How to connect to the council network remotely

If you're working remotely, you can help our IT systems run better by using your council laptop to connect to the council network. 

If you don't have a council laptop, use a Citrix account to connect with your personal laptop or other device. 

If you haven’t used Citrix from home before, you'll need to get an RSA token.

To get an RSA token follow these steps:

  1. Log a call on MyServiceHub 
  2. Go to 'make a request',
  3. Select 'accounts and security'
  4. Select 'staff accounts'
  5. Select 'remote access'

Or you can phone the IT Service Hub on 01273 292 001.

Other ways to access Microsoft 365 services

You can also access Microsoft 365 services, like Outlook and Teams on your corporate iPhone or personal laptop. 

If you have a corporate iPhone, you can access Outlook and other tools including Teams.

If you’re using your personal laptop, you can access:

  • Outlook
  • Teams
  • OneDrive
  • Office software, like Word, Excel and Powerpoint

Before you can use these services on your own device, you'll need to set up secure access.

For more support, read guidance from Microsoft on working remotely with Office 365.

Stay in touch with colleagues, clients and customers

Use Microsoft Teams

All staff now have access to Teams. Teams is a communication tool for video meetings, audio calls and instant messaging. 

As well as access to audio and video calling and instant chat with individuals or groups of colleagues, Teams allows you to:

  • host and attend video meetings with lots of people 
  • share and work together on documents 
  • access tools to help you manage your tasks and workload

Support to get the most out of Teams

You can:

What you can do on WhatsApp

WhatsApp is now available on corporate iPhones.

You must only use WhatsApp to communicate with citizens and third parties if you can’t contact in any other way. You should never send personal and sensitive information through WhatsApp.

Unfortunately, WhatsApp doesn't meet our requirements and it shouldn't be used for internal business use.

Always use Teams as your first choice before considering WhatsApp.

What you can do on Zoom

Always use Teams as your first choice before considering using Zoom.  We have serious concerns about Zoom’s data security and privacy measures.

Our concerns include:

  • 'Zoom bombing’ - this is the unwanted intrusion into a video conference call by uninvited people
  • links to an increase in phishing emails sent to emails addresses used to set up Zoom accounts

Therefore don’t:

  • use Zoom for internal meetings - Teams is the most appropriate tool for this
  • use Zoom for hosting meetings with third parties on any council laptop or desktop
  • create Zoom accounts using your council email account - instead, register an account on any council laptop or desktop or download the client to a council laptop

If you're invited to an external Zoom meeting:

  • use the Zoom app on a council mobile phone, if possible or use the free browser version of Zoom on a council laptop 
  • ask the host to make sure the meeting is private by requiring a password to access the meeting and by using the ‘Waiting Room’ to control the admission of participants

Read guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre to make sure you stay safe and secure online and reduce the risks associated with using Zoom.

If you need to host a meeting and Zoom is the only solution, you could use a personal device but you must:

  • follow the information security guidance below
  • make sure you only send the link to the individuals invited
  • use the waiting room and password facility

Divert work calls to your phone

You can divert your office extension to your personal mobile, landline or corporate mobile phone. This can only be done from an office phone but can’t be restricted to only operate in office hours.

To set up call diverting:

  1. Log into your office phone
  2. Press the 'Call Forward' button and enter phone number you would like the calls to divert to - make sure to put a 9 at the beginning of the external number

The button will go green.

You may need to press the right arrow key to show the second menu if 'Call Forward' isn't displayed on front screen.

To turn off call diverting:

  1. Press the right arrow key to show the second menu
  2. Press the green light to take divert off

If you're not in the office, please ask a colleague to do this for you. If you can’t do this log a call on MyServiceHub. Please note that Service Hub staff will only enable call forwarding, they can't turn it off. 

Once call diverting is properly set up, any incoming calls will ring on whichever phone you've diverted your extension to. 

When making a call, dial 141 before the number you're calling to withhold your personal number.

Information security for remote working

The biggest risk to our remote workers’ devices and information are:        

  • loss or theft of device and information
  • loss of credentials
  • tampering

Prevent risks to information security 

Loss or theft

To help prevent loss or theft, you should:

  • never leave your device unattended or unlocked
  • not leave confidential documents in view of others
  • be aware of your surroundings

Being overlooked and overheard

It's easy to accidentally disclose something, but you should be aware of the implications that come with this and know how to prevent it.

