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Guide to Remote Computing

AIMS Guide to Working Remotely

This guide covers the technology and processes you will need to effectively work remotely whether in response to an emergency situation, or if you simply must be away from campus for any reason. Preparation is key to your success in working remotely, and we present here many suggestions and scenarios for you to consider as you make these preparations. Remember that the AIMS Help Desk is available to help you formulate a strategy to work remotely and help you solve issues as you prepare, as well as once you are actually working remotely.

If you are here to investigate this topic because of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), be sure to also review the UW-Madison COVID-19 information page.

Table of Contents

Prepare to Work Remotely

Get Prepared!

Here’s what you’ll need, and need to do, to be prepared.

Getting prepared meeting image

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Telecommute Authorization is Required

The UW-Madison Office of Human Resources has a policy regarding working remotely, so work with your supervisor to ensure you are meeting established guidelines and obtain the proper authorization to work remotely.

Know your AIMS Computer Number

In some remote working scenarios, knowing your AIMS computer number is essential.

Look for the white sticker on your PC or laptop that shows this information as “AIMS1234”, but of course, substitute your 4-digit number in place of “1234”.

Be sure you have memorized this number, write it down to keep with you, or take a picture of it with your smartphone so you don’t forget.

Know your passwords

In particular, you will need to always know your

  • AIMS username and password that you use to log into Windows and the VPN.
  • NetID and password to log into campus services, as well as services of campus partners such as Google (Google Apps & Drive) and Box.
  • WiFi password. If working from home, for example, you will need to know your home router’s WiFi password.
    You probably know this from setting up your smartphone, or any set-top streaming device like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV device.

Review your MFA Duo methods and settings

Be sure to fully understand Multi-factor Authentication, where, and how it is used.

Authenticating with MFA Duo is most easily performed with the smartphone app for both iPhone and Android. It’s just a couple of taps and you’re in. No codes to enter. No fob to carry around.

For those who prefer and elect to use a fob, remember that you will need to have it with you at your remote work location.

You may wish to consider printing a sheet of backup passcodes which can be used in cases where you do not have your normal authentication device.

Read DoIT’s Tips for using MFA-Duo while traveling guide for very helpful information on being prepared when traveling or away from the office like setting up your NetID recovery questions, recovery email, and printing backup passcodes.

Are you taking any additional equipment off campus with you?

AIMS needs to know if you are taking anything to your remote location other than the computer itself. Keyboard, mouse, monitors, laptop dock, etc.

If so, please use the Help Desk Contact form to report all supplemental equipment you are removing from campus.

Be sure you have the VPN software installed and working

A requirement for most remote working scenarios involves the use of the PaloAlto GlobalProtect Virtual Private Network, or VPN, client software which must be installed and configured correctly for the type of access you need.

All AIMS-manage laptop computers should have this VPN client software installed. It appears as a globe icon down in the system icon area of the Windows task bar by the clock. It may be in the hidden icons pop-up which you can open by clicking the up-arrow on the left side of the other icons down there. The VPN globe icon is white (and may also sport a red notification bubble with a white X in it) when not connected, and turns blue when connected.

Additional information on installing, configuring, and using the VPN client can be found in our GlobalProtect VPN document.

Note: Using the GlobalProtect VPN client on a personally owned device does allow campus IT Administrators to view your Internet destinations. For your privacy, you may wish to disconnect from the VPN when accessing online campus resources is no longer necessary.

Remote Working Scenarios

Working from Home Laptop Image


Working from Home Laptop Image

I have an AIMS computer at work and a personally owned device at my remote location

In this scenario, Microsoft Remote Desktop is the preferred method of working remotely. You will connect to your computer at work and will see the Windows desktop of that computer just as if you were there in person. This is similar to how AIMS uses remote control software to assist you with your computer. The difference is that, with Microsoft Remote Desktop, only you can see and interact with the remote computer. Others who approach your computer at work will only see the Windows lock screen. They are unable to see what you are working on.

Before using Microsoft Remote Desktop, verify the following:

  • You have established an Internet connection.
  • You have the GlobalProtect client installed.

How To Guides:

Remote Desktop Instructions

Optional/Recommended
Instructions on verifying and/or setting the computer you will control remotely to never go to sleep.

Working from Home Laptop Image


Working from Home Laptop Image

I have an AIMS desktop computer at work but no personally owned device that I can use remotely

Upon request, AIMS will issue you a check-out laptop you may use to remotely access your AIMS desktop computer at work.

What to do now:

Once you have a check-out laptop, verify the following:

  • You have established an Internet connection.
  • You have your AC power adapter and any other accessory you may need.

How To Guides:

Remote Desktop Instructions

Optional/Recommended
Instructions on verifying and/or setting the computer you will control remotely to never go to sleep.

Working from Home Laptop Image

I have an AIMS-issued laptop

With an AIMS laptop, you are fully prepared to work remotely.

Before going remote, verify the following:

  • You have your AC power adapter and any other accessory you may need.

