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Access to Academic Computing Resources  and IT Guidelines for Remote Students | Fall 2020

Download the Guide and IT Guidelines for Remote Students (pdf)

Accessing Software: Students taking courses remotely this fall will find some course software available through direct download. Other software will be accessible using the Tufts Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). The VDI acts as a virtual computer lab and allows students to access Tufts-licensed software from Tufts servers on their own personal computers. For more information on VDI and how to set it up, please visit the Tufts Virtual Lab VDI guideA complete list of software available to students and directions for accessing each package can be found on the Technology for Students page.

Maintaining Security and Privacy: Students should use the Tufts Virtual Private Network (VPN) for all course work and communications when outside the United States. Learn more about Tufts VPN.

Special Privacy Considerations: While VPN provides industry-leading encryption, it does not protect against all surveillance. Students studying from countries with pervasive government surveillance, in particular, should work under the assumption that their material may be captured and viewed by government authorities even when using the secure connections and/or the Tufts VPN. 

Tufts Technical Support | 24/7 TTS Service Desk: Students can receive technical support for software installations, VPN setup, and remote access by contacting the TTS service desk by emailing it@tufts.edu or calling 617-627-3376. TTS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to students.

Important Considerations on Privacy: Students studying remotely in countries that invasively monitor their own citizens are vulnerable to surveillance of their online activities. There is no way for Tufts to guarantee that course information provided by students working in such countries will be secure and private. Typically, the most vulnerable points in Internet communications are the computers being used at either end of an exchange. Students are strongly advised to reduce chances of being subject to malicious software by ensuring that their devices are kept up-to-date and that they only download software from reliable sources. Please review the check list of best practices and computer recommendations

Privacy and Zoom: Zoom no longer routes connections originating in the US through other countries. Since Tufts VPN connections from other countries are treated on the network as if they originate at Tufts, students in foreign countries are provided with some measure of risk mitigation. Consequently, the most effective privacy protection for students studying abroad starts with connecting Tufts VPN and using Zoom to participate in class sessions. 

Class Recordings and Privacy: It is essential for the privacy of all students that access to recordings of class sessions is restricted so that only the students and instructors in that class can view them. In cases where students studying in politically restrictive countries are recorded participating in discussions about sensitive political topics, consider making those recordings available to the class only when students need to access them and keeping them offline at other times. Instructors should take great care in setting access permissions when uploading Zoom recordings and making them available on their course websites.  

Faculty that require additional guidance on any topic covered in this Access to Academic Computing Resources and IT Guidelines for Remote Students Fall 2020 guide should email the TTS Educational Technology team.

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