2016-2017 Tip of the Month

2016-2017 Tips of The Month

  1. Administrator Rights on Staff Computers
  2. Organizing Google Drive
  3. Spring Cleaning in February
  4. Extreme Temperature and Your Devices
  5. Google 2-Step Verification
  6. Enforcing Workstation Locking
  7. Good Password Practices 

Q1: Administrator Rights on Staff Computers

Starting Wednesday, April 26th, staff will no longer have administrator rights on their Luther workstations.  Faculty administrator rights will be removed at a later date.

While daily work will not be affected by this change, the ability to install software and make system-wide settings changes will be limited. If you need software installed, please contact the Technology Help Desk.

Currently, faculty and staff are administrators on their Luther computers. This means faculty and staff may install programs on their computers, whether knowingly or unknowingly. In order to reduce problems that have been occurring from the installation of programs that should not have been installed, faculty and staff will no longer be administrators on their Luther computers. This will have the added benefit of computers lasting longer and running more reliably. Staff administrator rights will be removed starting April 26th.  Faculty administrator rights will be removed at a later date.

In addition, separation of administrator rights from workstation logins will greatly increase Luther’s IT security posture. A study released last year by the IT security firm Avecto demonstrated that nearly nine-out-of-ten vulnerabilities affecting Windows in 2015 could have been prevented by removing accounts with administrative rights. While the report on 2016 is yet to be released, previous years echo this same sentiment.

If you have questions, comments or concerns contact the Technology Help Desk by calling x1000 or emailing [email protected].


Q2: Organizing Google Drive

Reasons why YOU should be using Google Drive:

  • Unlimited storage
  • Available off-campus
  • Collaborate with others
  • Store and share any file format (MS Office, photos, videos, PDFs, etc)
  • Manage your Google Drive with folders
  • And the list goes on...
Folder Structure ExampleAccess ComparisonChanging Ownership

Everyone organizes their Google Drive differently. Many Google Apps users don’t organize them at all. By using a few best practices, Google Drive can be much more organized and easier to navigate. Folder structure comes first: The best starting point is creating a clean folder structure. An easy way to do this is to create a folder for each category of document and then make subfolders for each aspect of that category. To create a folder, click the red NEW button and then select the option for folder.   As the owner, you can give others complete ownership of a file, or some level of viewing and editing access. Here’s a chart that compares the access for a viewer, commenter, editor, or owner:   Transfer Ownership of Files/Folders to Someone Else: Having folders and subfolders makes it easier to share documents. You can share the top tier folder and all folders and files within that folder will be shared with those to whom you choose. You can also do the same with subfolders. The process to digitally “hand over” Google Drive documents and folders is easy.  

  • Open Google Drive
  • Select the shared folder or file in Docs, Sheets, or Slides
  • Click the Share icon on the top right
    • (When the intended owner does not have share access…invite by typing the email address in the “Invite people” field. Then Save.)
  • Click Advanced in the bottom-right corner of the sharing box
  • Click the drop-down menu next to the name of the person you want to own the file or folder
  • Select Is the owner
  • Click Done
Rename a file

Your role is swapped from an owner to an editor after you transfer ownership. Standardize your naming conventions: Standardized file and folder naming conventions have many benefits. It’s easier to remember what a file is about, easier to search, helps colleagues work with your files and folders, and eliminates the need to re-label files when archiving. In addition, Google drive does not have a sort by date created at this time. For all of these reasons, it is important to come up with a naming convention that works best for you and your position.   A popular naming convention is to add the date to the title. You may want to think about using the semester and year. [Example for a file: F16 Student Worker employee list Example for a folder: 2016-17 Safety & Risk Committee. Under that folder you can have sub-folders: F16 Mtg Notes, S17 Mtg Notes, Safety Reports, etc.] The list can go on and on to fit your needs. Contact the Technology Help Desk for options. To rename a file, follow the steps below:  

  • Open Google Drive
  • Highlight the document’s name in Drive
  • Click the three vertical dots on the right side of the top bar
  • Select rename
Add files to My Drive

Shared with you, organized by you: When a document is shared with you, it can be hard to locate because it is not automatically added to your “My Drive” folder. My Drive is where you have your own personal stash of documents and folders. By default, any files that you create or upload get stored under My Drive. You can also choose to share folders and files from within this interface, but we’ll cover the behaviour of Google Drive sharing features later. Shared with me is the place where (you’ve guessed it!) all of the shared folders and documents are stored. Note that only those Google Drive folders and files that other people have explicitly shared with you are stored under the Shared with me section. Shared with me is what people typically refer to as their Google Shared Drive. It’s the most direct equivalent to a traditional network shared drive. One notable thing about Shared with me is that you can right-click on any Google Drive folder or file and get the option to Add to My Drive. Adding a file or a folder to My Drive will show that file or folder inside My Drive. Once in My Drive, you can locate it anywhere you want (to a sub-folder, for example) without it affecting the sharing location in other people’s My Drives. My Drive is just that: it’s your drive. Someone else’s may not have the same structure (even if it contains the same files). Make sure to add appropriate files to “My Drive.”  

