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.
24 May 2018
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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
13 Feb 2018
What is Haptic Technology?
Haptic technology is the technology of adding the sensation of touch and feeling to computers. When virtual objects are touched, the seem real and tangible. Haptic senses links to the brain’s sensing position and movement of the body by means of sensory nerves within the muscles and joint. For example, when you touch an app on your smart phone, although the app is not there your touch where you see the app causes it to vibrate.
Uses of Haptic Technology
Arts and design: Haptic technology is used in virtual arts for to create virtual instruments, create real-time sound, or give touch feedback relating to the “surface” they are sculpting.
Virtual Reality: Most commonly virtual reality is used to create a 3D model and design that are intended to give customers a real-world experience of games they may play. Companies are currently working to make full-body or torso haptic vests for use in immersive virtual reality so that explosions or bullet impacts can be felt.
Future of Haptic Technology
Medicine: Haptic interfaces for medicine can used to help in minimally invasive procedures as well as perform remote surgeries. It is also used to translate the sense of touch into an image. This is useful when looking for trigger points in muscles.
Robots: There are robotics being created to use the sense of touch, pressure, and position. Haptic technology is used to reproduce the strength, delicacy, and complexity of the human grip. It also helps to create awareness in a human environment.
Holographic interaction: The haptic feedback allows the user to interact with a hologram and received tactile responses as if the holographic object were real. This allows the hologram to adjust for each humans experience making it more real.
No matter which browser you are using or how up to date the browser is, inevitably, you will find a website that doesn’t seem to be working correctly. Many of the issues you are seeing can cause issues with printing, interactivity, or animations.
WHY THERE ARE ISSUES WITH DIFFERENT BROWSERS
Webpages are programmed using a few different languages. These languages have standards that manufacturers and developers must follow in order for their products to be compatible with the browser. Most of these standards are introduced after innovations, and they can change the way a browser needs to function. These standards are different for each language, and this affects browsers differently, whether that be Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Chrome.
Each browsers has different engines. These engines process the code written for different websites you may visit. Each browsers engine will interpret and render a webpage in a distinctive way. That means the exact same website can look and function differently across browsers.
This leaves developers balancing on a tight rope. They try to reach a compromise when coding based on the relative popularity of the browser that most of their customers use. Because of this, many small issues will arise across different browsers.
To make matters worse, there can be issues with a website in different versions of the same browsers. For example, if Chrome adds a new standard to their engine it may break a website that was once working in Chrome. Developers have to try and catch these changes and update their websites before the customer notices the problems.
All of this will cause hiccups in functionality; however, FIS provides access to several browsers to combat this problem. If a website doesn’t work in one browser, there is a very good chance it was built for the next.
WHAT WE CAN SUGGEST TO HELP
- If your website uses Java, don’t use Chrome. Chrome does not support Java integration with their browser. For example, PRISM uses Java and will not function correctly in Chrome.
- Support for Internet Explorer has ended. Because Microsoft is moving to Edge as their default browser, the support and updates from Internet Explorer have stopped. This means that you may see a drop in functionality with this browser, especially when browsing to sites that are updated regularly.
- We have experienced more printing performance issues with Firefox than the other browsers so, if you printing reports from PeopleSoft. You may want to use a different browser.
- Use the browser that you prefer. There is no right or wrong to your choice. Some people prefer Chrome because it syncs with your Gmail account and other’s use Firefox because it is the most customizable.
- Create favorites for the websites you need that work in each browser this will assist in remembering which websites need a specific browser to function and you can quickly access them.
- Ask FIS if you need any assistance, we are always happy to help you troubleshoot issue, set up bookmarks, or teach you about a new browser.
Between the crtl and alt on the lower left of your keyboard, resides the Windows key. Some of you may know that pressing the Windows key opens the start menu but, did you know that there are a variety of other shortcuts that you can use to increase your productivity. Some of our favorites are listed below.
Windows key + L: Lock your device
Windows key + [Left][Right]: Position windows on your screen. For example, if you press Windows key + Left, it will position the current window to the left half of your screen. If you use Windows + Up afterward, the current window will be placed in the upper left quarter of your screen.
