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University of Houston-Victoria

University Of Houston-Victoria

Technology Services

TS Recommended Practices

Terms and Definitions

Technology Services (TS): Refers to either Administrative Technology Services or Academic and Student Technology Services

Contacting Technical Services

Computer, IT and related issues will arise at any time. When these issues arise, please use the following contact procedures:

All general computer and Technology Service’s needs, issues, questions, comments or concerns and anything not listed below:

Help Desk
361-570-4399 (x4399)
helpdesk@uhv.edu

Reporting of IT security concerns, request for information on IT procedures and policies and submission of suspected spam, phishing or questionable email:

IT Security
security@uhv.edu

TS Computers

Recommended Configurations

Computers purchased by the University for FY 2016 will conform to minimum specifications:

  • Recommended Vendors:
    • Dell Computer Corporation
    • Apple Inc.
    • Other vendors with approval from TS Help Desk
  • Base Configuration:
    • Intel Core i5
    • 4GB RAM
    • 128GB HD
  • Desktops:
    • Dell OptiPlex 9000/7000 series
    • Apple iMac
  • Laptops:
    • Dell 7000 series Latitudes
    • Apple MacBook Pro/Air
    • Microsoft Surface 3

User Responsibilities and guidelines

Any computer issued to you is the property of the University of Houston-Victoria and intended for work benefiting the University.

  • The Help Desk is the point of contact for any computer issues
  • Employees shall not perform maintenance on their own, nor take a University owned computer to a third party for repair unless explicitly instructed to by the Help Desk.

Computer Placement

The TS Help Desk will install desktop computers per your request with the following restrictions

  • Computer placement must be on a secure, stable surface
  • Desktop must be large enough for monitor (or All-in-One) stand plus keyboard and mouse or include a keyboard tray.
  • Proper ventilation must be available for desktop/tower computers installed under desks or against walls.
  • Help desk will provide minimal cable management. Additional cable management will be performed on request provided it does not interfere with any moving desk parts or cross walkways.

Wireless Networking at UHV:

TS provides Enterprise class Wireless network to the entire campus. All environments support 802.11 A,B,G,N with most also supporting the latest, AC. This unrestricted service is provided at no extra charge to University employees and students. Additional, limited bandwidth, Internet only access is provided to guest.

  • Because of the inherent risks and unreliability of wireless communication, all offices also have wired connections and all provided office computers will be configured to communicate via the wired network connection.
  • Students should not use a wireless connection for test.
  • Access to JaguarWiFi is available to anyone with a valid UHV account (employees and students)
  • UHVGuest is intended for visitors to UHV. Access is open to anyone but bandwidth is restricted.
  • TS recommends no employee or student use their own access point or hotspot within the campus controlled WiFi environment. Network Operations will attempt to contact any employee or student whose wireless technology is interfering with the production network. If non UHV devices are found to be causing issues with the production wireless network, mitigation efforts will be used to move them off the network.

Choosing a Printer

TS provides high speed, color, duplex printers for all university employees. These provide efficient, fast and secure printing and can meet all printing needs of the university. If a local, office based printer is desired, justification is to be made to the TS Help Desk. The printer provided will meet the following requirements:

  • Laser/LED based printing
  • TCP/IP Networking built in (not add-on)
  • Support for Windows based print sharing
  • Support for Mac O/S devices

Data Classification and Protection

TS supports the enforcement of UHS Policy SAM 07.A.08: Data Classification and Protection and its description of Information Owners, Custodians and Users. PDF version of the policy is available here.

Information Custodians: The responsibility of the custodians is the protecting, managing and supporting of the infrastructure needed to store, edit or otherwise process information. This includes processing and storage provisioning, backup and restoration and routine maintenance.

  • TS Network Operations is the Information Custodians of all information stored on UHV server resources.
  • UH’s UIT is the Information Custodian for all data stored within the UHS Blackboard and PeopleSoft systems.

Information Owners: The head of each respective school, division or department is the recommended Information Owner for their respective area. Ownership may be shared by managers of different departments. Examples of information owners, or the responsible party for delegating ownership:

  • The UHV Registrar is the owner of UHV student records
  • The UHV Director, Human Resources is the owner of UHV employee Personally Identifying Information.

