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University of Houston - Victoria

Technology Services

Recommended Practices

IT Recommended Computers

Computers that will be owned by the University should conform to these minimum specifications:

  • Manufacturer: Dell Computer Corporation
  • Processor Type: Pentium (R)
  • Processor speed: 3.00 GHz internal
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM recommended (1 GB RAM minimum supported)
  • Hard Disk: 40 GB
  • Floppy Drive
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Network card: 3Com Etherlink 10/100 PCI adapter (3C905C-tx) or compatible
  • Super VGA (800 × 600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor
  • Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device

* If connecting to University network. Contact Technology Services Helpdesk if connecting via Internet Service Provider.

Computer Placement

Check the documentation that came with your computer for specific information about recommended ways to set up your computer.

Safety:
Check the documentation that came with your computer for specific safety information.

Cable management:
Position computer cables (power cables, network cables, keyboard cables, mouse cord) where you and others will not step on, trip over, walk over or rollover them.

Ventilation:
Leave room around the vents on the computer for air flow. Computers can heat up and need the air flow to stay cool. Computers that get too hot may shut down, resulting in possible data loss. Keep the vents clear of dust.

Magnets:
Keep magnets away from computers, diskettes, and other electronic media or devices. They could damage or erase some of the information stored there.

Choosing a Printer

IT will support Hewlett Packard and existing Xerox printers exclusively. However, any future printers that are to be added to the campus network are to be the Hewlett Packard brand. (See the “Recommended Printers for Faculty and Staff Support” section later in this document.)

When purchasing a printer to be added to the campus network, make sure it has the following features:

  • Ethernet Network Interface (Fast Ethernet 10/100Base-TX) with RJ45 connector
  • TCP-/IP compatible
  • Can be assigned an IP address
    PostScript Level 2

See Technology Services' Recommended Printer selection guide.

Data Backup and Recovery

Critical university data should be stored on the servers.

If not stored on the servers, backups of all University and Division-critical data should be made at least once per working day.

The backup regime should meet the following criteria:

  • Enable recovery to at least the start of business on any weekday of a failure.
  • Provide at least one more level of backup to a previous time, to cover the case of the failure of the primary backup media.
  • There should be offsite storage of backup media to enable a full data recovery to no earlier than one working week.
  • There should be an audit of backup media at least once every six months.

Data Security

Ensure that only authorized individuals are allowed access to data residing on University of Houston corporate computer systems.

If your workplace is a high-traffic area, be careful about the information you leave accessible on computer screens, printers, desks, walls, and bulletin boards.

Choose passwords that are easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess.

Data Storage Management

Keep an eye on the amount of available disk space on your computer systems, including desktop computer hard drives, file servers, and network drives. You do not want to run out during a crunch time.

Computer accounts have limits on the amount of available disk space. It is the responsibility of the account holder to stay within that amount of disk space. Under some circumstances, it is possible to have the disk space increased. To find out about requesting a disk space increase, contact the Technology Services Helpdesk at 361-570-4399.

IP Addresses

Computers that need IP (Internet Protocol) addresses to connect to the campus network should be configured to get their IP addresses using DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol). Static, or fixed, IP addresses are now only assigned for devices that require them, like on-campus networked printers and servers. To request a static IP address for a device that requires one, contact the Technology Services Helpdesk at 361-570-4399.

Old Computing Equipment

If transferring the computer equipment to another department or to Property Management, there are some actions to take to on the computers and printers you are transferring to help protect your department and data.

  • Formatting the hard drive is preferred

If formatting is not feasible:

  • Delete the information and data files.
  • Remove the IP addresses and recycle them.
  • Delete the printer icons.
  • Uninstall application software.
  • Remove your own and your department's identification, such as information on labels, pictures, and hard drive names.
  • Leave on the UHV property tags and the tags with the serial numbers.

Contact the Technology Services Help Desk 361-570-4399 for assistance with this process.

Password Use and Computer Account Security

See the University of Houston-Victoria Password Guidelines web page.

Physical Security

Be aware. Awareness of your physical surroundings is key to improved physical security for persons, equipment and information.