Windows key + D: Show the desktop and minimize all programs. If you press it again, it will reopen all your programs.
Windows key + […]: Open the programs that are pinned to the task bar. For example, if Word is the third program on your taskbar and you press the Windows Key + 3, then Word will open.
Windows key + Alt + Number: Open the right-click menu for the app pinned in the number position on the taskbar.
Windows key + A: Open the Windows notification center (only on Windows 10 devices).
Windows key + E: This will open the file explorer. This is how you get to your H: and K: drive.
Windows key + X: Opens a start menu that will quickly take you to task manager, control panel, and other useful settings.
Windows key + [+][-]: Zoom in or out on your current window.
Windows key + Shift + Up arrow: Maximizes the active window vertically while maintaining its width.
Windows key + Up: Maximized the selected window.
Windows key + Down: Minimizes the selected window.
Are there any you like to use? Comment below!
When you receive Windows 10, you may notice a new feature on your toolbar. This is the Task View pane. Task View allows you to see all of the programs that are currently open on your desktop and you will be able to toggle through them. However, this feature also allows you to create additional desktops.
Using multiple desktops can allow you to better organize your programs and job functions. You may want one desktop to keep your email and Skype for Business chat. On the next, you can have Excel, PRISM, and Word open. This can help you to organize your actions and see multiple things without having to minimize what you are working on.
To get the task view:
- There are multiple ways to get the task view open. You can click on the Task View button on the task bar.
- You can also press the Windows Key + Tab
To create a new desktop:
- In the Task View pane, click New Desktop to add another desktop.
- To open a new desktop quickly, you can press the Windows Key + Ctrl + D
To move items to the new desktop:
- To move a window from one desktop to another, open the Task View pane and then right-click the program you want to move. You will then see an option that says Move and select the desktop that you would like to move it to.
To move between desktops:
- When you want to move between each of your desktops, open the Task View pan and click on the desktop you want to move to.
- You can also do this by pressing the keyboard shortcuts Windows Key + Ctrl + Left Arrow and Windows Key + Ctrl + Right Arrow.
To close a desktop:
- Open the Task View pane and hover over the desktop you would like to close. After a few seconds, a small X will appear in the upper right corner. Click the X to close the desktop.
- You can also close the desktop you are currently in by pressing Windows Key + Ctrl + F4. Please make note that this will not close the programs you have open. They will be moved to the first desktop.
It is a well-perpetuated myth that closing apps on your iPhone will help save battery and make your phone’s performance improve. The result of closing apps on your phone has the opposite result compared to the desired effect.
When you “force close” your apps by double-tapping the home screen to show the Multitasking Menu and swiping up to close them, it creates more harm than good. When you see how many apps are open on your phone, you think that they must all be running in the background, draining the battery, and making our phones slower. However, you need to understand how iPhones suspend apps when they are not in use.
Most apps have three states:
- Active – This app is running in the foreground and is receiving events. This is the normal mode for an app that you are using currently.
- Background – This app is in the background and still receiving events. An app can run in the background momentarily while it is on its way to being suspended or it could run for longer. An example of this is when you have a navigation app giving you directions to a location. You may not be in the map app; however, it is giving you directions intermittently.
- Suspended – This app is the background and not receiving events. The system moves apps to this state automatically and while suspended, an app remains in memory. This means that the app will remember what you were doing last but, it will not get updates, use any battery, or harm the performance.
When you close the apps, you are taking the app from that suspended state and putting it into an inactive state. This makes it more laborious for the phone to re-open the app next time you use it. Closing the app will also drain the precious battery that you are trying to save. The only time that it is necessary to force-close an app is when the app is unresponsive. Otherwise, forcing close apps is much like turning your car off at stop signs, unproductive and wasting resources.
If you are concerned with battery, you can go into Settings>General>Background App Refresh and disable the refresh from apps that you don’t use or need to refresh frequently. Background App Refresh is a setting that lets certain apps check for new content and download updates in the background when they receive notification that it is available. Background App Refresh allows it to be ready for use the next time you open the app or you could just turn Background App Refresh off and let it update the next time you open the app.