Information Users: Any employee who inputs, edits or otherwise manages data related to the business of UHV is an Information User. Users are responsible for abiding by the policy and ensuring the integrity and accuracy of the information within their control.

Data Backup and Recovery

Critical university data should be stored on the TS supported servers. Level 1 data must be stored on TS supported servers. Any employee who chooses to store Level 2 or 3 data on their desktop/laptop assumes full responsibility for that information and TS will not make any attempt to recover data lost due to hard drive failure, accidental deletion, loss or theft.

TS backs up all production servers for the purpose of disaster recovery and emergency restoration of files.

TS does not archive email. Per SAM 07.A.06 E-Mail Retention, email will not be recoverable after 12 weeks.

Data Security

All University employees share in the responsibility for the Level 1 data they use, edit or create. This includes ensuring that only authorized individuals are allowed access to this data regardless of its location.

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. UHV IT Security can assist with password creation and maintenance.

Data Storage Management

Individually assigned computers are not configured with data storage as a priority. They are designed to hold the applications needed for the most demanding job duties of employees on campus. All data files, work documents and research should be stored on the TS supplied secure file storage.

While there are limits to how much data can be stored in your network shares, priority will be given to Level 1 data. If you need additional storage space, contact the TS Helpdesk

UHS does not support the use of public cloud storage and no Level 1 data may be stored in a public cloud. This includes, but is not limited to, Apple’s iCloud, Box, Dropbox, Google’s GoogleDrive, Microsoft’s OneDrive, and any other public cloud storage. Private cloud storage is under review and will be made available by TS as funding allows.

Internet Access

Unless otherwise configured, all employee network devices will receive a dynamic IPv4 address when the computer is turned on. Internet access is unrestricted with the following exceptions:

  • Sites known to be hosting (intentionally or otherwise) malicious code designed to infect visitors to the site
  • Sites identified by the Internet Watch Foundation (https://www.iwf.org.uk) as possessing and disseminating child pornography or containing images of, or promoting child abuse.

Certain, older technology may require a static IP on the employee’s computer. Static IP’s will only be assigned to desktop computers. To request a static IP, contact the Technology Services Helpdesk.

TS is aware of the growth of IPv6. No support will be provided for IPv6 until it is supported by our ISP.

Old Computing Equipment

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

  • For normal transfer of desktop/laptop devices, the hard drive will be formatted and a new installation of the operation system installed
  • Under the following circumstances, a hard drive will be erased using a DoD 5220.22 M compliant method:
    • Level 1 data was stored on the drive
    • Drive was used in a Multi-function printer/copier
    • Drive was used in a production server
  • If the drive cannot be erased, the drive will be destroyed and a new drive installed.

Password Use and Computer Account Security

All UHV accounts are protected with at least a password. Certain high security environments may require additional authentication/verification before access is granted. For optimal security, all UHV passwords should meet the following criteria:

  • Should not be used for protection of access to any other personal account such as personal email, online banking or shopping
  • Should not be reused
  • Should be changed every three (3) months. (UHV forces passwords to be changed once every 365 days)
  • Must meet the following criteria:
    • Minimum of 8 characters
    • Must contain characters from 3 of the following 5 categories:
      • Uppercase letters
      • Lowercase letters
      • Base 10 digits (0-9)
      • Nonalphanumeric characters: ~!@#$%^&*_-+=`|\(){}[]:;"'<>,.?/
      • Other recognized alphabetic characters such as those from Asian languages.
    • Must NOT contain:
      • Your username (i.e. MimsE)
      • Any part of your “Display Name” i.e. Eric Mims: Neither “Eric” nor “Mims” can be in the password.

For assistance and recommendations with password creation, see the University of Houston-Victoria Password Guidelines web page.

Passwords are not to be shared. No one at UHV is entitled to or has a right to see another employee’s or student’s account password. TS cannot recover a lost password. All employees and students are encouraged to configured password reset functionality with either IDHelp (until 2015/12/31) or UHV’s remote access portal, JagSpace (Starting 2016/01/01)

Physical Security

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.

