Rice University Technology Guide to Remote Working
This guide is intended to cover technology needs to create a successful remote work environment.
Essential Apps and Services
Advice on Equipment
University Policies and Information Security Guidelines
All members of the Rice community need to follow policies and guidelines to protect the university's resources and information.
- University Policy 832: Appropriate Use of Information Technology describes what is defined as appropriate and prohibited use of Information Technology when working on behalf of Rice.
- University Policy 808: Protection of University Data and Information defines the types of data that must be protected like student grades, financial information, and Rice's intellectual property.
- Information Security: The same guidelines used to support these University policies while working on campus also apply while working remotely. Additionally, watch out for new phishing attacks and other scams that attempt to take advantage of the situation.
Important university announcements will be sent to your Rice email or alert channels.
Essential Applications and Services
Essential applications and services will function normally from a remote location as long as you have a stable internet connection. Some of the tools you may need include:
- Zoom is an enterprise video communications platform for video and audio conferencing, chat and webinars across mobile and desktop systems. All faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduates have Zoom License accounts (formerly called Zoom Pro accounts).
- Zoom Updates: Ensure your Zoom software is the latest version so you will have the most recent security fixes to prevent Zoombombing and other potential privacy issues.
- Getting Started with Zoom (includes some best practices for video conferencing)
- Rice Zoom Login
- Google Hangouts Meet Video Conferencing - a backup solution to Zoom.
- Webmail - Cyrus Mail login. You can also configure a mail client for Cyrus Mail.
- Google - Rice Google Mail and G Suite applications (Calendar, Drive, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Chat, Meet, Hangouts, Forms, etc.) |
GSuite for Education
- Learn about the Google Workspace for Education tools for faculty and staff (Calendar, Drive, Sheets, Slides, Keep, Hangouts Meet, Forms, etc.).
- Set your Google password in the Rice University online account management system.
Storage / Collaboration
- Box at Rice University - Box is an enterprise cloud-based storage and collaboration tool to share files and folders online.
- Rice Google Drive - Log into Rice Google with NetID and Google Password.
- University network drives (U: drive) - Must connect via VPN and then mount the drive.
Microsoft Office 365
- Students and educators at eligible institutions can sign up for Office 365 Education for free by following this link.
Rice University provides access to several other applications. For a complete list, please see:
- Software Available for Faculty and Staff (Office 365, MatLab TAH, etc.)
Office Phone Management with VoIP:
- Single Number Reach
- Single Number Reach will allow you to set up an additional phone number (such as your mobile phone) that will also ring when your office line is called during scheduled times (e.g. Monday through Friday, 8-5 pm).
- Call Forwarding
- Forward all calls to voicemail or another number.
- Remote Access to Voicemail
- You may access your office phone voicemail remotely by calling 713-348-3000 and following the prompts.
Secure Connection to Campus
Some services require VPN access with two-factor authentication (Duo).
Duo (Two-factor Authentication)
- Two-factor adds a second layer of protection to online accounts. Using a second factor (i.e., mobile phone) prevents anyone from logging on to your account. The duo is required to access some Rice accounts such as VPN, Esther, Banner, or MyNetID (when changing your password).
- How do I enroll in Duo?
VPN (Virtual Private Network)
- VPN is software that provides secure, password-protected access to the Rice campus network from off-campus. VPN is required to access some secure Rice services when using your computer.
- Two-factor Authentication and VPN
- Remote Teaching Resources - This resource is for faculty/instructor use for contingency teaching.
Resources for Research Computing
- Remote Research Computing Resources - This resource is for individuals requiring remote research computing assistance.
In order to work successfully from off-campus, you will need a computer that meets the minimum criteria to ensure software compatibility and security protections. Tablets and cell phones are useful supplementary equipment, but these are not adequate standalone equipment for working remotely.
- If you have a Rice-issued computer: Test it at home before you need to telework. All devices leaving campus must have encryption with a boot-up PIN enabled. Before leaving campus, be sure you know your BitLocker PIN; otherwise, you will not be able to boot your device.
- If you plan to use your personal computer: ensure it meets the requirements outlined in this guide.
- Remote Desktop Connection (MS Remote Desktop and Apple Remote Desktop) require VPN to access the Rice network.
The computer you use should meet the following minimum criteria. If you're unsure of how to find this information, use the guide for Windows and/or the guide for Mac.
- Operating System: Windows 10 o MacOS 10.14 (Mojave) or later
- RAM: 8GB
Optional: consider a headset that can connect to your computer to reduce background noise and improve sound quality.
You will need to have an internet connection that is stable and fast enough to support Zoom video meetings, email, chat, file editing from Box/Drive, and other day-to-day work applications.
- Update your devices - Updates address identified security vulnerabilities, some of which may be active exploits. Be sure to install available updates to your device's operating system, applications, browsers, and browser extensions.
- Beware of scams - Scammers may contact you via email, text, SMS, phone, or social media, and may pretend to be a trusted colleague or someone on the executive level. They may seek sensitive information, payments, gift cards, etc. Even if you recognize the email address, be sure to confirm every request for sensitive information via a trusted means of communication such as the Rice Directory.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi - When teleworking, it's best to use a secure, password-protected wired or wireless network. If you must use a public or unsecured network, use Rice VPN and Duo.
- Stay connected - Consult your supervisor on how to stay in contact with your department, i.e. using a chat tool or email. Stay connected to the university by signing up for Rice Emergency Alerts and IT Status notifications.
- Meet effectively - Use Zoom for audio and video meetings when meeting remotely. Here are some etiquette online meeting tips.
- Guidelines to protect your computer - More information on ways you can protect your computer is posted in the Guidelines for the Use of Information Technology.