  • Open Google Drive.
  • Highlight the document in the Shared with Me folder
  • Click the three vertical dots on the right side of the top bar
  • Select Add to My Drive from the dropdown menu

For assistance in organizing your Google Drive, contact the Technology Help Desk. 


Q3: Spring cleaning in February

Luther's network shares are filling up. Please review your shared network drives and remove unneeded files, particularly the administrative and academic "common" shares (i.e. the T Drives at  admin1.luther.edu/luther_common and academic.luther.edu/common).  

  • As a reminder, the "common" shares are only intended for temporary storage of files.
  • This is a great time to take a look at your files and see if any of them should be sent to college archives.
  • For information on what needs to be saved and/or how to go about doing it, please contact Hayley at ja[email protected] or call 387-1805.
  • Unsure how to access these locations? Contact the Technology Help Desk at [email protected] or 387-1000.
  • Review files by March 15, as ITS is transitioning to new servers this spring.


Q4: Extreme Temperatures and Your Devices

  • Extreme cold can:
    • Make glass fragile
    • Reduce battery life
    • Damage running circuitry   
  • Extreme heat can:
    • Slow your computer
    • Affect wireless quality
    • Cause glitchy behavior
    • Destroy components
  • Humidity can:
    • Dry air can lead to damaging static discharge.
    • Humid air can cause condensation.
  • Questions?


Q5: Google 2-Step Verification

Google 2-Step

  The College is establishing a new policy in which Luther email accounts for students, faculty and staff will require Google 2-Step Verification. Faculty and staff must enable Google 2-Step Verification prior to Dec. 1, 2016 for all Luther email accounts in order to continue to successfully sign in. Students must enable Google 2-Step Verification prior to Feb. 1, 2017 for their Luther email accounts. You may enable 2-Step Verification yourself. Sessions are available if you would like assistance in enabling 2-Step Verification. If you have a laptop, please bring it. Likewise, if you have a cell phone, please bring that as well.
How to enable 2-Step Verification:

  • Click on the "Google Account" icon in the top right corner of the Norse Mail screen
  • Click "My Account"
  • Click "Signing in to Google"
  • Click "2-Step Verification" and follow the steps to turn it on
  • Set up your second step and at least one alternative step

Still Have Questions? Visit ITS' Google 2-Step Verification FAQ.   Remember, enabling 2-step verification adds another layer of protection to your email account, but it's still important to be vigilant for phishing scams.  Phishing emails are used to trick users into sharing personal passwords or financial information by clicking on a link or inadvertently downloading malware.  Google 2-Step Verification will help prevent phishing. These are all clues that an email may be a scam:

  • Anonymity; vague sender (“Help Desk”)
    • Other use of non-Luther references to the Technology Help Desk or other campus departments
  • Mismatched sender name & email
    • Hover over name to get true email address
  • Requesting personal information or asking to click on a link
  • Hyperlinks that don’t match the link displayed
    • Hover over link to view true website link to show in lower left corner of browser
  • Punctuation and grammatical errors
  • A sense of urgency

Want to know more? The Technology Help Desk has more information to help you protect yourself from phishing emails.   


Q6: Enforcing Workstation Locking

On Wednesday, October 12, ITS will deploy an update to all faculty and staff workstations to improve security. The update will lock your workstation after 25 minutes of inactivity. To unlock your workstation, enter your Norse Key password.

If you use your laptop for presentations, to avoid your laptop locking during the presentation, move the mouse every 15-20 minutes.

ITS recommends you lock your workstation every time you leave your work area, even if only for a couple of minutes. For details on locking your workstation, see “Protect Your Information”.

This additional measure is being implemented to improve security campus-wide. Contact the Technology Help Desk with questions.

Locking your Windows computer screen:

  • Windows logo key + L
  • Ctrl + Alt + Delete (once) - Lock this computer
  • Click on Windows Start menu - click arrow beside “shut down” - click Lock

Locking your MAC computer screen:

  • Control + Shift + Eject
  • Control + Shift + Power


Q7: Good Password Practices

Good password practices help protect our community, our college, and ourselves.  Most people underestimate the impact of compromised data, identity theft, and other security issues.  New restrictions on Norse Key policies have already taken effect.  Check out the Norse Key Password Policy for specific rules.  To see other changes we’re making as an institution, changes you can make as an individual, and other information about password security check out the Improving Password Policies Guide.