Working Remotely During COVID-19

COIVD19 Updates

 

Working Remotely

IT resources, guidance, and best practices for working remotely at North Idaho College

 

Remote Work Arrangement Form

See the Guide for Establishing Remote Work Arrangements for remote work tips.

For information about using laptops, monitors, or other NIC owned hardware during this time, please see our Guidelines for NIC employees who have received approval to use NIC hardware to work remotely during COVID-19.


Computer and Internet

You will need either a NIC issued laptop or a personal computer and high speed internet in order to work remotely. 

  • Ensure you have a high speed Internet connection at home.
    • If you can normally stream Netflix or YouTube videos at home you should have the Internet speed required to be successful working from home.
    • High speed Internet is defined as having at least a 25Mbps connection or higher.  From home, you can visit https://www.speedtest.net/ to test your home connection speed.
  • Ensure you have the hardware you will need at home.
    • If you will be required to use voice or video online, ensure that you have a webcam and microphone.  NIC issued laptops have webcam and microphone capabilities built into them. If you do not currently have this capability and need it, please contact the Information Technology Help Desk at helpdesk@nic.edu or (208) 769-3280.


Remote Access 

Please note:  Not all users will require a direct connection (VPN or Remote Desktop) to the NIC Network.  

Due to security concerns during this time of widespread remote work, NIC IT is limiting access to VPN and Remote Desktop services.  Please have your supervisor approve this type of access if you need it.  The most common campus need for VPN would be related to accessing files on our file shares (Vault).  We are recommending that you move these files to Box for easier access at this time.
 

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

North Idaho College's VPN provides security when connecting to specific College networks and systems (such as your “U: drive,” “H: drive,” CROA, or Softdocs) so you can work remotely as if you’re on campus.  VPN also helps to protect your data when connecting to unknown Wi-Fi networks in airports, hotels, or coffee shops. Be aware that you are subject to all NIC policies and procedures relating to computer use when using VPN.


Remote Desktop

Connect to your office computer from your home computer with Remote Desktop.

File Storage

Box and OneDrive are web-based file storage and collaboration applications for sharing and backup.  The Vault file server is for file storage on the NIC network.  During this time, NIC IT is highly recommending that you transfer the files you need to Box.

Box

  • The easiest method of remotely accessing your documents and files is to upload them to Box. You can access Box from any device, VPN is not required, and you can configure granular permissions for collaboration or review by teams or specific people.
  • Box storage is unlimited.
  • Learn more about using Box.
     

OneDrive

Vault (H and U drives)

  • Accessing your files on department shares – e.g., your “U: drive” or “H: drive” – requires installing and using and additional piece of software called VPN.  NIC Information technology is limiting the use of VPN currently and does not allow the use of VPN from personal computers.  If you need VPN access, then IT will grant it via supervisor approval.
     

Software

Some software programs you use at work may also be downloaded to your personal computer others just require an internet connection.

Microsoft Office

Available Web Applications

North Idaho College has many applications that do not require the installation of software and are accessible remotely via Internet access.  If you have an Internet connection at home, you can access the following applications via single sign on.  Some systems will require Duo authentication.

  • MyNIC Portal
  • Canvas
  • Aviso
  • Colleague Self Service
  • Time Entry and Approval (Webadvisor)
  • Colleague 
  • Sharepoint Teamsites
  • Office 365 (Including Email and Teams)
  • Library Resources
  • Testing Center appointments
  • Bookstore
  • Concourse
  • Techsmith Relay
  • and many more.

If you have a question on whether or not an application only needs an Internet connection, please contact the NIC Helpdesk atl helpdesk@nic.edu or (208) 769-3280
 

Security and Safe Computing

Protect your computer, identity and privacy.


​​​Duo Multifactor Authentication

In order to provide additional security to some systems, NIC requires the use of Duo multifactor authentication for some services such as email, Colleague, Self Service, Softdocs, Aviso, and other systems that contain sensitive or personally identifiable information.

 Updates and Antivirus Software 

  • Ensure that your computer is running windows 10.  If you are running a personal computer that is running Windows 7, you may be able to use it, but IT may have difficulty supporting you.  Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 in January, 2020.
  • If you are working from a personal computer, it is always a best practice to ensure that you have a virus scanner and/or malware scanner on your PC.  NIC does not have licensing for personal machines, so please be sure to use your due diligence in protecting your personal PC.
  • Also, if you are using a personal PC, now would be a good time to ensure your computer has the latest security updates.  In windows 10, you can do this by clicking the start (Windows) button, typing the word update, and then clicking on "Check for Updates".  In the window that opens, click on the check for updates button and follow the prompts to install them.  This may take some time if you have not run updates lately, but this will also help ensure that your personal device is updated and protected as much as possible.

Video and Chat

Solutions for streaming and collaboration.

Zoom

Zoom makes it easy to share screens and host real-time video conversations, host live web broadcasts, and record to a computer or cloud for easy sharing. In addition to laptops and desktops, Zoom chat and video conferencing apps are available for iPhone, iPad, or Android. 


Microsoft Teams

Microsoft teams is available to all faculty and staff through Office 365.  Microsoft teams allows for real time chat capabilities while working remotely with each other and is currently the recommended option for collaboration while we work through COVID-19.


TechSmith Relay

TechSmith Relay is a video creation and sharing platform for employees and students.


Phones

Be sure you know your voicemail password to remotely access voicemail.  If you have forgotten your PIN, please contact the NIC Help Desk.

Voicemail


Softphones

  • NIC IT is quickly deploying a new set of technology called softphones (Software Phones).  This will allow you to have access to a virtual phone on your computer that uses the camera/microphone or a headset as the phone handset.
  • Learn how to install and use Cisco Jabber Softphone
NOTE:  NIC IT is setting up softphones as quickly as possible.  This is a manual setup so it is taking longer than anticipated.  Once your softphone is set up, you will receive an email with further instructions.  If you need to request a softphone setup, please have your supervisor submit your name to the helpdesk.


Privacy and Security

  • If you are forwarding your NIC phone calls to your personal phone, your phone number will be displayed if you call someone back from your personal phone.  If you are using a softphone, then your NIC extension will display as the caller ID.
  • If you are using a softphone while working remotely, DO NOT USE IT TO CALL 911.  Our phone system uses enhanced 911 capabilities and first responders will believe you are at your office location.

Need Assistance?

For more information, contact the Help Desk at (208) 769-3280, helpdesk@nic.edu or submit a ticket at www.nic.edu/it.