Working remotely allows staff to perform work activities from home or while travelling. This provides tremendous flexibility--potentially working from anywhere in the world--but brings with it certain risks and responsibilities. Under the university’s Data Management Policy, all members of the university community have the responsibility to appropriately use, maintain, and safeguard university data.

What is working remotely?

Working remotely is working from any location other than at a USask location, using either a personally-owned or university-supplied device.

Protecting university data

While working remotely, additional care should be taken to protect university data.  

Minimize unnecessary copies of university data:
  • Use only university systems to access, enter, process, or store university data.
  • Avoid copying or storing university data on your personal, unmanaged computer or mobile devices. 
  • Refrain from emailing restricted data. Share links instead of data files over email.
  • Avoid taking home copies of university data.
  • Avoid use of USB drives to transport university data.
  • Please refer to Data Handling and Storage Guidelines for recommendations on the appropriate use of university data storage systems to store data. 

What things should I do when working remotely?

Use Remote Desktop  
Use remote desktop software (e.g. RDP) for connecting from your home computer to your computer located on campus. To access university resources from off-campus, use remote desktop software to avoid copying or storing university data on your personal, unmanaged computer or mobile devices.

Take Your Managed Laptop Home 
If you have a managed university laptop, take that home to use.  

Keep your Devices Physically Secure 
While travelling or working from home, ensure your devices are kept secure physically. Keep your laptop and mobile devices with you whenever possible, and never leave them unattended. Be sure to check if you have all your devices with you any time you change locations or modes of transportation (airplane, train, taxi, etc.). 

Protect your Mobile Device 
You can access university email and accounts from your personally-owned or university-supplied mobile devices. The loss of mobile devices and the data they possess is of particular concern to the university. You should ensure that adequate protection is in place on your devices, including the use of strong passwords, lock screens, and encryption. 

Apply Security Updates and Patches 
Keep your operating system and applications up to date by regularly installing updates and patches. This is one of the best defenses against malware and malicious software. See your operating system's website for details (WindowsMac). 

What else can I do?

Back up and Protect Your Data 
Back up your data regularly. The university's file storage services are automatically backed up. Instead of using cloud storage services such as DropBox, iCloud or Amazon, the university provides an individual file sharing and storage service that is a private, secure alternative for your university-related files. If you need to use a public cloud storage service consider encrypting your data before saving to the cloud. Think about where your data is going.