IT Tips & Tricks
Below are some popular technology-related tips & tricks that we hope will help to streamline a process, discover a new trick, and make someone's day a bit simpler.
Seven Security Suggestions
Keep Safe this Semester with IT's Seven Security Suggestions:
- Protect computers from viruses by using Anti-virus software regularly and using caution when opening email attachments, clicking links in email and online, and sharing files.
- Use complex passwords, keep them secure, do not share with others, and change them regularly.
- Download operating system (OS) patches and updates regularly.
- Remove spyware and adware from your computer with anti-spyware and anti-adware programs.
- Protect important personal data by running routine data backups.
- Be careful when shopping online, instant messaging or using wireless services to reduce your risk of Identity Theft. Make sure the site has “https://” in the address bar or you see the lock icon on
the lower right taskbar.
- NEVER reply to any email requesting personal information. No legitimate business will require you to send information via email. Protect yourself and others by reporting security-related incidents to the appropriate authority.
Common Windows Shortcut Keys
Shortcut keys provide an easier and often faster method of navigating and using various computer programs. Why waste time using your mouse and menus?
In windows, you usually access shortcut keys using the Alt, Ctrl, Shift, or Windows key in conjunction with a letter. Many programs have shortcut keys specific to the application. However, as you begin using shortcut keys you will notice that many applications share the same shortcut keys.
Below is a list of the most common windows shortcut keys:
||Ctrl + C|
||Ctrl + V|
||Ctrl + X|
||Ctrl + A|
||Ctrl + Z|
||Ctrl + Y|
|Beginning of current line
|Beginning of document
||Ctrl + Home|
|End of current line
|End of document
||Ctrl + End|
|Move left one word
||Ctrl + Left Arrow|
|Move right one word
||Ctrl + Right Arrow|
|Search for text
||Ctrl + F|
|Switch between programs
||Alt + Tab|
||Windows + D|
|Highlight address bar in browser
|Complete web address (adds .com to end) in browser
||Ctrl + Enter|
|Refresh web page
|Open new tab in browser
||Ctrl + T|
|Make browser full screen
We hope by sharing some of the most Common Windows Shortcut Keys with you, we enable you to find an easier or faster way to accomplish some of your daily tasks. We also recommend checking out this great video from cnet explaining the 15 best shortcuts ever at http://cnettv.cnet.com/15-best-keyboard-shortcuts-ever/9742-1_53-50081077.html.
Self-Service Password Reset
Do you know the most common reason people call the IT Help Desk here at BSU? Password problems! Usually they forgot their password or cannot login. This is especially common at the start of the semester as people are returning to campus after an extended break.
If you run into this problem, you’ll be happy to know you can reset your own password online at: https://services.bridgew.edu/passwordreset/. Use this web page to reset the password to your BSU computer account in three easy steps. Your BSU computer account is the primary account you use to access most university services such as the BSU domain/network, computer labs, email, blackboard, moodle, and the student portal.
Have you Heard about BSU's Emergency Communication System?
Did you know that BSU has an emergency communication system that can rapidly communicate with students, faculty and staff at their permanent and cellular telephones by voice message and instant text message in the event of an emergency? Be sure to update cell phone number in InfoBear so we can reach you in an emergency. If you do not have a cellular phone, just enter the best number to reach you in an emergency.
To ensure we have a way to reach and protect everyone in the event of an emergency, BSU now requires students to enter an emergency number in the cellular phone field in order to register for any future classes. Additional details and instructions can be found on the Emergency Communications page.
Accessing the BSU Intranet
As you may already know, the BSU Intranet is available to all BSU employees, students and visitors with BSU login credentials. You can access the Intranet from on campus and off campus as long as you have an Internet connection. To get to the Intranet, go to https://my.bridgew.edu or click the link from the BSU homepage or the Student portal. If you are accessing the Intranet from off campus, login with your BSU credentials. With some web browsers you will need to type bsc\ before your username when logging in from off campus.
