofing. This is the imitation of the URL of, for example, a bank, so that the user thinks he is dealing with the real site, while the URL refers to the site of the malicious party. Therefore, always be vigilant when you receive emails. Companies do not ask for personal data or account details via email. This also applies to the ICT or HR department of the university.

Learn more about this topic on our page about phishing.

Tips for working safely

Work in a secure environment

Preferably work at home with a Tilburg University laptop or PC. They are equipped with various security arrangements, such as an encrypted hard disk, an antivirus program and an active firewall.

If you do not have a Tilburg University laptop or PC but with your own equipment via Remote Desktop, you have to take extra safety measures yourself, such as:

  • Making sure you protect your own equipment with a virus scanner and that the virus scanner is automatically updated.
  • Making sure that all programs are completely up to date.

The latest version of the software is not only there to improve ease of use, but also to remedy any security breaches. Make sure that your device and applications are equipped with the latest updates. If possible, activate automatic updating.

Take a good look at what is being asked and do not click carelessly on "next", "next", "next" until it says "finish". Check at all steps what you agree to.

Share your information securely
  • Be careful with (personal) data from the university. You should not just store them at home or on your private laptop or PC.
  •  Be and work patiently, taking time for your actions.

Your daily work routine is different and you work with distractions that you are not used to in the office. Accidentally a reply all to an outgoing mail is a mistake that is quickly made. To be on the safe side, you can postpone the sending time in your mail, so that you can still withdraw the wrong mail.

  • Be careful when using (video) chat services.

When discussing information that you would normally discuss face-to-face, but now through group apps and video chats, please be cautious. Preferably share confidential information by telephone instead of via a (video) chat service. In addition, preferably use Teams.

If you want to use a chat app, the advice from Tilburg University is to use Signal, instead of, for example, Whatsapp.

  • Share your files securely.

Always use your Tilburg University mail account to send work-related communication. Private accounts on, for example, Google Drive and OneDrive are not allowed.

To learn more about this topic, also visit our page on storing and sharing information safely.

Store your information securely

By storing your information securely, you reduce the risk of data breaches. Another advantage is that if you store your work in the right places, your work is also transferable. Think of the situation that you are on vacation and a colleague has to take over your work or when you are absent for a long time, for example in case of illness.

On our page about storing and sharing information safely you will find more tips about this topic.

Create strong passwords and change them regularly

Do not share passwords via e-mail or shared documents and do not leave any notes with passwords lying around. Keep your passwords in an encrypted document and do not share it with others, or use a password manager (for example LastPass).

Tips for making strong passwords

  • Think of a one-liner, song lyrics, or a sentence that you can remember easily and use the first letters of each word to set your password. Also use capital letters and punctuation marks.
  • Use a unique password for every single one of your accounts. Cyber criminals often try to log on to as many different online services as possible using a stolen password. If criminals get hold of one of your passwords, they will not have immediate access to all your accounts if all your passwords are different. Also websites where you have an account can be hacked.
  • Whenever possible, use two-factor authentication: in addition to your password, a second step is required for identification, for example, a text message (SMS) or a code generated by a smartphone app such as Microsoft Authenticator.

Read more about how to change your password

Only connect to a reliable Wi-Fi network

Eduroam gives you simple and secure access to Tilburg University’s wired and wireless networks, also at other institutions that offer eduroam.

If you use a public and non-secure WiFi network (for example, on the train, at the airport, or in a restaurant), others can potentially see what you are doing on the internet and what data you are sending. Therefore, do not send sensitive data (e-mail, online banking information) over networks that you are not familiar with or do not trust. If necessary, use a VPN connection (also on your smartphone). A VPN encrypts all your internet traffic. As a result, it is much more difficult for criminals and others to track and manipulate your online activities.

Do not use Internet Explorer

Microsoft has identified a critical vulnerability in Internet Explorer. Microsoft is working hard to remedy the situation but, until a solution has been found, LIS advises everyone not to use Internet Explorer. It is OK to use other browsers such as Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome. 

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