With everyone finding a new way of working, this page will be updated as required to reflect the information we are most commonly offering to people through our conversations, meetings and help desk queries.
Our Help Desk is open
We have helped many of you over the last number of days – thank you to those who have availed of our services. To you, and everyone else, we are here to help. Please email email@example.com as always to open a ticket and we will be in touch. We can support you via email, over the phone or we can remotely connect to your computer and assist you.
We will be happy to publish guides or instructions for any topic, so requests channelled through our help desk give us an understanding of what you need to see from us.
Using the UCD VPN
The VPN allows you access the UCD network from remote locations. It is required if you need to access certain business systems, such as e-procurement or Banner. If you need VPN access, please see this page with has pre-requisite information and a link to the request form – https://www.ucd.ie/itservices/vpn/
Please do not use the VPN unless you absolutely need to. It is NOT necessary to use the VPN for routine work, such as email (Gmail or Outlook etc) or InfoHub, BrightSpace, Blackboard Collaborate or Zoom etc, unless you are working in an unsecured public location, like free hotel or coffee shop Wi-Fi.
The VPN will disconnect after 30 minutes of inactivity and you must re-connect manually, as you did initially.
Be vigilant of Phishing emails and scams
While it is always important to be vigilant against phishing and business email compromise scams, it is even more important as we are all working at a distance from one another and relying on email to a greater extent than ever. Scammers are actively increasing their efforts, using the Covid-19 pandemic as a source for general uncertainty amongst people and hoping to capitalise on the changed work environment.
With regard to malicious emails, there are many things to look out for, here are a few simple ones to begin with:
- Be extremely cautious with emails that claim to be from a colleague, particularly a line manager, asking you to make payments or change payment details for a supplier etc.
- Don’t open attachments unless you are 100% sure of their source. If in doubt, contact the sender (ideally not by reply email), even if they are known to you, and confirm that they sent the attachment as you’ve received it.
- Look out for poor spelling or grammar or the misuse/lack of use of your name, especially in communications that claim to be from companies of whom you are a customer.
- Be wary if requests have a distinct sense of urgency to them. Scammers are hoping you will act in a hurry before you’ve paused to consider the legitimacy of their request.
- If in doubt – pick up the phone and ask.
The graphic and video below cover these points and more and are worth a few minutes to ensure you will be able to spot these malicious emails or other communications.
UCD IT Services have 10 minute Phishing awareness training available at http://www.ucd.ie/itservices/ourservices/security/training/phishing-quiz/
Zoom Video Conferencing
Staff should have each received two emails from the EAG (Enterprise Applications Group) in UCD IT Services to notify you that a Zoom account had been created for you. The notice email was received from firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you already had a free Zoom account using your @ucd.ie email address, you can follow the prompts in the received email to “move” your account into the UCD Zoom system. At the time of writing, it is understood that the accounts are “Pro” accounts and therefore will have more options than free accounts.
Zoom free accounts normally employ a 40 minute meeting limit – this is currently being waived on a large scale basis for educational bodies. Between the UCD provided account and this waiver you should find you are not currently limited to 40 minute meetings. We will update this information as it becomes clearer. If you need more information or assistance, or need to do something more complex with Zoom, please get in touch.
Sharing or storing sensitive information
Please remember use any and all precautions for handling and storing sensitive information, particularly if you are using a shared computer or “non-work” laptop etc. Ensure the device has all of its updates and anti-virus software etc.
Please avoid the temptation to share user accounts or usernames and passwords etc, in files or via email etc; never share usernames, passwords or any account details with anyone. If you feel this is necessary, please seek our advice as there is probably a better, safer option.
Any other sensitive information to be shared should be encrypted and/or shared via encrypted means. Standard emails, Google Hangouts chats and text messages, etc, are all NOT encrypted.
Please get in touch with us and let us know what you need to do, and we can advise accordingly.
Remote Team Work tools
If you are currently navigating how to manage meetings and documents etc while avoiding drowning in emails, we will be happy to talk you through the basics of online meetings (and good etiquette!) along with how to use document sharing services (like Google Shared Drives) to help you and your colleagues work more effectively.
For some starter information on Google Shared Drives, see this G Suite Learning Centre page.