If you have any questions regarding the new BSU Intranet, check out the Intranet FAQs or contact IT Support Services at 508.531.2555 or ITSupport@bridgew.edu for assistance.
Did you know both the Moakley and Maxwell Computer Labs here at Bridgewater State University default to duplex printing? This cuts down drastically on wasted paper. You can also reduce the amount of ink you use.
When printing at home, most ink jet printers provide options for printing draft/economy quality which uses less ink. You can also change the print speed to fast which will reduce the ink used. Since many things we print are not for professional purposes, you could change your default to always use the draft setting and change to high-quality when needed.
Another way to save ink and paper is to print the part of the document you need. You can print individual pages or just the sections you need. In many applications and web browsers you can highlight the area you want to print, then choose selection under the page range section of the print dialogue box.
In Microsoft Word, you can print multiple pages per sheet. This would be a great way to cut down on paper and ink consumption if you are just proof reading a document. You can change how many pages print per sheet under the zoom section in the print dialogue box.
You can print PowerPoint presentations in pure black and white. By selecting pure black and white it changes the background color to white and text to black regardless of what your presentation uses. Some features, such as drop shadows and embossing will also not print. Printing in pure black and white can save a lot of printer ink and make presentations easier to read.
For an even greener idea, consider placing your document or presentation in a shared location. You can share the location with viewers electronically and those who require hard copies can print as needed. This not only helps to conserve both paper and printer ink, but also makes it easier for viewers to find and view later.
How to take a screenshot in Windows
Taking a “picture" of what is displayed on your computer screen is commonly referred to as a screen capture, screenshot, or print screen. Knowing how to take screenshots can be a very helpful tool. You can send a copy to someone, keep a record of a transaction, or even provide a copy of error messages when you need to contact IT for assistance. This easy task could save you a lot of time and frustration.
- To copy the entire screen, press PRINT SCREEN
(The Print Screen key is often abbreviated to PrtScn and is usually located in the upper right section of the keyboard near the F12 and Screen Lock keys.)
- To copy only the active window, press ALT + PRINT SCREEN
- To insert the image from the clipboard into a document or file, just paste by pressing CTRL + V in the application you are using (Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Picture Manager, Paint, PhotoShop, etc.)
Set an Email Out of Office Message
With the upcoming holidays, we all get busy rushing around visiting our friends and family. Sometimes we're out of the office or away from our computer and unable to reply to email messages as promptly as usual. The Information Technology division would like to remind you that whether you use Outlook Live@EDU (BSU students), the full version of Outlook, or Outlook Web Mail (faculty/staff), you are able to set up an Out of Office message to notify senders you are unavailable. See below for instructions.
Set an Out of Office Message in the version of Outlook 2013 (BSU Faculty and Staff)
- Open the full version of Outlook 2013
- Click the File menu
- Click the Automatic Replies button
- Click the radio button to "Send automatic replies"
- Set the Start and End Dates/Times
- Type the message you want to send
- Click OK
Set an Out of Office Message in Outlook Web Mail (BSU Faculty and Staff)
- Open Outlook Online via Office 365
- Go to https://outlook.office.com and login with your FULL BSU Username at bridgew.edu and password
- Click the Gear in the upper right corner
- Select Automatic Replies
- Click Send Automatic Replies
- Set the Start and End Dates/Times
- Type the message you want to send
- Click OK
Back-up and Clean out your Outlook Mailbox (BSU Faculty and Staff)
BSU employees using Microsoft Outlook for their BSU email will find the following tips helpful to backup important messages and clean out their mailbox. Outlook has some great features to streamline the process for you.
How to Setup AutoArchive to clean up your Outlook mailbox (Please note: These steps must be performed on campus with a wired Internet connection)
- Open the full version of Microsoft Outlook 2013 on your primary work computer.
