Today continues a series of posts about Microsoft Office 365 applications that have recently become available to FIS customers.  The purpose here is to help you use these applications in a more efficient manner and make their first-time use much less imposing.  We are going to continue discussing Teams.  Part I ended with how to create a team.  Part II on Teams is going to focus on the channel spaces within the team you created.

There are three different channel spaces contained within the team you created.  The spaces are conversations, files, and notebook.  They are accessed by clicking on the team you created and selecting a channel (for example, General).  Once on the channel, the spaces are at the top of the screen.  The channel space we are going to start with is conversations because it is more than likely what you will use the most.

Conversations

Mainly, conversations allows you to live chat with other members of your teams.  If you want to address someone specifically with the teams conversations channel, type the @ symbol and a list of the various members of your team will appear.  Simply select their name and type in your message.  Everyone will be able to see the message but the person you specifically addressed it to will get a notification.  If you wanted to address your team members in a more formal way, you can use the formatting option.  The formatting option lets you add a subject to your message, change font options like color and size, and mark the message as important.  This would be useful for creating an announcement to your team.  You can also create announcements and mark them as important.  A few other less important but fun options conversations provides is the ability to add stickers, add  GIFs, and create memes.  Lastly, conversations contains a “Meet Now” icon.  Meet now works like a skype meeting.  You can record the meetings and save transcripts.

Files

The second channel space we are going to discuss is files.  Files is pretty self-explanatory.  It lets you create or upload documents.  If you are creating a document, it will open in the online version of the program you are using which doesn’t have all of the features of the locally installed versions.  However, the online versions are more than suitable to use when creating basic word documents, excel spreadsheets, and powerpoint presentations.  Once the document is created or uploaded, it is stored in the files channel space.  At this point, you can open it in SharePoint and a site will be created.

Notebook

Notebook usage varies based on the team you created. Since part one of this series advised that the team you are most likely going to want to choose is PLCs, the notebook usage example will be PLCs.  The PLC Notebook is essentially a digital three-ring binder that works in conjunction with OneNote.  OneNote within Teams functions as if the program was installed locally on your computer.  You are able to create sections which look like tabs in a binder and pages within those sections.  This feature could be very helpful when dealing with large projects that involve multiple meetings.  Each meeting could have its own section and the various things discussed can have their own pages.

Thus concludes the second part on Microsoft Teams.  Please check in next week to find out more about this exciting and useful application.  For more information, please submit a ticket through the FIS portal.

Today is the start of a series of posts about Microsoft Office 365 applications that have recently become available to FIS customers.  This series intention is to help you use these applications in a more efficient manner and make their first-time use much less imposing.  We are going to begin this series with Microsoft Teams.  Part I on Teams is going to focus on what it is, how to access it, and how to create a team.

What is Teams

Microsoft’s training demonstrations describe Teams as “A hub for teamwork that provides people with a single place to communicate and collaborate with others.”  It was created and designed with the express purpose of having everything customers need to perform their job function from a single application.  Listed below are many of the features of Teams:

  • Seamlessly integrates with Outlook
  • Access OneDrive without opening a new window
  • Access all of your OneNote folders
  • Collaborate in real time with Office Suite files (Excel, Word, PowerPoint)
  • Communicate in real time with colleagues
  • Streamline workflow by using a staff notebook
  • Links to other cloud storage

We will be getting into more detail of Teams features, but that list gives you a pretty basic idea of all its capable of doing.   As a result of all those functions, it can be overwhelming when viewing and using it for the first time.  Let’s start with possibly the most important and easiest part.  How to access it.

How to Access Teams

It can be accessed by going to portal.office.com, logging in with your Pitt credentials, and clicking on the Teams icon.  This will open up Teams in a browser tab.  A desktop version is also available.  It can be installed on the machine once the browser-based version of Teams is open by clicking on the “Get app” icon located in the bottom left-hand corner.  Once it is installed, the next step towards effectively using it is creating a team.