If your workplace is a high-traffic area, be careful about the information you leave accessible on computer screens, printers, desks, walls, and bulletin boards.

Keep your property inventory up-to-date.

Make sure new equipment is added to your property inventory as soon as possible.

When locking up your work area, double-check to make sure doors and windows are locked and secured.

Software Installation and Upgrades

See UHV’s web site for the UHV Technology Services Supported Software guide.

Recommended Actions to Prepare for Upgrading an Operating System:

Before upgrading a computer to another operating system, there are several recommended steps to take:

  1. Check to see if you want to upgrade to the new operating system.
    Software vendors usually have web sites to help you decide if the upgrade is for you. Depending on your needs and the operating system that you are currently running, they will use the sites to try to help you decide if an upgrade is in your best interests.
  2. Confirm that your computer hardware meets the minimum requirements the new operating system.
  3. Check to see if your hardware and software are compatible with the new operating system.
  4. Back up your important files.
    Backing up important files such as your documents, spreadsheets and slide shows is always a good idea. Even if you do not intend to upgrade your computer or make any changes to it, it is considered good practice to back up as often as you can to protect your files. See the following url for file backup procedures. http://www.uhv.edu/it/Equipment/file_backup.aspx
  5. Install hardware and software updates, if needed.
    If, after checking Microsoft's compatibility area, you found that you needed software or hardware updates, you should install them at this point.
  6. Check your system for viruses.
    Make use of anti-virus software to check and clean your computer of viruses. Like backing up, this is considered a good practice to maintain at all times, not just when you are going to upgrade your computer.
  7. Plan ahead for rolling back.
    Many operating systems do not provide an uninstall feature. You may not be able to return to your previous operating system unless you completely reinstall your older operating system and all of your programs.

Viruses

Install and use anti-virus software.

Keep the virus definitions (sometimes know as "DAT files" or "virus defs") up-to-date. Be cautious.

UH has a site license for Network Associates/McAfee Virus Scan. Many other anti-virus software packages are good, also. For more information, visit the Virus information page on the UH web site

Protecting Yourself:

The following instructions will also help e-mail users to make sure they have increased protection from viruses:

  1. If you receive any suspected e-mail messages,
    1. Do not open the message or launch the attachment,
    2. Delete the message immediately, and
    3. Empty your trash or deleted items folder.
  2. Delete any remaining messages which contain the suspected subject heading or suspicious attachments. Some of these messages are left over from old message queues that processed earlier. You may see some with attachments and some without attachments. This is normal.
  3. Change your passwords as soon as a technician has completed disinfecting your system.
  4. As a general rule, do not open attachments that are from unknown parties or are unexpected.
  5. Check the version of the anti-virus software to be sure it is the latest version and is using the latest virus definitions.
  6. If you even suspect that your computer might be infected, turn it off and call the Technology Services Helpdesk at 361-570-4399.
  7. If you are unsure what to do, or have any other questions please call the Technology Services Helpdesk at 361-570-4399.
  8. As part of the increased security on the system to ensure no further impact, Technology Services is blocking all. vbs file attachments. If you believe you should have received an attachment but did not, contact the Technology Services Helpdesk at 361-570-4399.

Protecting Your Department

Periodically, check all the computers in your department to see if they are running the most recent version of the anti-virus software and virus definitions. If any are not, install the most recent version of the anti-virus software and update the virus definitions.

What to do if your computer gets a virus If you receive a virus through e-mail:

  1. Make a note of the sender's name, e-mail address, and the subject line of the message.
  2. If you have not opened the message and you know it contains a virus, delete the message and empty the Deleted Items folder or Trash can.
  3. Notify, by phone or e-mail, the person(s) who sent it to you.
  4. Notify, by phone or e-mail, the person(s) you sent it to, if you sent it out.
  5. Use anti-virus software with up-to-date virus definitions to get rid of the virus.

Wireless Computing

Wireless Networking at UHV:
If you are interested in setting up wireless networking for your department or group at UHV, contact Technology Services Helpdesk at 361-570-4399 and ask for more information about wireless networking on campus.