- Click the File tab, then click Options
- In the Advanced section, click the AutoArchive Settings button
- The dialog box below will pop up
- In the middle of the window, click the Browse button and select your Z: drive ('\\campus.bridgew.edu\dfs\HOME'), then click OK
- You may check off any other settings you wish to change, such as how often AutoArchive will run, and how many months of email to keep in your inbox (6 months is the default)
- Click the Apply these settings to all folders now button, which will run AutoArchive for the first time
- When AutoArchive has completed running for the first time, you will see a new folder called Archive Folders in your Outlook Navigation Pane.
Back Up Your Data
We all know we should regularly back up our data but it can be overwhelming to think of what to back up and take the time to set it all up. Microsoft Windows 7 (and even Windows Vista) comes with a backup and Restore feature built-in. There are many options for backing up your data and you won't need any expensive or sophisticated equipment. Some options include external hard drives, flash drives, CDs, DVDs, and even online cloud-based storage (like Windows Live SkyDrive, Dropbox, or Google's G Drive). By backing up your data, your files will be protected if your computer ever get a serious virus or your hard drive fails. You could easily retrieve the files from your back up and move them to the new computer or hard drive.
To open Backup and Restore in Windows 7, click the windows button in the lower left corner. Type Backup in the Search box and click Backup and Restore in the results list. The Backup and Restore feature simplifies the entire backup process for you. By following the prompts, you can decide whether to back up specific files or your entire computer. You can see more details on using the Windows Backup and Restore feature online at http://www.microsoft.com/athome/setup/backupdata.aspx#fbid=6mLd0IA1Eeu
As we move towards communicating and conducting business more and more electronically, having secure passwords is critical. Good password management is pivotal in protecting your information. Passwords control access to your computer, email account, and other sensitive information. Good password management also protects the information of others. How do you make sure your passwords are secure?
Passwords should be treated the same way you would treat the keys to your house or car - kept secure. There are two things to remember when creating a secure password: length and complexity.
Below are a few tips in regards to passwords and choosing a complex password:
- Choose a complex password. A complex password is one that is at least 8 characters long, has upper and lower case letters , numbers, symbols (i.e. !, @, #, $, *, &, ^, %)
- Do not share your password with anyone. Do not send your passwords using email, Instant Messaging (IM), or text message.
- Change the default username and password for all accounts such as email, bank accounts, computers, etc.
- Change your password regularly and often.
- Use a passphrase if you like. For example, your password could be: "TheSunRisesInTheEast@6am". The longer the password the harder it is to crack it.
- You could pick a password from a sentence that you can remember. For example, "I come to work at 8 everyday of the week". This could be used to make your password like this: "!ctW@8e0tW".
- Check the strength of your password. You may check password strength online at https://www.microsoft.com/en-US/store/apps/Password-Strength-Checker/9NBLGGH0GR9M
- Rename the administrator account on your computer to a different username and password. Do not use defaults.
- Do not use the same password for all your accounts. If someone hacks your email, they could access all your other accounts.
- Do not write your password on a sticky note. This can be read by anyone.
Please remember that Information Technology will NEVER ask for your password via any medium (email/ phone, etc).
For more information on creating strong passwords, go to: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Tips-for-creating-a-strong-password
Don't be Hooked by Phishing
What if you receive an email asking for personal information, such as your username and password - what should you do? NEVER give out your username or password to anyone even if you think it's someone you know asking for the information.
Please remember, IT will NEVER ask for your password via any medium (email/ phone).
Phishing email messages are sent by hackers with the malicious intention of stealing your account credentials/ personal information. In some cases messages appear as if they were sent from a colleague or friend or from IT. Responding to such emails by sending your username and password or clicking links sent in such emails could result in identity theft and/ or put you and the institution at risk.
If you receive email messages requesting personal information, please do not respond and delete them. If you did respond by sending or submitting your account password, please change your password immediately.
- For information on password management go to: https://my.bridgew.edu/departments/it/SitePages/Password.aspx
- For more information on phishing emails, see this page regarding Social Engineering.
- You can also report this to our spam filter using these instructions for Email Filtering.
How do I know I have a computer virus?