How to Create a Team

To create a team, select the “Teams” icon located on the left-hand side and click “Join or create a team” at the bottom.   Click “Create a team” and choose between Classes, PLCs, Staff Members, and Anyone.  The teams you are more than likely going to want to choose are either PLCs or Staff Members.  PLCs should be chosen when colleagues need to work with other colleagues.  Staff Members should be created by an admin or supervisor for employees that work for them.  Enter the name of your team, an optional description, and choose whether the team is public or private.  Private means only team owners can add members whereas public means anyone in your organization can join.  The last step is to add people to your team and make them either members or owners.  At this point, the team you created will appear within the Teams section with a channel titled “General” appearing underneath the name of the team you created.  Channels are a way to organize the team you just created.  For example, if you are working on a project that involves multiple tasks, you can create various channels associated with the specific tasks of the project.  To add a channel to a team, click the ellipses icon directly to the right of the team you created and select “Add Channel.”  Enter the channel name and an optional description.

Thus concludes the first part on Microsoft Teams.  Please check in next week to find out more about this exciting and useful application.  For more information, please submit a ticket through the FIS portal.

FIS is currently in the process of upgrading all of our customer’s operating systems from Windows 7 to Windows 10.  Many customers are already on Windows 10 and many others are being upgraded in the near future.  There are some cosmetic and functional differences between the two operating systems.  Just like any change, the differences can take some getting used too.  This article hopes to make the adjustment between the two operating systems smoother and better your understanding of Windows 10.

Let’s begin with the start button.  The biggest changes are the way you log off, lock, restart, and shut down the computer, and search for programs and commands.  To log off and lock the computer, click the start button and select the profile icon which is located directly above the start button two icons up.  To restart and shut down the computer, click the start button and select the power icon which is located directly above the start button.  To search for programs and commands, click the start button and just start typing in the program you are trying to locate.  Windows 10 does not have a search field like Windows 7 did.   A few other minor changes are that “All Programs” is now “All Apps” and “Printers and Devices” is now “Printers and Scanners.”

Aside from all those changes, you will also most certainly notice that it looks significantly different.  This cosmetic change is noticeable as soon as you log into the computer as the start button, taskbar, and notification pane all look different.  It also varies in appearance upon clicking the start button.

Another big change is Microsoft’s newest browser, Edge.  While Internet Explorer is still a part of Windows 10, Microsoft is trying to deliver a better web experience, hence the reason Edge was built.  It’s fast, compatible, built for the modern web, and optimized to perform on Windows 10.  For example, according to Microsoft, you can get up to 53% more battery life when you browse the web with Edge.  The Edge icon looks slightly different than Internet Explorer.  The Edge icon is a dark blue lowercase “e” whereas Internet Explorer’s icon is a light blue lowercase “e” with a ring around.  Lastly, Edge is a more secure browser than IE.

Speaking of security, Windows 10 is also an enhancement in that area compared to Windows 7.  It comes with a set of innovative and coordinated security capabilities designed for many of the sophisticated cyber threats that occur today.  You have advanced protection from viruses, ransomware, and malware because of Windows Defender (Microsoft’s antivirus program).  These settings are managed by FIS.

What is mentioned above is just a small sampling of Windows 10 and its differences between Windows 7.  To learn more about Microsoft’s newest operating system, please submit a help ticket via the FIS portal.

 

 

Home network security as defined by the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team refers to the protection of a network that connects devices to each other and to the internet within a home.  With technology becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives, it becomes increasingly important to protect against security risks.  This article hopes to better your understanding of the risks associated with being connected to the internet as well as the importance of properly securing your home networks and systems.

Most people are under the assumption that their home network will never be attacked.  This is a very common misconception for a couple of reasons.  Home users believe their network is not big enough to be at risk of a cyber attack, and they think the devices they are provided by companies such as Comcast and Verizon are plenty secure.    This line of thought is wrong and can be costly because attacks can occur to any network connected to the internet no matter the size, and the devices you are provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are preconfigured with factory issued settings such as default usernames and passwords that create opportunities for cyberattackers to gain unauthorized access to information, amongst other problems.

The good news is that there are ways to prevent these types of problems.  By improving the security of your home network, you can significantly reduce the chances of being successfully attacked.  The list below are ways to improve the security of your home network.

