Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Secure online workspace from home

Since we are working from home we are extra vulnerable for cyber attacks and data breaches. Please create a secure online workplace, by executing the following steps.

Helpdesk support

Do you have any questions about setting up your home computer? Or do you need assistance? Please contact the ISSC helpdesk.

They can assess what you need for working from home, and are happy to support and advise you.

Windows XP or Windows 7

Are you using Windows XP or Windows 7? If so, please contact the ISSC helpdesk immediately.

What version of Windows am I using?

Microsoft, Apple and Linux are constantly protecting their operating systems against hackers and cyber criminals. They do so by issuing updates. They do not release any updates for their outdated systems anymore, which makes these systems vulnerable. It means that viruses and hackers can easily enter your computer and the university network, even if you have an anti-virus programme installed.

Up-to-date operating system

To protect yourself and the university, it is very important:

  1. that you work with Windows 10 / MacOS High Sierra or a newer operating system. 
  2. that you install the latest security updates.
  Which operating system do I have? Minimal requirement for safe university work  What is the latest update?
Windows Click here Windows 10 Go to latest update
Windows ISSC work laptop Click here Windows 10 Go to latest update
Mac Click here MacOS 10.13 (High Sierra) Go to latest update

Is your operating system not up-to-date?

Are you working with Windows 7? Via Surfspot.nl you can purchase a Windows 10 upgrade for €4,99. The ISSC helpdesk can support you if you have difficulty installing it.

Laptop too old for updates

Is your PC or laptop too old for the installation of Windows 10? Please contact the ISSC helpdesk for advice. 

Anti-virus software:

  • helps to prevent you downloading harmful files.
  • keeps hackers out of your network.
  • prevents your from visiting websites that are not safe.

So please ensure that you have an active, up-to-date and good quality anti-virus programme.

ISSC-issued work laptop

Your university laptop already has an anti-virus programme installed. If you use the search function (magnifying glass, below left) you will find the anti-virus programme that is operational on your laptop.

Anti-virus software on your personal computer

Are you working from home on your own PC? Surfspot offers a range of anti-virus programmes which you van purchase for a reduced price. Log in to Surfspot using your ULCN account.

If you can use a Wifi network without a password, then the network is not secure and you are not allowed to use it for your work. What should you do if you DO wish to connect to the internet?

Secure your home network

Secure your Wifi at home with a WPA2 password. You do so via your router. Contact your internet provider for support. You can change your standard (and easy to crack) password on your router. Find tips for strong passwords here


Do you need help? Please contact the ISSC helpdesk.

A VPN (Virtual Private Network) sends your internet activities through a coded ‘tunnel’ and creates a new IP address with every connection. This gives your better protection and anonymity. Install a VPN, such as eduVPN, for secure internetting on a (public) Wifi network. 

If outdated versions of programmes are running on your computer, then hackers or other malicious intruders can use these for a cyber attack. Therefore, be sure to update your programmes at least once a month. 

ISSC work laptop

Do you have a laptop issued by the university? Normally the updates will be installed when you are connected to the university network. If you are working from home, you need to update the software manually. 

Updating programmes on your Windows computer

Go to the helpdesk portal for (instructions on) software updates.

Update software

Updating programmes on your Mac

Go to the Mac website for (instructions on) software updates.

Update software

Save files to OneDrive. This is the safest alternative to the J-drive and P-drive. (If you want to upload files from the P-drive to OneDrive, please ask the helpdesk)

Storing files on your own computer

If you decide to store files on your own computer, secure your work with a password. Be extra careful if you are working with sensitive information and if you are sharing your computer with others.

Find out how to create a strong password.

Always lock your workstation

Lock your workstation. To do so on a Windows computer, use the following keyboard shortcut: Windows + L(ock). Make a habit of this, regardless whether you are working from home or at the office. Housemates, children and pets have a tendency to press random keys, be it intentionally or unintentionally. This can be irritating, but can also mean that sensitive information becomes publicly available.

Online meetings and chats

Use recommended solutions such as Teams. Be extra alert if external parties are participating in or hosting an online meeting. Do not share confidential information in online meetings or chats.

Read more tips on reducing privacy risks.

The corona outbreak has caused an increase in phishing attacks. With systems and people more vulnerable than normal, hackers are having a field day.

Unexpected request? Do not click!

If you receive an unexpected mail with a link requesting personal details or are phoned by someone asking for personal details, this could be phishing.

  • Do not respond to the request.
  • Do not click on links.
  • Never enter your account details.
  • Notify the ISSC helpdesk of potential phishing and cybercrime.

Read more about preventing and reporting phishing.

Set your cookie settings in your browser to ‘only accept functional cookies.’ Activate the setting that means you have to grant sites permission to use cookies.

More of our staff are using WhatsApp for their work, which means, unfortunately, that we are giving this commercial organisation a glimpse at our business operations. We would therefore like to draw your attention to Signal, so you know there is a safe alternative to WhatsApp.


Signal uses encryption, doesn’t record any metadata and is open source. It only needs your ‘Device ID’ to work and records no metadata whatsoever. It is owned by the non-profit Signal Foundation 

Signal at the University

Although using WhatsApp (for private use) poses no immediate risk, the number of Signal users has increased dramatically in 2021, ever since WhatsApp announced it would be changing its terms and conditions.

Download Signal


This website uses cookies.  More information.