Support for Personal Devices for Work
To delineate IT support expectations for faculty, staff, and student employees who use personally owned computers and mobile devices for their regular work duties. This page defines support provided by UHCL's Office of Information Technology (OIT) and provides more detail to the university-wide statement on use of personally owned equipment.
Upon employment at the university, employees are typically provided university-owned equipment for their work. We understand members of the university community use personally owned devices (cell phone, tablet, etc.) to perform occasional university-related work, such as checking email or providing credentials for Two-Step Login with Duo.
For a successful computing experience and to safeguard your credentials, university data, and the campus network, we encourage the regular and consistent use of university equipment for university work. Personal devices introduce considerable risk and support challenges. Further, providing support for the disparate masses of personal devices would negatively impact our primary responsibility of supporting university equipment.
For university work, we encourage the use of university equipment. OIT support for personal devices is provided on a “best effort” basis at the discretion of local support staff. OIT support staff will provide written and/or verbal guidance only (without touching or remotely accessing personal hardware) to limit risk, perceived or actual. OIT support staff are not expected to physically touch personal hardware.
What You Can Expect From Us
In our support of your use of your personal machine, we will answer questions on:
- Wireless connections.
- Two-Step Login with Duo Security.
- Configuring email.
- University telephony.
- Basic network and connectivity issues, including VPN.
- And provide a link to HD articles for local computer hardware centers.
Limitations of Our Support
- Printer support is limited to providing instructions for printing to university-owned printers.
- Support of personally owned peripherals (e.g., webcams, headphones, Bluetooth devices) is limited to best-effort help.
- Software support is limited to current university-licensed software, available for personal devices.
- Operating Systems and/or old versions of software no longer supported by the manufacturer will not be supported.
- Logins for personal accounts (e.g., Microsoft, Apple ID) are outside scope.
If you do need to use your personal machine for university work, please ensure:
- Your computer is running a current operating system for Windows or macOS (Chromebooks are not recommended).
- Your device is patched with current updates and driver updates.
- You download the Office suite from Office 365.
- You adhere to university OIT policies.
- You work, as needed, with any vendors associated with your personal device, including Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
- Antivirus software is installed on your device and it is regularly updated
- Your device includes only licensed software. University-owned software is usually intended for university computers, and in many cases is not licensed to be installed on personal computers.
- Your device is password-protected; restrict access further by creating a specific local account for university work only.
- Your university email is most safely accessed by using Outlook on the web (by using Office 365).
- University data should not be stored on any personal owned hard drives. On a personal device, save university data on the web client of OneDrive in Office 365. Please avoid using the OneDrive client because it typically saves a local copy. This is especially important when storing sensitive information
- You take necessary precautions when accessing institutional data by using the VPN.
- You avoid public Wi-Fi, but if you must use it, log in to the VPN.
- You have backed up your personal data regularly, particularly before approaching OIT staff for help.
- You securely delete any university data before transferring ownership or disposing of the device.
- You understand OIT provides help of personal devices on a “best effort” basis and is not liable for any damage or hardware or loss of data that may occur. Use of personal devices for university work is acceptance of this risk.
If you have any questions about these guidelines, please contact OIT Support Center.