How To Guides:

Instructions for Connecting to the VPN

 

Working from Home UHS Image

I work for UHS and need to access my Citrix Workspace

You will be issued an AIMS check-out laptop with the Citrix Workspace client already installed.

Before going remote, verify the following:

  • You have your AC power adapter and any other accessory you may need.

How To Guides:

Additional Considerations and Resources

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New! UW-Madison Zoom

Cisco WebEx Meetings

Cisco WebEx getting started and training resources can be found on Webex Meetings: Getting Started page.

How to get software remotely (DoIT KB Article)

Although we highly recommend contacting the AIMS Help Desk for all software needs, the following DoIT KB article entitled “Hot to get software remotely” may also be of assistance while working remotely and in situations where it may not be possible to automatically perform a push install from the Help Desk.

Cisco Jabber Account Request & Self Care Portal

The Cisco Jabber Account Request form is for users that already have a phone number assigned to them, and are requesting that a Jabber account for the desktop, iPhone, and/or Android be created for them. Please note that Jabber accounts are only for numbers assigned to people (i.e., not service accounts).


To manage all of your Cisco VoIP devices, apps, and their settings, visit the Unified Communications Self Care Portal.

Notes:

  • Access to this portal is only possible while on campus, or while connected to the VPN.
  • If prompted for a PIN, click Cancel. Access does not appear to be restricted if you cancel the PIN request.

Technology for Working Remotely (DoIT KB Article)

Check out DoIT’s Technology for Working Remotely KB article.

This is a great resource, but it is important to remember that DoIT is addressing a much larger audience on campus. Please check with AIMS on any applications or services referenced in their article to see if we already have you covered, or can provide more tailored advice that works best in the AIMS environment.

Computing Safely While Remote

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DoIT's Guide to Safe Remote Computing

DoIT has created a How to Stay Safe Online While Accessing Campus Remotely page on their website. We recommend you review this guide carefully.

Learn How to Recognize and Report Phishing

DoIT has provided campus with an excellent educational resource that everyone should review to learn how to recognize and report phishing.

Protect Yourself from Email Phishing Attacks

Whether in the shadows of the COVID-19 pandemic, or during otherwise “normal” times, phishing attacks and other email scams abound. TechRepublic has penned an exposé that includes great information on what might be coming at you, and how to spot, and avoid it.

Hackers Trying to Hijack Home Routers

If you have the Internet at home, very likely if you’re reading this, you have a box that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) installed. For most of us, that’s all we have or need. These boxes usually have WiFi built in, as well as jacks for a hard-wired connection to your desktop computer. But some of us put a personally purchased router behind the ISP’s box. This might, for instance, provide a stronger WiFi signal to a large home where the ISP’s box delivers too weak of a signal for full coverage.

Turns out, hackers try to get into those boxes we buy and setup on our home network in their evil attempt to get us to a place where they can deliver malware, ransomware, or other nasty bits and bytes.

Whereas you might not be able to do much to ensure the ISP’s box is locked down sufficiently, for the router you purchased, you want to make sure the firmware is up to date, and that you have given the router a secure password.

Check out this TechRepublic article on this subject.

Additional Considerations and Resources

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Cisco WebEx Meetings

Cisco WebEx getting started and training resources can be found on DoIT’s Getting started: Webex Meetings page.

LinkedIn Working From Home Guide

Time to exercise that LinkedIn Learning account we all have as a benefit to working at UW-Madison! They have an excellent resource guide you must check out.

How to get software remotely (DoIT KB Article)

Although we highly recommend contacting the AIMS Help Desk for all software needs, the following DoIT KB article entitled “Hot to get software remotely” may also be of assistance while working remotely and in situations where it may not be possible to automatically perform a push install from the Help Desk.

Cisco Jabber Account Request & Self Care Portal

The Cisco Jabber Account Request form is for users that already have a phone number assigned to them, and are requesting that a Jabber account for the desktop, iPhone, and/or Android be created for them. Please note that Jabber accounts are only for numbers assigned to people (i.e., not service accounts).


To manage all of your Cisco VoIP devices, apps, and their settings, visit the Unified Communications Self Care Portal.

Notes:

  • Access to this portal is only possible while on campus, or while connected to the VPN.
  • If prompted for a PIN, click Cancel. Access does not appear to be restricted if you cancel the PIN request.

Technology for Working Remotely (DoIT KB Article)

Check out DoIT’s Technology for Working Remotely KB article.

This is a great resource, but it is important to remember that DoIT is addressing a much larger audience on campus. Please check with AIMS on any applications or services referenced in their article to see if we already have you covered, or can provide more tailored advice that works best in the AIMS environment.

Using FileWay to Access Your Files

FileWay provides access to your home and shared network drives and is a good alternative to using Remote Desktop and in situations where the VPN is not available.

Accessing files via FileWay requires an up-to-date web browser, and can be used with or without the VPN.

To learn how to use it, please read our FileWay usage guide.