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Work from Home Securely

  • Author: Esther Silver

  • Date:
  • Location: All / Building 1

Even before local shelter in place orders, a large part of our community began working from home in early March.  Recent estimates suggest that 70% of UCSF employees are currently working remotely. UCSF IT has provided a myriad of information on how to do so safely and securely.

Below is a list of suggestions to help you telecommute securely as well as other useful links to assist you through this period. These are aimed at ensuring UCSF has adequate bandwidth, and UCSF’s critical and confidential data is not compromised while we stay at home flattening the curve.

Working remotely? Follow these helpful tips to securely manage your telecommute from Patrick Phelan, UCSF Chief Information Security Officer:

Don’t use unsafe networks

Avoid public wireless networks when possible and use UCSF VPN if you can’t.

Use your UCSF computer

Your UCSF computer is encrypted and has the required security software installed.

Don’t share your UCSF computer with family and friends

While it may seem harmless to let a friend or family member use your computer, even the simple act of checking an email may put your computer at risk for security threats.

What to do if you don’t have a UCSF computer

  • Install the UCSF IT Security Suite on your personal computer. This will encrypt and secure your computer.
  • Make sure your system is configured to automatically install updates.
  • Use only what you need. Don’t keep copies of all your UCSF data to your computer if you only need a few files.
  • Be vigilant against phishing. You’re probably accessing other email systems on your personal computer – don’t let a phishing message to a Gmail account result in a security incident for UCSF.

Watch out for scams

COVID-19 related malware and phishing scams are running rampant. 

Use UCSF officially supported tools - not free

Don’t use free tools like Dropbox, Google Drive, Google Docs, etc. Use officially supported UCSF services like UCSF Box.

Never leave your laptop in your car

There is a car break-in every 22 seconds in San Francisco.

Securely manage your passwords with Keeper Password Vault

Use Keeper Password Vault to securely manage your passwords
This advice applies whether you’re telecommuting or not.

Ensure you keep your home wireless network secure and up to date

CISA: Security Tips: Home Network Security

Immediately report lost or stolen devices

And, don't forget: Immediately report lost or stolen devices used for any UCSF business to the IT Service Desk by calling 415-514-4100.

Additional work-from-home-safely resources

UCSF Remote Work Resources

BCH Oakland Remote Work Resources

COVID-19 Cyber Scams

Protect UCSF and Myself from Phishing and Other Similar Scams

Travel and Work Remotely - Securely and Safely!

UCSF Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources – includes policies and guidelines for Patients, Students and Employees, Researchers, Clinicians, Referring Physicians, and Journalists

Recommended Security Settings for Zoom