To help prevent being overlooked or overheard, you should:

  • wait until you're in a private area to have a conversation about sensitive topics
  • think about who might overhear you when discussing topics in person or by phone
  • not refer to individuals by name, use initials or other identifiers instead
  • think about who might be looking over your shoulder while you’re working
  • ask your manager or the Purchasing team for a privacy screen - these make it difficult for those not sat at your laptop to see your screen

Loss of credentials

To help prevent loss of credentials, like your council log in details, you should:

  • never write down credentials
  • never store passwords on your computer without added protections - if your device is compromised, so are your passwords
  • avoid using public wifi - if you must use public wifi, avoid using it to complete certain transactions like logging in or working on sensitive documents


To help prevent tampering, you should:

  • never leave your workstation unattended - this reduces the chance of someone tampering with your machine
  • avoid using public wifi
  • be vigilant when opening email from unknown sources

OneDrive for Business - Data Loss Prevention (DLP)

OneDrive for Business lets you to save, organise and share information in the cloud. As with any new technology this brings risks as well as opportunities.

To manage the risks linked to loss of personal and sensitive information, IT&D have enabled Data Loss Prevention (DLP). DLP protects personal and sensitive information by preventing users from either saving or sharing this information from OneDrive.

It does this by scanning documents and searching for information which should be protected. This is automated and there is no human intervention.

Examples of the types of information looked for include, National Insurance, Passport and Credit Card Numbers.

If you have to work with information like this, you may find that you're unable to save or share this in OneDrive. The Information Security Team will contact you so they can give you advice and support. 

We will refine our DLP strategy over time. We will try to geta balance between usability and security. It's important for everyone to work with us so we can get this right.

If you have any questions or need information about information security or the related risks, please send an email to

How to improve your home broadband connection

There are many things that can impact broadband speeds:

  • the location of  your router  and what is around it can affect speeds - wifi signals dissipate quickly through thick materials such as walls, floors and get reflected when surrounded by glass
  • your router can develop errors affecting your connection to your broadband network - this can sometimes be fixed by turning off your router and turning it back on again
  • if you're using a telephone extension cable from the router to the phone wall socket, remove it - extension cables can reduce your overall speed by over 50 per cent
  • if you have poor wifi signal, try an ethernet cable to connect your router directly to your laptop
  • using a microwave can impact wifi signal strength
  • if you're working from home and sharing the wifi connection with others in your house, this will affect your connection - the following activities will have a significant impact:
    • watching streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon
    • online gaming
    • downloading large amounts of content
    • using lots of devices at the same time like phones, tablets, laptops and smart TVs 
    • having remote meetings or calls especially video calls

Test your broadband speed

There are lots of sites that help you test your home broadband speed.

If you're not getting the minimum guaranteed speed promised by your supplier, phone them and ask them to investigate. Most suppliers will offer compensation if the problem is ongoing. 

Position your broadband router

Try to:

  • place it in the middle of your home rather than at one end
  • solid surfaces slow down wi-fi speeds and this reduces the number of walls it has to go through
  • make sure it’s away from thick walls, the thicker the wall, the harder it is for the wifi signal to pass through
  • don’t put it on the floor, position it on a shelf or table - Wifi signals go down as well as up, so if you put it on the floor, some of the signal will go through the floorboards
  • make sure it’s visible - the more you can see your router, the better the signal. If you put it in a cupboard, wifi speed and distance the signal can travel will reduce
  • avoid windows - place the router near a window and some of the signal will be sent outside
  • keep it away from your TV - metal objects can reflect your signal, dispersing it
  • don’t put it near a fish tanks - water can absorb the wifi signal, reducing the distance it can travel

Printing at home using your council device

In most cases, if you have a council laptop, you can connect via USB to your home printer or by wifi if you have a wifi-enabled printer.

Unfortunately, it isn't possible to print from Citrix or Office 365 Web Access when working remotely on your own device.

Because of the vast range in print devices, IT&D Service Hub can't provide support for home printing.