ITS Online»Working Remotely»Remote Desktop: For Staff

Staff: Remote Desktop

Remote Desktop is a great method to access your office computer from outside of the building. Once connected, you can access any drives or programs you use at the office.

Using Remote Desktop

After notifying ITS, you will be sent a Remote Desktop shortcut by email. To connect, double-click the Penn Law.RDP shortcut from your certified home computer.

NOTE: If your computer has been inactive for more than 2 hours, then it will be asleep and must be woken up before you can remotely connect.  You can wake up your computer by going to:

Get Setup for Remote Desktop

Staff and Faculty who connect to Penn Law servers or access data remotely have special responsibilities. Having remote access to your Law School computer requires you to take responsibility for the security of your home computer.

Staff Approval

All staff members must have approval from their ITS Partner to gain Remote Desktop access.

Certify Your Home Computer

We recommend all home computers that connect to Law School services be certified and have encrypted hard drives.

If you are using a Law School owned computer, you can skip to the next section.

  1. Make sure have installed and updated your Antivirus software. Penn provides free antivirus software for the Penn community.
  2. Be sure you have automatic updates setup for Windows or Mac.
  3. Set a strong password for all accounts on Windows or Mac.
  4. Mac Only: Download and install the Remote Desktop software from Microsoft.

On Windows, we strongly recommend you use a Standard User Account for your everyday computing. (Why?)

  1. Create a new administrator account.
  2. Change your account’s Account Type.

Take the Security & Privacy Training

All members of the Penn Law community must complete the campus Security & Privacy Training before gaining remote access to Law School resources. If you have already taken the test to connect your mobile device to your email account, you do not need to complete it again.

  1. Complete the Security & Privacy Training
  2. Send an email to to let ITS know that you’ve finished the training.

Best Practices

Please make sure you follow the follow best practices for remote computing. The below links provide more information about how to certify your computer and other tips for secure computing.

  • Don’t use email to transport sensitive data.
  • Don’t store sensitive data on your personal or any remote device, including USB Keys or PDAs.
  • All Penn data should be stored on the server because it is backed-up and monitored for security.
  • Any locally stored data should use encrypted hard drives.
  • Use your department’s SharePoint Only site to access data remotely.
  • Use strong, complex passwords and password-protected screensaver.
  • Don’t save passwords.
  • Logoff of password protected websites and close all open browser windows when you’re done.
  • Avoid the use of free wireless access points, kiosk computers, or computer workstations in public places (e.g., Internet cafes). Never use them to login to Remote Desktop or to access systems which contain sensitive data.
  • Consider changing your passwords if you have used a public computer or one which you do not know is secure.
  • Your PDA must have a strong password and be able to be remotely wiped if you are using it to access Penn data.

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