  • Regularly update software as the updates often include critical patches and security fixes for the most recent threats and vulnerabilities
  • Remove/uninstall unnecessary services and software to reduce security holes on a device’s system
    NOTE: This is especially important on new computers as they are often pre-installed with many software and application trial versions
  • Adjust factory default configurations on software and hardware because the configuration settings are created to be user-friendly and are not geared towards security
  • Install up-to-date antivirus software and make sure to enable automatic virus definition updates
  • Install a network firewall to block malicious traffic from entering your home network and alert you to any potential dangerous network activity
  • Install firewalls on network devices to inspect and filter a computer’s inbound and outbound network traffic
  • Back up your data on a regular basis to minimize the impact if your data is lost, corrupted, infected, or stolen
  • Enable wireless security by:
    • Using the strongest encryption protocol available
    • Changing the router’s default administrator password
    • Changing the default SSID (often referred to as the network name)
    • Disabling WPS (WiFi Protected Setup)
    • Reducing wireless signal strength
    • Turning the network off when not being used
    • Disabling UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) when not needed
    • Upgrading firmware
    • Disabling remote management
    • Monitoring for unknown device connections
  • Familiarize yourself with the most common elements of a phishing attack
  • Create strong passwords by:
    • Making the password long and complex
    • Creating a unique password for each account
    • Never use personal information within the password

For more information about home network security, please visit the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team website.

FIS is currently in the process of upgrading all of our customers from Office 2013 to Office 2016.  As is the case with almost upgrades, there are some cosmetic and functional differences between the two versions as well as some new features.  The information listed below hopes to better your understanding of Office 2016, highlight some of the differences between the two versions, and describe new features.

Differences between Office 2013 & Office 2016

All Office Applications

  • Color changes.  Each application’s ribbon is now associated with the program’s icon.  For example, the PowerPoint icon is orange so the ribbon will also be orange.
  • The “Tell me” feature.  This feature displays as a light bulb at the top of each Office program.  Click the light bulb and you can type in what you are trying to do in the program you have open.  It will not only show you how to do the task but will let you accomplish it directly from there.
  • Share.  The icon is located in the top-right hand corner of any Office application.  It lets you save to a cloud location such as OneDrive and invite others to view the file or edit it.
  • Six new chart types.  New chart types are box and whisker, histogram, Pareto, sunburst, treemap, and waterfall

Outlook

  • Ability to include attachments from cloud storage locations such as OneDrive.
  • Attachments can be included quicker and easier by clicking the attach file icon.  This lets you view all of the most recent documents you have accessed.

Excel

  • A previous add-in called Power Query, which can pool data to analyze from various sources, is now built directly into the application.
  • Time series forecasting functions.

PowerPoint

  • Screen recording.
  • Sharing has been made easier thanks to side-by-side visual comparison.

These are some but not all of the differences and new features associated with Office 2016.  For more information, submit a ticket through the FIS Portal.

 

 

 

FIS will soon be introducing iPad Pros to the loaner equipment pool.  The iPad Pro offers more power than most PC laptops, yet is smaller and lighter, making it more convenient to use when traveling. A Logitech keyboard case is now attached which means you will no longer have to use the virtual keyboard in order to type an email or document.  An Apple pencil, providing you with the ability to write as if you were using a pen and paper, is also provided.  The pencil works in many applications.  The iPad Pro models that will be available for reservation are 10.5-inch and 9.7-inch.  The following apps have already been installed:

