Students Staff


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.

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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


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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!




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June 20, 2017

Sending personal information? Stop and think!

Filed under: News, Security — Sara Stock @ 12:42 pm

If you’ve been watching the news this week you may have spotted that a staff member at the University of East Anglia accidentally sent out information about students’ extenuating circumstances to people who had no right to see that information. It’s horribly easy to email the wrong person, especially when you’re busy, so here are our tips for making sure you don’t make the same mistake.

1. Stop and think! Of course deadlines are important, but it takes more time to clear up after misdirecting personal information than it takes to stop and think before you share it.

2. If possible, avoid sending information by email. Deposit it in a shared folder or SharePoint or somewhere else that the person, or people,  you need to share it with can access it directly.

3. Send anonymised information. Does the person you are sending to need the names of individuals, or other identifying details? If not, take them out before you send the information.

4. Have a look at our advice on how to  ensure you email the right person.

If you still manage to send personal information to the wrong place, don’t panic – report it.



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

June 8, 2017

All IT Services labs and group study pods will close at 3pm this Friday until 8am Monday morning

Filed under: News, PC Labs, [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Dan Jolly @ 11:43 am

In keeping with previous years, due to The End and Summer Ball celebrations this weekend all IT Services labs and group study pods at Colchester Campus will be closed from 3pm on Friday 9 June until 8am on Monday 12 June.

This is with the exception of the Silberrad Student Centre which will be open as usual on Saturday and Sunday, and the Albert Sloman Library (see Library opening hours).

This decision was taken following discussions with the Registrar, University Security manager, Director of IT Services and other IT Services staff.

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


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