Managing Your Documents: Working From Home

A few simple techniques make it possible to work securely and productively from home.

 This page is part of a series intended to help you work productively in a variety of situations.

Store your work documents on the SAS file servers.  Then use secure remote access methods to connect from home.

  1. Use remote desktop connections when possible
    If you have a desktop computer in your office, you may be able to log into it from your home computer.   With a remote desktop connection, you'll be able to use all the programs installed on your office computer; no documents or other information will be downloaded to your home computer's hard drive.  
  2. Use  to access documents stored on SAS file servers
    If a remote desktop connection isn't possible, you can directly access your folders on the SAS file servers from home.  There are two options: provides quick access through a web browser. establishes a secure network connection between your computer and the SAS file servers.

Log in to shared computers with a separate account

If you work on a computer that's shared with other members of your household, you should log in with an ID and password that is only available to you.  This will help you keep your bookmarks, browsing history, address book and other locally stored information private.

Be careful about handling sensitive information

You may find that sometimes you will handle documents with sensitive information.   This can happen if you open an email attachment or even when accessing documents through the system. 

Penn has very clear policies about use and storage of SSNs.  If your job requires access to documents with SSNs, check with your supervisor or LSP about appropriate procedures.

Use a strong password

Set a password of at least 8 characters, and include special characters  (e.g. $, %, &, etc.).  See SAS Computing's guidelines for Selecting a Good Password.

Enable a password-protected screen saver

Have the screen saver engage after short periods of inactivity.  10 minutes is a good rule of thumb.

Back-up personal documents to an external disk or public "cloud" service.

It's not appropriate to store or back-up your personal documents to the SAS file servers.  High-capacity USB hard drives are available at low cost; many include software for performing automatic backups.  There are also many  convenient services for storing document onlines.  Some of these services are free, while some charge fees.

More information

Click here for more suggestions about information security when working from home


Working from home typically involves:

  • Computers used by multiple family members or guests
  • Mixture of personal and professional activities
  • Internet connection on cable, DSL or FIOS
  • Computers and network equipment that are not managed by SAS Computing