How staff can use Trinity IT for Secure Remote and Mobile Working
The following guidance will help to ensure that staff can work remotely while maintaining the same excellent levels of data and IT security as when working on the Trinity Network.
Use Microsoft 365 (office.tcd.ie) for all your day-to-day communication and collaborations, here is our Microsoft 365 for Trinity Staff - Getting Started Guide
When working remotely with Microsoft 365, you will be requested to verify your login with a 2nd step – this is called Two Step Sign-in.
During the two step sign-in process you can choose the option ‘Don’t ask again for 30 Days’ – this saves your login information for 30 days.
After 30 days you will need to complete Two Step Sign-In again to access Microsoft 365.
All Trinity staff are provided with an official Trinity email account with Microsoft 365 which you can access, using your web browser, at office.tcd.ie. Once logged in, click on Outlook to view your mail and calendar.
You can also schedule and join online meetings with Outlook.
As part of Microsoft 365, office.tcd.ie, all staff have access to Microsoft's cloud-based file storage, OneDrive. This allows you to sync (copy) your files from your computer and store them in the cloud for easy access to your files from anywhere where you have an internet connection.
You can also create Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, or Excel Forms within OneDrive. Working with OneDrive feels the same as working with the files stored locally on your computer, except the changes you make are instantly saved online, and can be viewed and edited in real time by anyone you share the document with, allowing for collaboration with colleagues.
You can find the basics of OneDrive on our website, which covers how to upload your files to OneDrive.
Teams is a collaboration app available through Microsoft 365 which has been designed for groups of people who work together regularly. Its greatest benefit is instant communication amongst the group and the ability to share information and files easily all in one centralised place.
Alternatively, Schools, Administrative areas or Research groups may use Microsoft SharePoint to work remotely in collaboration with colleagues.
Teams can be used to facilitate remote video conferencing meetings with colleagues or collaborators who are working in different physical locations using any laptop or mobile device which is equipped with a camera and microphone. For instructions, view the Meetings and Calls with Microsoft Teams - Getting Started Guide.
You can also schedule and join online meetings with Outlook.
How to Change Your Password (Staff)
If you need to change your network login password, you can use one of the methods listed under our web page How to Change Your Password (Staff).
Online Teaching and Learning Services
Blackboard (mymodule.tcd.ie) is Trinity's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Blackboard is used to host teaching materials, create online assessments, use social learning tools such as blogs and journals, and incorporate other technologies such as videos and webinars. It is accessible to students and staff from anywhere in the world provided they have a computer with internet access.
Visit the help tabs when you log in to Blackboard for guides and video tutorials on getting started with Blackboard.
Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing program that provides virtual classroom technology so lecturers and students can communicate via voice, video, lecture slides and text chat. Collaborate is available in every module in Blackboard under the Module Management -> Tools section. Students can also access Collaborate on their mobile device using the Blackboard App.
Guides to Blackboard Collaborate are available in the help tabs when you log in to Blackboard.
The Panopto Lecture Capture Service (a content recording management service) allows the user to record, edit, share and stream video, audio, PowerPoint and screen capture content for audiences including staff, students, and other third parties or the public. It manages recordings using a cloud-based content management storage system. It can be accessed from within Blackboard (mymodule.tcd.ie) and posted directly to your module. Trinity staff can also install the Panopto software on their own device (PC, Mac, iOS, and Android) to make screen-capture recordings, or video recordings.
Further information: https://www.tcd.ie/itservices/lecture-capture/
There is a wide variety of software that Trinity students and staff have access to via the MyTrinityApps platform.
While MyTrinityApps is mainly used to supply popular academic software to the computer rooms on campus, it is also available for use on your own device. The platform works best on PCs, but offers Mac owners a web portal where they can download software directly.
Please refer to the Online Assessment Blackboard help page for staff for the latest guidance on online assessment options.
The Virtual Private Network (VPN) service allows Trinity staff to make a secure, encrypted connection to the Trinity data network from a remote location, such as from home or from a Wi-Fi service in a hotel.
A public Wi-Fi network is inherently less secure than your home or University Wi-Fi, because you don't know how it has been set up, or who else is connecting to it. The VPN service protects staff from risks which might affect them on open or public Wi-Fi when connecting to internal college services over the VPN.
Please remember that when working over VPN from a public WiFi network general web browsing to non-Trinity related websites or web services is not protected by the VPN. Users should exercise caution in this instance and only connect if possible to websites that are SSL/HTTPS encrypted as denoted by the padlock icon in the browser address bar.
If working remotely, what services do I need a VPN for?
If working remotely, you will only need a VPN to access the following services:
- Windows security updates:
- To receive Windows security updates remotely, you are required to be connected to the VPN for at least one hour each working day.
- Network files and file storage
- Webauthors making live changes to the webpages
- Trinity business applications:
- FIS (if you prepare POs)
- SITS (client-only, Academic Registry)
- CMIS timetabling
- HR users of SODMS
You won't need a VPN to access lots of other services that are hosted in the 'cloud'. An example would be your email, OneDrive, Teams, Blackboard VLE, Panopto, etc.
