Remote Work FAQ's
To support NU employees when working remotely, this page provides information and answers to frequently asked technology questions to help you create a successful remote work environment.
Computer Equipment & Internet Access
Please work with your direct supervisor, and your campus IT contact, before taking any equipment off campus.
Are there security issues if I log into campus systems with my personal/home computer?
It is highly recommended to make sure your personal/home computer is running a current operating system, Windows 10/macOS 10.15, is fully up to date, running antivirus, and all of your software is patched. When you are done with your work, make sure you fully log out of any campus system you logged into.
What if I don't have internet at home?
Several local internet providers are participating in the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge by creating special offers to customers who need immediate and temporary access to the internet. Some examples include:
- Allo Communications offers 60 days of free internet to new customers.
- CenturyLink, for the next 60 days, is waiving late fees and suspending data usage limits.
- Cox Communications offers 30 days of free internet to new customers.
- Comcast offers free Wi-Fi for 2 months to low income families plus all Xfinity hotspots are free to the public during this time.
- Charter Communications is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days.
- AT&T offers open hotspots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families.
- Verizon has posted no special offers, but is following the FCC pledge.
- Sprint is following the FCC pledge, will provide unlimited data to existing customers and is allowing all mobile hotspot-capable handsets to enable hotspots for 60 days at no extra charge.
- T-Mobile is following the FCC pledge, plus offering unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hotspots for 60 days at no extra charge.
What is the best way to clean my electronics?
To clean and disinfect electronics, such as keyboards, touch screens and tablets, the CDC recommends:
- Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics
- Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting
- If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.
Apple has put together some tips on how to clean their products, including:
Use only a soft, lint-free cloth. Avoid abrasive cloths, towels, paper towels, or similar items.
Avoid excessive wiping, which might cause damage.
Unplug all external power sources, devices, and cables.
Don't get moisture into any openings.
Don't use aerosol sprays, bleaches, or abrasives.
Don't spray cleaners directly onto the item.
What is a Virtual Private Network (VPN)?
A virtual private network (VPN) creates a secure connection to NU networks. You may be required to use a VPN to access internal University computer systems. Once you connect through the VPN, you will be able to access restricted campus resources at Kearney, Lincoln, and Omaha remotely in the same manner as if your device was physically on campus. More information about the VPN is available at https://its.unl.edu/services/vpn/
When should I use a VPN?
If you have not previously used a VPN to access University services, you probably don't need it to work remotely. A VPN is not required to access many common services such as email, Canvas, Firefly, Box, Zoom, and general campus web sites. A VPN is used to access restricted internal resources on the University network, such as research workstations, file shares, or web applications. VPN resources are limited, so you should only use a VPN when accessing these restricted internal resources. When you are finished working with a restricted resource, disconnect from the VPN to make sure that others who need it can use the service.
You do not need VPN for the following services
General University websites
Firefly (for NON-SAP users)
Can I access the VPN from a personal computer?
You can install the University VPN client on any device, be it a personal or institutionally owned. To install the VPN client, go to https://vpn.nebraska.edu and log in with your TrueYou credentials.
What are the requirements for using a VPN?
You must be running a modern and patched Operating System to use the University VPN client. Examples include Windows 10, macOS 10.15, and iOS 13.
Phones and Voicemail
Will I be able to answer calls that go to my University phone number?
All campus phone numbers can be forward to a personal cell phone or home phone. Directions for each campus are available at:
How to check your voicemail when you're not in your office?
Step 1: Call into the voicemail system.
Kearney, NE 308-865-3000
Lincoln, NE 402-472-7200
Omaha, NE 402-554-6245
Step 2: You will hear “If you have a mailbox on this system please press # (press #)
Step 3: You will hear “Enter your mailbox number and hit #” which is usually our 7-digit phone number.
Enter your 7-digit phone # (no area code) and then hit #
Then enter your PIN number and hit # (this is your numeric password to retrieve your voicemail.
If you have a shared Voicemail box enter that mailbox number instead of the 7-digit phone number.
How do I check my voicemail via the web?
