University of Southern California

Summer Security Reminders for Faculty and Staff 

Posted on by mechling

Faculty and staff, if you will be spending your summer off campus, please keep in mind the following recommendations for protecting your digital privacy.

Use Virtual Private Networking (VPN) when Accessing the Internet

Virtual Private Networking (VPN) is a secure method you can use to access USC’s computer resources even when you are not on campus. VPNs use encryption to ensure that only authorized users can access the network. The USC VPN provides you with a virtual USC IP address you can use to access restricted USC resources.

Connecting to unsecure wireless networks could allow others to access your information. Rather than trusting an unsecure network, , ITS recommends that you download USC’s VPN software, Cisco AnyConnect, and use it when connecting to open or public wireless networks. You can also access the VPN through your browser at

Request Single-Use Passcodes to Use Duo Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) While Traveling

If you are required to or have opted to use Duo two-factor authentication and you will be travelling without access to consistent cell service, be aware that Duo provides offline authentication options. You can request single-use passcodes directly from the Duo Mobile app, even when your mobile device is in airplane mode or lacks cell service. You can also request a batch of passcodes to be sent via text message to your cellphone before you depart.

For additional information and instructions, visit If you do not have access to a smartphone or tablet that you can use for 2FA while traveling, please contact the ITS Customer Support Center (CSC).

Use USC-Approved Storage Tools to Access Files Remotely

During the summer, you may want to keep some of your files in the cloud so that you can access them remotely. ITS recommends that you use the Microsoft Office 365 suite — currently the only service approved for the storage of USC’s legally regulated or restricted information — to store your files. For more information on the storage services Microsoft Office 365 offers, see

Please note that USC Google Drive accounts and other commercially available document storage services, such as, DropBox, or non-USC OneDrive or Google Drive accounts, are not approved for storing or transferring protected or high-risk USC information.

Keep in Touch with the Customer Support Center

Even though you may be away from campus, the ITS Customer Support Center (CSC) will still be happy to assist you. If you have any questions, contact the CSC at 213-740-5555 or During the summer, the CSC is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday–Friday.

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