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Work Remotely - Employees

Work Remotely - Employees

Northwest Technology provides basic help guides to assist faculty, staff and students with accessing Northwest Online accounts and technology resources.


Depending on your staff role or employment duties, you may need to work remotely. Northwest is committed to ensuring employees have the necessary technology tools to help them succeed and meet the University's mission.

Virtual Private Network (VPN)


VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is a way to securely tunnel through Northwest's firewall to access Northwest-specific servers and the applications exclusively used by staff to administer the behind-the-scene functions of daily operations such as Banner 9 or a shared, departmental folder on a Northwest server (not OneDrive storage through email).


Staff who need it to perform essential job functions like accessing Banner 9 or a shared office folder on the Catbert server.


Staff using internet applications for things like Northwest Email, myNorthwest, Northwest Online, CatPAWS or software like Microsoft Office.


Northwest employees can request remote access (VPN) by completing the VPN Access Request form in myNorthwest. Once the form is submitted, it will be sent to the supervisor specified on the form for approval. Once approved, the form will then be routed to the Office of Information Technology for implementation.

To access and complete the VPN Access Request form, complete the following steps:

  • Log into myNorthwest
  • Click on Employee Resources in the left panel
  • Look in the Forms section in the right panel
  • Scroll down to the Miscellaneous Forms category
  • Click on VPN Access Request
  • Log in using your Northwest Network Account credentials
  • Complete and Submit the form as directed


Contact the Northwest Technology Service Center at 660.562.1634 or email at

University-Provided Laptops

If you have already been issued a University-provided laptop, you can use it to access Northwest online resources and services for work purposes from your home network.

If you do not have a University-provided laptop and feel you need one for work purposes, consult with your supervisor. The supervisor will determine if the request has merit. Once approved, the supervisor will then consult with the Office of Information Technology.

Once you have a University-provided laptop, you can consult the Northwest Technology Service Center at 660.562.1634 or email if you have questions or need assistance with your laptop, login credentials or software.

Remote Work Security Guidelines


  • Ensure that your University laptop is kept in a secure location when not in your possession.
  • Use only your home network and secure WiFi. Do not use free public WiFi.
  • Do not leave your laptop unattended in a public space or where it is visible in your vehicle.
  • Create a strong Northwest Network Account password.
  • Shutdown your laptop when not using and make sure you have the latest operating system updates. At Northwest, these updates should install automatically when you simply shut down and restart your laptop.
  • Make sure your home WiFi is protected by a password and is set to use WPA2 or WPA3 security.
  • Limit access to the Northwest laptop by other users in the household.
  • Disconnect from the VPN connection when not used. VPN is not needed to access your Northwest email with Outlook.
  • Lock the computer when you are not at the desk to keep others from accessing your laptop and open programs. Press and hold the Windows key and press L.
  • Shutdown and Restart your laptop daily to apply updates. To do this, click the Windows icon in the lower left of your screen and then click on the Power icon and choose Update and Shut down or just Shutdown if no updates are pending.


  • Do not store sensitive, work-related data on your laptop
  • All work-related content should be kept confidential, appropriately labeled, and kept in folders stored separately from personal, non-work-related files.
  • Be aware of what is on your screen if other household members are present in the work area. Protect sensitive personal data from other people’s eyes.
  • Protect files and printed documents by locking them in a secure place.
  • Don’t share files with others who do not need access to the data.
  • Set a strong PIN or password on personal mobile devices that have access to your Northwest email.


  • Backup all important work-related files to your University OneDrive storage or to your University networked personal or shared department folder (if the latter is accessible to you).


  • Northwest's Office of Information Technology (OIT) would like employees to be aware of potential security and privacy issues when using video conferencing and the steps you can take to avoid problems. You may not feel work conversations between staff are something that needs to be secured, but staff may need to share screens with sensitive data or discuss sensitive/private matters, so it is a good idea to follow some basic security measures when setting up meetings.
  • Some helpful security/privacy features of video conference software are:
    • Keep software up-to-date
    • Prevent file download to unmanaged device
    • Require hosts to be present before meetings start
    • Disable screen recording (if applicable)
    • Do not share your screen with others if sensitive information they should not see might be visible
    • Setting a password for all meetings
    • Only allow individuals with a given email domain to join
    • Please do not publicly post your work-related video conference meetings or the link to join a meeting.


  • Be alert to social engineering attempts such as phishing emails related to working remotely. Social engineering (also known as phishing) is when someone attempts to trick users into clicking on a link in an email or providing personal information.
  • If you get emails from unknown sources (sometimes they can look authentic) with links to reset passwords, update account information or with strange file attachments—don’t hesitate to ask the Northwest Technology Service Center at 660.562.1634 or for guidance or to verify information by phone or other means before proceeding.
  • View our Phishing Video
  • Other recommendations:
    • Do not click on links or attachments in emails without critically reviewing the email address of the sender.
    • Think about who sent the message, is the message and attachment something you normally receive from the sender if not delete it.
    • When it doubt don’t click and throw it out. Don’t reply to that message to ask the person if they sent it, send a new message using an entry from your contacts list.
    • Validate web pages are correct before entering username and password. Northwest will not ask you to validate your access to continue accessing work resources or provide your username and password in an email.


  • Many employees use cloud-based storage in their work and private lives. Software like Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive and DropBox are very popular and convenient methods of storing files that you can get to from anywhere. Some employees may be doing that now for the first time. Please be aware of the security risks associated with using this type of option for work files as care needs to be taken to keep Northwest’s information safe.
  • Northwest employees need to use OneDrive as it is part of our officially supported suite from Office 365 and is based on the employee’s Northwest network account credentials. Other 3rd party providers should not be used to store Northwest data and files.
  • Please do not save any personally identifiable, health or financial information using cloud-based storage options.
  • Think of yourself as an administrator for the data that is in your cloud storage folder and be careful when sharing files with other employees.


  • These guidelines are not comprehensive and are subject to change and revocation per University business policies/needs and evolving cyber security issues, as well as, local, state and federal regulations.

Zoom Resources

Video conference companies offer several steps to ensure your meetings stay safe. See our Remote Work Security Guidelines section for details about ways to protect yourself when working remotely and for a full list of Zoom protective measures, see

OneDrive Resources

Backup & OneDrive View PDF - quick reference guide