VPN is only available to be setup on Trinity-owned computers (preferably which have the Trinity software image installed) that are networked and fully compliant with our network security policies including being added to the COLLEGE domain.
If you believe you need the VPN, please complete the VPN connection request form.
Working Securely when away from Trinity
- Mobile devices and laptops can present a serious security risk if lost or stolen. Make sure to keep your devices with you and in sight at all times when travelling and never leave them unattended in public locations or visible in cars.
- Mobile devices such as phones and tablets should be protected by an autolocking pin at all times.
- You should ensure that you lock your laptop screen when taking a break or finishing work for the day.
- At home lock devices securely away when not in use and avoid accidental damage by keeping devices out of reach of children or pets.
- Staff should not share devices which are being used to store sensitive University data with other family members or friends.
Staff should ideally work on computers and devices provided by the University and securely managed by IT Services. Where a staff member is using a device not managed by IT Services, they should at a minimum ensure that any laptop or desktop computer that is used to work on University data is:
- Protected by MCAfee Anti-Virus software or equivalent software and that it is up-to-date and working correctly. This will protect your computer and data from viruses, malware and ransomware.
- Running an up-to-date operating system with all security updates applied to make sure it is not vulnerable to attacks.
IT Services do not recommend using public computers such as in cafes or hotel foyers to access Trinity services or data.
- Just as when working in the University take care not to reveal your passwords to anyone else. Your Trinity computer account and network login password act as your identity on the Trinity data network and restrict access to your email and other files to you. Guard your passwords and always change them if you suspect that they have become known to others.
- When accessing your email or documents in Microsoft 365 remotely you will be prompted to use Two-Step-Sign-In. This means that a code is sent to your mobile phone, which you then enter in addition to your password. This provides a second level of security to protect your account in the event that your password becomes known to a third party.
As the Trinity community is adjusting to working/learning remotely, we would like to remind you to remain vigilant about protecting yourself against cyber threats. Hackers are taking advantage of this new situation and it is important to recognise fraudulent emails if you are subjected to a phishing attack.
- Be vigilant to the possibility of phishing when reading emails. Treat any email that asks for your username and password details with extreme caution and be mindful of emails which contain hyper-links to external websites.
- The consequences of falling victim to a phishing attempt are not limited to your own account but could affect the University as a whole.
- Always trust your instincts and don’t be tempted to respond hastily to an email which threatens to disable your account.
- Additionally, be aware of financial scams. Always verify unusual requests sent by email (even if the email appears to have come from a colleague’s genuine Trinity email account) to spend or transfer sums of money with colleagues in person or via a known telephone number.
- IT Services will never ask for your username and password in any email we send. You can confirm the validity of any communications from us by contacting the IT Service Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Only print documents if necessary. Avoid retaining duplicate copies of data.
- Collect documents containing University data promptly from your printer and always use a shredder / confidential bin when disposing of University documents.
- Keep documents which contain University data secure when working at home – always lock paper files away when not in use. Exercise a ‘clean desk’ ethos when using shared spaces for work purposes.
- Avoid retaining duplicate copies of data. Check that downloaded files are deleted from your computer’s Download Folder / Hard Disk once saved to OneDrive / Teams or SharePoint / Network folders and not retained on devices where they may be visible to unauthorised individuals.
- Only use an up-to-date operating systems with all security updates applied to make sure it is not vulnerable to attack. Do not use computers running Windows 7 for work purposes, including accessing Microsoft 365.
Report ALL incidents involving loss or disclosure of personal data (e.g. emails sent to the wrong person or files lost / stolen) to the College DPO - email@example.com - as soon as you become aware of the incident. Trinity has an obligation under GDPR to report data breaches to the Data Protection Commission within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach.
Further information on IT Security and Data Protection at Trinity is available at:
Research Data Collection and Storage
Working remotely may create new challenges for researchers collecting, processing and storing data. Data collection can occur in many different ways, varying by discipline, methodology and research project. While working remotely it is important to ensure that we maintain the University’s high standards of data management to ensure that all data is handled in a reliable, secure and compliant manner.
Learn more about Research Data Collection and Storage when Working Remotely.
Setting up your voicemail
So that IT Services can assist you in working remotely, we recommend that you leave a message on your voicemail informing callers it will be checked periodically or providing an alternative number for contacting you.
Email notification can be set up to inform you each time a new message is received. You can then dial into your mailbox externally (018962922) to log onto your mailbox and pick up your messages.
If you do not currently have voicemail please submit a: request for a voicemail.
If you do not currently have email notification set up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your username, extension number and email address.
The Financial Services Division advise you can nominate one or more preparers who can create and prepare iExpense claims on your behalf. As part of the iExpenses Financial Information System (FIS) training it is recommended that those who do not work on a College campus, who work remotely without the College VPN or who are frequent travellers have a preparer who is usually a member of the Administration team in their school. FIS will route these claims by email to the claimant for ‘approval’ and the claimant can use the button in the email to progress the claim to authoriser approval and on to payment.
Trinity's Remote Learning Resources
Trinity's Remote Learning website links to existing resources on remote learning available from different units within the university.