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Working from home will be a new experience for many members of the UNC-CH community. Here are some tips on how to protect University data while getting your work done at home.

Enable the Firewall on Your Computer

To protect the campus network from the spread of viruses and malware, it is important for all computers to have a firewall installed, enabled and configured to block malicious traffic. A firewall provides a layer of protection between your computer and the internet. It serves as a barrier and can help defend against someone attempting to access your computer from the outside.

Windows and Mac operating systems have built-in firewalls. Guidance for setting them up is available online through the ITS-Service Desk Knowledge base in this article or by calling 919-962-HELP.

Ensure Your Devices are Equipped with Anti-Malware Software (sometimes called anti-virus)

On Windows systems, Windows Defender is a built-in anti-malware tool. Ensure that it is up to date by following the steps in the previous tip.

For Mac or Linux systems, ClamAV is a free solution that has been in use for many years and is known to be efficient.

Ensure Your Devices are Up to Date

A crucial part of maintaining a safe computing environment is keeping your computer and mobile devices up to date with the latest versions of their operating systems.

This process is known as patching or updating. Both refer to fixing vulnerabilities through improvements to the underlying software running your device.

There is a workflow for Windows, Apple, Android, and Linux systems and devices on our
Patching website.

Or you can contact the ITS-Service Desk or 919-962-HELP.

Connecting Securely to Campus Resources

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides an encrypted connection (secure tunnel) from off campus to the UNC-Chapel Hill internal network. VPN allows you to access campus applications and work securely, just as if you were physically on campus. Access to some campus applications from off campus require the use of VPN (i.e. Remote Desktop, Shared Drives, Virtual Computing Lab, Virtual Lab, & ConnectCarolina

Guidance is available online through the ITS-Service Desk Knowledge base in this article or by calling 919-962-HELP.

Ensure Your Devices are Password Protected

Does your home WiFi require a password? It should! If you need assistance configuring your home WiFi router and it was set up by your internet service provider, give them a call and request assistance securing your WiFi. If you own your own router, the manufacturer’s web site will likely provide guidance on configuring a secure password.

Does your printer have wireless capabilities? If so, be sure to configure a password by following manufacturer guidelines.

Follow Best Practices and Data Hygiene

ITS Safe Computing is a resource to help you navigate protecting both your and the University’s data. Please check the site for guidance on what to do with a suspicious e-mail, 2-step verification, password security, phishing/malware, and many more topics.


Working from home can be just as productive and secure as in the office with the right tools. When in doubt, or if you encounter any difficulty navigating getting equipped for working from home you can contact the via the ITS-Service Desk or 919-962-HELP

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