Step 1. Using your web browser go to http://voicemail.nebraska.edu
Step 2. Log into the website using the same 7 digit mailbox number (no hyphens) and PIN that you use when logging in via the phone.
Step 3. As long as your mailbox is not setup for Unified Messaging you will immediately be presented with your voicemail inbox showing all the messages currently in your mailbox.
Step 4. The first time you log into your mailbox you should double check your preferences by clicking on “Web PhoneManager Settings” on the left side menu.
Typically, you will want to set the “Playback Settings” to Download
Then press “OK”
Finally press the “Home” button on the left side menu to go back to your inbox.
Step 5. To play a message you first need to download it by pressing the download button.
Step 6. Once the message is downloaded you should be able to click on it and it will play in your computers default audio player.
How to set up email notifying you that you have a voicemail?
Step 1: Go to http://voicemail.nebraska.edu/
Step 2: Input your office phone # xxx-xxxx ( do not need to input area code)
Step 3: Top Left of screen – click on “Message Notifications” link
Go to “SMS” tab at top of page ( see screen shot example)
Click check mark in “Enable Short Message Service (SMS)
SMS Provider” drop down field should = “SMTP Notification”
Options Panel “Notify Status” = “All”
“Message Types = check marks in both “ Include Voice Msgs” & “Include FAX Msgs”
Time Panel “Hours” : Start = 00 : 00, Stop = 23: 59 "
Days” put a check mark in each day field
Step 4: Hit “OK” Button
“E-Mail Address” field will now highlight
Enter the email address you would like to receive the Notification at
Step 5: Hit “OK” Button again
There are no more steps
Digital Tools and Software
How do I access Box?
How do I access Canvas?
How do I get a Zoom account?
Any NU faculty, staff, or student can claim or access their Zoom account using their campus credentials and SSO, without the need of VPN
NU (Central): https://nebraska.zoom.us/
Does the University have enough capacity for tools like Canvas and Zoom if everyone is online?
Our core digital teaching and learning tools – including Canvas, Zoom, VidGrid, TurnItIn, Respondus, and others – are cloud-based, scalable, and are accessible from any location, without the need for VPN. Canvas course shells are already available for all courses. Zoom accounts supporting up to 300 participants per meeting are available to all faculty, staff, and students. Mobile apps for these tools are also available for on-the-go use. 24x7x365 support is available via chat/email/phone for any Canvas user, and the campus IT teams who support faculty will continue to be available. Additional information for Canvas and Zoom can be found at:
- Kearney https://unk.zoom.us
- Lincoln https://unl.zoom.us
- Omaha https://unomaha.zoom.us
- NU (Central): https://nebraska.zoom.us
- Zoom Tutorials. https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/categories/200101697-Getting-Started
Will Zoom work if I don't have a strong internet connection?
Zoom allows you to turn on/off video during a session if the connection bandwidth is not robust. You can use a telephone for audio-only participation in a Zoom meeting as a last resort.
What software is available for me to use while working remotely?
ITS has been working with vendors to provide students, faculty and staff the software they need to work effectively from home. For a list of software that is currently available for free or with temporary free licenses from the vendor, visit its.nebraska.edu/covid-19/software.
How will I get IT support if we are not on campus?
Continue to use your usual process for requesting IT support, by emailing your IT department or the NU-ITS Computer Help Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need assistance, your IT team will be able to leverage BeyondTrust or Zoom to do a remote screen sharing session to troubleshoot your issue. If you are enrolled in Endpoint Management Services, your IT department will be able to deploy software and security updates remotely.
How can I provide IT support remotely?
BeyondTrust (formally Bomgar) is the University’s Remote Support tool, used to provide secure remote screen sharing and user-approved remote control. More information and the access request form is available at https://its.unl.edu/services/remote-support/. If Remote Support licensing is at capacity, Zoom can be used as a remote support tool as well.
How can I use Zoom to provide IT support remotely?
Zoom includes a feature that allows users to request or give remote control of a computer. For more information on this feature, please review the Zoom Help Center documentation.