Each virus is a little different but some of the things to watch for are:
- New icons on the desktop;
- Getting security alerts that are not from ForeFront;
- Programs on menu you did not install (ex: coupons);
- New toolbar that you did not add;
- Internet takes you to a different location than what you selected or just does not work;
- Computer running unusually slow;
- Slow startup;
- Computer freezes;
- ForeFront has been disabled;
- Blue error screen.
If you suspect your computer is infected, it is best to contact the Helpdesk at 508.531.2555 as soon as possible. Restarting your computer can often make the infection worse. You should also unplug the network cable from the back of the computer until the virus is completely removed. This will stop it from accessing the Internet and reduce the possibility of spreading it to other computers on the network.
Banner ID/PIN Lookup
In order to protect the personal information of BSU students, faculty, and staff, Bridgewater State University uses the 8-digit Banner ID to identify you instead of using Social Security Numbers. You use this Banner ID to access many systems on campus, such as MyParking, password reset, InfoBear, Ebill, Web for Faculty, and Connect Card services.
If you forget either your Banner ID or PIN, you can now look it up online at https://services.bridgew.edu/bannerid/. Simply provide your BSU computer account username and password in the corresponding fields on the form, enter the two word security "captcha" and click the "Lookup Your Banner ID/PIN" button.
Have you ever tried to reach someone here on the BSU campus but couldn't recall their extension? To use voice recognition, just dial 508.531.6000 from off campus or x6000 from on campus and say the name of the person or department you are trying to reach. For instructions and tips on using voice recognition, go to the Voice Recognition instructions.
Access Email, Voicemail, Calendar and More by Phone (BSU Faculty and Staff)
Did you know you can access your email, voicemail, calendar, and more by phone?
Using Unified Messaging (UM) you can call 508.531.3500 and follow the prompts to listen and respond to email, voicemail, and calendar information. To access UM, you will need your Microsoft Exchange PIN. Click here for instructions on how to reset your PIN.
You can also send and receive email from your Bridgewater State University email account using most mobile devices. For configuration information that your cellular provider may need, go to: Mail Support for Mobile Devices Statement.aspx Please keep in mind using your mobile device to send and receive email may drastically increase your data usage so review your cellular plan prior to configuring your device.
Forwarding Phones to Voicemail when Out of the Office (BSU Faculty and Staff)
With Bridgewater State Universities Unified Messaging system you can forward your calls directly to voicemail using the forward button on your phone. This will make all calls go directly to voicemail without ringing which can be especially helpful if you are having a meeting or away for an extended period of time. All you need to do is press the forward button on your phone then enter 3500 and press forward again. There is no need to pick up the receiver to do this.
To un-forward your phone when you return to the office, just press the forward button again to cancel. This will stop sending calls directly to voicemail.
Recover Deleted Email (BSU Faculty and Staff)
Did you know that once you press delete on a message in Outlook, it's not too late to get that message back? Microsoft Outlook has a great feature called 'Recover Deleted Items' which allows you to recover those email messages that you deleted and emptied from the Deleted Items folder within the past 7 days.
If you think there is a possibility you may need to keep email messages you have recently deleted and emptied from your deleted items folder:
- Open the Outlook Client
- Right Click the Deleted Items folder
- Click Recover Deleted Items
- Select all the email messages you wish to keep, then click the Recover Selected Items button
- The messages will be restored to your Deleted Items email folder
Saving Time with Desktop Shortcuts
Do you use certain web sites on a regular basis? You might have them set as favorites in your browser but you can also create a shortcut right on your desktop to save time.
Below are two ways to create a desktop shortcut to a Web page in Internet Explorer. First, open the Web page:
- Drag the icon from the left side of the Internet Explorer title bar to your desktop or a folder. This is the icon to the left of the Web address or URL
- Right click your command bar in the upper right corner of the Internet Explorer window and click to show your Menu bar.
Then, click the File menu > Send > Shortcut to Desktop.
Now when you double-click the shortcut on your desktop, Internet Explorer starts and loads the Web page automatically.
If you have an IT-related tip you think may help others, please feel free to send it along to us an email to ITSupport@bridgew.edu.