Students Staff

News

January 4, 2018

‘Serious’ computer chip flaw

Filed under: News, Security — Dan Jolly @ 3:10 pm

Update 19/01/2018

Work to patch all University-owned computers, servers and infrastructure is proceeding well.  Over half of the University’s digital estate has now been patched.

We haven’t observed any problems with the patches so far, however, if you do experience any problems with your computer or device that you think may be related to recent software updates, contact the IT Helpdesk.

Patching work continues.


 

Update 09/01/2018

Work to patch and test core University systems is ongoing.

Our advice for users with personal devices and computers is to check for updates and install them.


 

Original alert 04/01/2018

As you may or may not have heard in the news recently, researchers have discovered two major bugs in computer chips that could allow hackers to steal sensitive data.

One flaw dubbed ‘Spectre’ was found in chips made by Intel, AMD and ARM. The other, known as ‘Meltdown’ affects Intel-made chips alone.

Learn more about this story:

IT Services staff are taking this issue seriously.

We have assembled a small team to assess any potential impact, and work is already underway to test the various patches that have been made available by software vendors.

We are monitoring the situation closely and will publish an update as soon as we know more.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

December 11, 2017

Christmas 2017 opening hours for IT labs and spaces

Filed under: News, PC Labs — Dan Jolly @ 2:56 pm

Colchester Campus

From 12pm on Thursday 21 December 2017 until 8am on Tuesday 2 January 2018:

  • the Silberrad Learning Hub and IT labs A, C, D,  G and N will be open 24hrs.
  • The Orangery will be opened ‘on request’ via the Information Desk between the hours of 9am to 10pm each day.
  • The Library PG reading room will be open 24 hours throughout.
  • The Limehouse and all other IT Services labs will be closed.

This is with the exception of the period 7pm 31st December 2017 until 7am 1st January 2018 when all IT services labs, Learning Hub, the Orangery and the Limehouse will be closed.

Southend Campus

Access to the Learning Hub during the following two periods will be via the North access (SMACS) door:

  • 6pm on Saturday 23 December 2017 re-opening on Wednesday 27 December 2017
  • 5pm on Sunday 31 December 2017 re-opening on Tuesday 2 January 2018

IT Lab 1, IT Lab 2, Student Common Room, E15 Mac Lab, and the rest of the Gateway Building will be closed to students and staff during the following two periods:

  • 5pm on Sunday 24 December 2017 re-opening on Wednesday 27 December 2017
  • 5pm on Sunday 31 December 2017 re-opening on Tuesday 2 January 2018

Clifftown IT Lab, and the rest of Clifftown Studios will be closed to students and staff during the following period:

  • 10pm on Friday 22 December 2017 re-opening on Tuesday 2 January 2018
The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

August 10, 2017

Working with other people’s personal information – practical tips to keep it safe

Filed under: News, Security — Sara Stock @ 7:59 am

Lots of us handle personal information every day as part of our job. Line managers and team leaders have access to personal information about staff, and many of us have access to personal information about students. Make sure the personal information you have access to for you job stays personal, with our practical privacy points.

  • In the office – if you’re popping out, don’t forget to lock your filing cabinets, desk pedestal and PC screen. If you’ve got an office to yourself then lock the door behind you.
  • On your mobile device – if you access personal information on the go, follow our mobile guidance and always password protect your tablet or phone.
  • Away from the office –  avoid carrying personal information around in paper form or on memory sticks. Use OpenVPN to remotely access your PC and shared folders.
  • Shred it don’t bin it – if you’ve got personal information on paper, don’t bin it. Invest in a shredder, or ask Estates to collect paper for shredding.
  • Sharing – if you need to share personal information remember to always share the least amount of information needed, not everything you’ve got.
  • Sent something to the wrong person? – take time to check that you’ve selected the right email address – and then check again before sending. Report all incidents and near misses as soon as possible.

Remember – keep it personal. Always stop and think before sharing personal information.

Want to know more? Read our data protection good practice guide, and have a look at our Information Security web page for more help and tips.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

July 25, 2017

Changes to automatic screen lock and standby settings for all staff computers

Filed under: Computers, News, Security — Dan Jolly @ 3:26 pm

On Tuesday 1 August, IT Services will be changing the screen lock and standby settings for all staff computers.

  • After 10 minutes of inactivity (no mouse or keyboard activity) your screen will automatically lock.
  • After a further 2 minutes of inactivity your screen will go into standby – this is just the screen, not the computer

On resume, you’ll need to log back in.

Why we’re making these changes

These changes will:

  • help us meet basic security requirements
  • help contribute to energy savings
  • give you peace of mind if you forget to manually lock your screen before leaving your computer unattended

Questions you may have

  • I have a Mac computer, does this affect me?
    No, this only affects Windows computers.
  • I set my computer screen to lock after a shorter period of time, what happens to me?
    The changes will override any local settings you have.
  • What about teaching room computers?
    It will not affect teaching room computers which already have this setup
  • Will this affect remote access (OpenVPN) to my work computer?
    No, only the screen goes into standby – not the computer.

If you have any other questions please contact the IT Helpdesk.

Tip – to lock your computer quickly and easily press WINDOWS KEY + L

 

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

June 21, 2017

Here comes the summer!

Filed under: News — Sara Stock @ 2:44 pm

The sun is shining and the sky is blue – and many of us are getting ready to jet off somewhere even hotter, or to make the most of the British coast and countryside. But spare a thought for your colleagues still hard at work.

This year, ensure your colleagues won’t suffer in your absence because vital work is out of their reach in your mailbox or M drive.

You could:

  • Have planned handovers to team members before you go
  • Let your regular contacts know who to contact while you are away
  • Set up rules to forward some or all of your email elsewhere
  • Use your out of office to direct people to someone who can help
  • Change your phone’s voicemail message, or redirect your calls to a colleague
  • Store or move digital files to somewhere that your colleagues can access

If you’re not on holiday, but perhaps working from home, don’t forget that the safe (and convenient) way to access all of your work information from home is through Open VPN.

Enjoy the sunshine!

 

 

 

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

 

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