Work with your department’s property custodian in keeping your property inventory up-to-date, adding new equipment 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, Upgrades and Patches

OS / Application Patches

TS automatically monitors for the release of new patches from Microsoft, Adobe, and Oracle (Java) and automatically sends these updates to your computer as needed. Because of the speed at which vulnerabilities in some applications are abused, especially Adobe Flash, Acrobat Reader and Java, it is essential you allow these updates to occur.

TS may provide automatic updates for other applications in the future. If you are running software that does not receive automatic updates, you are responsible to ensure all security and stability patches are installed promptly.

Major Application Updates

The method and timing of major application updates will vary based on campus usage, known issues with work related tasks, and the current university calendar. Some examples:

  • Microsoft Office
    • Updates will be scheduled between semesters
    • Updates will only be performed after ensuring compatibility with necessary University business applications such as PeopleSoft and Blackboard.
  • SPSS: Updates will be scheduled based on availability of latest version from our vendor

Operating System Upgrade

TS Supports the latest versions of Microsoft Windows and Mac O/S on desktop/laptop devices.

Windows Upgrades:

Windows upgrades will occur after TS has tested them with the most common software we use and verified the new OS will work with all in-production computers.

TS Network Operations team will handle the automatic upgrading of desktop/laptop in conjunction with the Help Desk. No employee’s desktop/laptop will be upgraded without their knowledge.

Mac O/S Upgrades:

Apple releases updates via their App Store. Employees who use Mac O/S devices should NOT upgrade until the Help Desk has confirmed support with all applications we currently support. Failure to wait has resulted in employees losing access to work and research data. The Help Desk cannot assist with recovery in these cases.

All O/S Upgrades:

  • TS performs “Clean Install” upgrades. All applications and data will be wiped from the computer
  • Employees are responsible for saving their work and research files on TS provided server storage. TS cannot recover data from a computer after an upgrade has been performed

Malware (Viruses, Trojans, Worms)

TS installs anti-malware software on all distributed Windows and Mac O/S devices. Employees shall not tamper with these installs nor do anything which prevents the anti-malware software from functioning and updating. If an employee suspects their anti-malware is not functioning properly, they shall contact the Help Desk as soon as possible.

TS currently uses multiple forms of anti-malware protection

  • Employee and lab computers have Microsoft Endpoint Protection
  • UHV Servers utilize either Microsoft or Intel Security’s McAfee Endpoint Protection
  • Inbound, unsecured Internet traffic is scanned at the firewall
  • Inbound/Outbound email is scanned using multiple anti-malware engines

Protecting Yourself:

All UHV Employees share in the responsibility in protecting themselves from malware, phishing, social engineering and any attempt to abuse the UHV network or gain access to privileged information. The following instructions will help protect you and your account:

  1. If you receive any suspected e-mail messages
    1. Do not open the message or launch the attachment
    2. Never feel bad about deleting an email from an unknown source. Email or call the sender directly if you have questions.
    3. Empty your trash or Deleted Items folder promptly.
  2. Do not click on a link in an email unless you know the source (sender name AND sender’s email address) and have verified the link listed is the actual link destination by pointing to the link (not clicking) to review the true URL.
  3. When in doubt, Contact the TS Help Desk at 361-570-4399 or HelpDesk@uhv.edu. You may also submit questionable email by sending them as an attachment to the IT Security address, Security@uhv.edu.

If You Get Infected:

An infected computer can cause many adverse problems such as:

  • Creation of a “Spam Bot” which sends out thousands of spam messages, causing UHV to be blocked by many ISP’s. This prevents us from doing normal business including contacting current and perspective students.
  • Encryption of work files. If not properly backed up, this can result in the loss of mission critical data or important research and can spread to coworkers and colleagues.
  • Loss of reputation with other universities and State of Texas agencies

If you suspect you’ve become infected or if you clicked on a link within an email that didn’t seem to do anything, or if you submitted your UHV username and password in a form that wasn’t on our website, immediately do the following

  • Notify the Help Desk
  • Change your password

Waiting even an hour can result in serious consequences to the business of UHV.