Firefox: Internet browser
Chrome: Internet browser
Edge: Internet browser
SharePoint:  Web-based, collaborative platform that is primarily used as document management and storage system
OneDrive: File hosting service that allows users to store files and share them publicly or with specific people
Teams: Application that lets communities, groups, or teams chat through a specific URL or invitation sent by a team administrator or owner
Skype for Business: Instant messaging client
TripIt: Application that organizes user’s travel plans in one place
Yelp: Application that enables users to search for restaurants, bars, and various entertainment offerings in the city they are currently located in while traveling
Google Maps: Mapping service that helps users better navigate their current location
Box: Cloud content management and file sharing service that lets users upload documents to its servers and invite people to view the uploaded content
Visio Viewer: Application which allows users to view Visio files from OneDrive
PowerPoint: Program used to create visual presentations
Adobe Acrobat: Program used to edit and view PDFs
DocuSign: Electronic signature and digital transaction management program
Creative Cloud: Set of applications and services from Adobe that provides subscriber’s access to software used for the following: graphic design, video editing, photography, and web development
RD Client: Application which enables users to connect to their remote (office) desktop.  Will not work unless you are connected to Pulse Secure
Pulse Secure: Program that allows users to connect to a specific network (i.e. Pitt’s) when working remotely.  Users must be connected to Pitt’s network through Pulse Secure in order to remotely reach their workstation via RD Client.
Mail: Standard email
Safari: Internet browser
OneNote: Application used to gather notes, drawings, screen captures, and audio commentary and store them in a tab-based system.
Word: Program used to create documents
Excel: Program used to create spreadsheets
VMWare Horizon: Application that provides virtual desktop capabilities
Lynda.com: Application that offers video courses taught by experts in software and business skills

If you have any questions about the iPad Pro or would like to reserve one, please contact FIS via the support portal.

Between the ctrl and Windows key on the lower left-hand corner of your laptop keyboard resides the function (Fn) key.  It is displayed as Fn on the key itself.  Some of you may think this key does nothing. The reason for this is because the Fn key works in a specific way.  It is a modifier key that is used on most laptop models to activate secondary or special functions of other keys.  The keys that work in conjunction with the Fn key will usually have a blue symbol or blue word displayed (the Dell laptop model XPS 13 9350 symbols are white).  Some of the more useful Fn key combinations for a variety of Dell modeled laptops that we use as loaners are listed below.  Keep in mind that many other keyboard models use very similar combinations, including desktop PCs.

Latitude 3340, 7370, 7480, & E7450

Fn + F1: Mute/unmute the volume
Fn + F2: Decrease the volume
Fn + F3: Increase the volume
Fn + F9: Search Windows
Fn + F11: Decrease the screen brightness
Fn + F12: Increase the screen brightness
Fn + PrtScr: Toggle WiFi on/off
Fn + M: 0
Fn + J: 1
Fn + K: 2
Fn + L: 3
Fn + U: 4
Fn + I: 5
Fn + O: 6
Fn + 7: 7
Fn + 8: 8
Fn + 9: 9
Fn + 0: *
Fn + ?/: +
Fn + right arrow: End

Latitude E7440

Fn + F10: Rewind audio and video
Fn + F11: Play/pause audio and video
Fn + F12: Fast forward audio and video
Fn + End: Print Screen; this will also bring up SnagIt if the program is installed on the computer
Fn + M: 0
Fn + J: 1
Fn + K: 2
Fn + L: 3
Fn + U: 4
Fn + I: 5
Fn + O: 6
Fn + 7: 7
Fn + 8: 8
Fn + 9: 9
Fn + 0: *
Fn + ?/: +
Fn + up arrow: Increase screen brightness
Fn + down arrow: Decrease screen brightness

XPS 13 9350

Fn + F1: Mute/unmute the volume
Fn + F2: Decrease the volume
Fn + F3: Increase the volume
Fn + F4: Rewind audio and video
Fn + F5: Play/pause audio and video
Fn + F6: Fast forward audio and video
Fn + F9: Windows search
Fn + F11: Decrease screen brightness
Fn + F12: Increase screen brightness
Fn + PrtScr: Toggle WiFi On/Off

Microsoft has recently announced new advanced security features available to Office 365 subscribers.  Since the University of Pittsburgh migrated to Office 365, these new protection capabilities are available to you.

The new security features offered are:

  • File recovery for OneDrive
  • Outlook prevent forwarding
  • Email encryption

File Recovery for OneDrive

This feature allows you to restore your entire OneDrive to a previous version within the last 30 days.  This can be very helpful when a file or multiple files are accidentally deleted,  become corrupt, or some other disastrous issue.  Keep in mind the file restore will only work for files that were stored on your OneDrive.  If the file was stored somewhere else, this feature will not work.

To use file restore:

  1. Go to http://portal.office.com
  2. Login with your University email address and password (may not be required if you are already logged into Office 365).
  3. Click the OneDrive icon.
  4. Click the Settings icon in the top right-hand corner.
  5. Click OneDrive – Restore your OneDrive.
  6. Select a date from the dropdown menu and click Restore.

Outlook Prevent Forwarding

This feature allows you to restrict your email recipients from forwarding or copying your emails.  Prevent forwarding should be used when an email you send contains sensitive information.

To send an email with the prevent forwarding feature:

  1. Open Outlook and compose a new email.
  2. Go to the Options tab and click the dropdown arrow under Permission.
  3. Select Do Not Forward.
  4. Send the email.

Email Encryption

This feature offers an added layer of protection to sent emails.  Some email providers don’t encrypt their connection, which means your communication could be susceptible to being intercepted and read.  If you use the email encryption feature offered by Office 365, the email you send will remain encrypted over a secure connection.  This should be used when sending an email to an external user.

To send an email with the email encryption feature:

  1. Open Outlook and compose a new email.
  2. Go to the Options tab and click the dropdown arrow under Permission.
  3. Select either University of Pittsburgh – Confidential or University of Pittsburgh – Confidential View Only.
    NOTE: Selecting University of Pittsburgh – Confidential will allow recipients to modify the content but not copy or print it.  Selecting University of Pittsburgh – Confidential View Only will not allow recipients to modify the content.
  4. Send the email.

For more information on all of these features and more, please visit Office 365 new capabilities.

When you are scrolling your Facebook feed or taking a Buzzfeed quiz online, do you answer historical questions? Questions about your childhood home, your family dog, or the first car you drove can expose you to cyber criminals. These seemingly harmless games can lead to Facebook or quizzes online can help the company store and potentially sell your data. That is not to mention the other people that are seeing your answers online.

You may think to yourself, who care if they knew my first dog was a Boxer named Luna. Well, if you ever used that as a security question to reset your password, you may be more concerned. These data-harvesting schemes have become more and more prevalent and give identity thieves and scammers easier ways to access your online accounts.

There are many examples of this but, lets take a look at a few from krebsonsecurity.com

San Benito Tire Pros created a post that says, “What car did you learn to drive stick shift on?” This seems like a harmless answer, but by answering this question you could be giving them the answer to “What was the make and model of your first car?” This questions is one of the most commonly used by banks and other companies to verify customers before they reset their password. 

Another from Good Old Days asks “What was your first pet, and what was it’s name?” This one is a little more obvious as it directly asks the question that you will frequently see as your security questions from companies online.

This can also happen when Facebook pages post quizzes or articles but pose questions as their caption. Texas asked “What was your high school mascot?” with a link to the most unusual texas high school mascots.

Protect yourself online and don’t share your historical data or make sure you answers to security questions are fictional. However, then you have to remember what you wrote.

As part of moving to the digital workplace, FIS has invested in desktop virtualization.  Virtualization of our workplace assists with increased productivity, agility, and responsiveness.  It also extends the life cycle of the desktop and provides the flexibility to adjust resources to each desktop on demand.

Introducing FIS Go: FIS has recently completed upgrading our virtual desktop infrastructure powered by VMWare Horizon View.  This upgrade increases capacity, optimizes performance, and improves reliability for all customers who use a virtual computer.  FIS Go also helps to enable business continuity by minimizing downtime and improving accessibility.

The FIS Go Web Interface: All FIS customers who utilize a virtual desktop with FIS Go now can access their desktop at home.  FIS Go is our Desktop from Anywhere solution.  It’s a secure portal that allows you to log into FIS Go from any web browser with an internet connection, both on or off campus, with no additional software required. This means you can get to your desktop and other resources just as if you were in the office.

  • If you’re working from home, use FIS Go web interface to connect to your work desktop from your home computer.
  • If you are using a conference room computer and need to quickly access your files, you can use the FIS Go website.
  • If the power goes out in your office, you can relocate and continue to work with all necessary access.

To connect, simply go to https://go.fis.pitt.edu and log in with your Pitt user credentials.

 


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