Category Archives: Standards

Generic Staff Orientation: Which Browser Do You Use?

Firefox or Chrome whenever possible


Internet Explorer is a malware target. Plain and simple. ?Firefox and Chrome are much more secure.

What about Opera and Safari? Hard to know, but still preferred over IE.

What do you do when a site only works with Internet Explorer? First, try to find another site! When all else fails, proceed with caution. Not a good answer, but sometimes there aren’t good answers.


Generic Staff Orientation: the Desktop


Desktop Cleanup

DesktopOverload200If this doesn?t apply to you, great! Some users, in some office locations, have chosen to save their life history on the desktop. Please don?t. The desktop is an OK place for shortcuts, but a terrible place for actual folders and documents. Items on your desktop are unique to one machine, are not backed up and they have an impact on performance. Best to avoid.

Generic Staff Orientation: Installing Software

Software Installation







Random notes:

  1. ?Above reproach.? Be sure you have a license for the software and understand that license. (Most licenses do not allow multiple users, there are very few ?site? licenses, despite what people often say.)
  2. Software that isn?t for business use rarely belongs on an organization owned computer. (it would be good to ask permission first, rather than ask forgiveness)
  3. General best practice: if you didn?t specifically go to get a piece of software, don?t let something tell you that you need it. You tell your computer what it needs, not vice versa.

Generic Staff Orientation: WiFi

This is certainly a situation that will vary for every organization, but maybe there are ideas here that can be adapted easily.

WiFi on Campus
Typically two options: Public and Staff.

The PUBLIC network is just that, something for visitors. There is a security key that is very easy to remember, 12345678, and it?s perfectly OK to give this out to visitors (although probably not to random strangers visiting the building). The public network does NOT have access to the servers, to the organization’s email, etc., just to the Internet.

The Staff network is exclusively for staff use. Please NEVER share the connection information with anyone else. When you connect to the Staff network, you?ll need to put in a slightly more obscure key but then you?re still not done. Now launch a browser and you?ll be prompted for your account and password. The same as your domain login, it?s still your login and password.

If you are away from WiFi for an extended time (several days), you will need to re-authenticate when you reconnect.

Consider again the security implications. If you bring a malware infected machine into the office and connect, you?ve created quite an issue. If you allow a non-staff member access to the staff network, the risk to the organization goes way up.


Generic Staff Orientation: Internal Terminal Services

Using Terminal Services from internally

Always available, but rarely needed if you have your own system. Great alternative if your own computer isn?t available for some reason. (but, logging in as yourself on another computer is just fine too) Remember, your files, your Outlook information, are server-based, NOT on your individual computer.

When you are done, be sure to log out (not just exit the session)

Generic Staff Orientation: Remote Access

sort of hate that I have to mention the FLSA stuff here, but such is the law.

Accessing the network from out of the office
RDCiconThe staff network is accessible from nearly any Internet-connected computer, anywhere. (More motivation for using good security practices) Remote access is something you should discuss with your supervisor — it?s not appropriate for everyone due to Fair Labor Standards, among other reasons.

Remote Desktop Connection is widely available and pre-installed on almost all Windows-based computers. (You can often find it from Start .. All Programs .. Accessories.) ?The program is available for Macs, Linux-based machines, tablets, and even your Smartphone, although the frustration level from trying to work a full-screen app from a Smartphone is something to consider.

When you launch Remote Desktop, you will connect to {TS Name}.

When you are done, be sure to log out (not just exit the session)

FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) issues. Just because you can access the network from home, or elsewhere, doesn?t mean you should. There are some very specific reasons why you maybe should NOT. Please discuss this with your supervisor. By FLSA standards, accessing your account from home means you are working.

Generic Staff Orientation: Where Are Your Documents?

The specifics here will vary for every organization, but the concept should be similar.

WhereIsMyStuff100Where are documents (files) and folders (directories)?
Your documents and folders are generally in one of two places. The H (home) drive, or the S (shared) drive.

H: Just your stuff that nobody else should ever need to access. Example: your staff appraisal.

S: Anything that qualifies as ?corporate data? which someone other than you might need access to, especially if you were to be unexpectedly away from your job for a while (such as being sick).

Important: A particularly bad place for documents: your desktop. Instead, put them on your H: or S: drive, but put a shortcut onto your desktop. Worth mentioning: email is also a bad place to save documents.

Computer?s C drives should be considered as mostly a place for programs, not documents. Sure, there are exceptions, but that?s the norm.

Generic Staff Orientation: Getting Help, Helping Yourself

HelpWileyCoyote100x138Problems and Solutions: Getting help, helping yourself

The Knowledgebase
A great “first place” to look for an answer is in the Staff Knowledgebase. Do a simple search for a keyword or two you think fits your question. Special request – if you can’t find something you think should be in the Knowledgebase, let us know so we can add it.

The ?5-15 rule?
Don?t know how something works? Consider this approach. Spend at least 5 minutes trying to figure it out yourself. ?You are not allowed to ask for help until you?ve spent at least 5 minutes.? But, don?t spend more than 15 minutes on your own. After 15 minutes, you must ask for help. Thanks to Tavie Allan for this concept.

Getting Tech Support
Does your organization have a preferred Single Point of Contact (SPoC) for technical support? If so, certainly start there.

For Higher Ground Technologies tech support, the right answer is to call 901-333-7777, option 1. Calling or emailing Tom or Tony (or Kevin or Charles or anyone else) is not categorically wrong, just not best, especially if you?re in a hurry.

Before you call, identify your computer name. There is probably a label on it with this name, and generally there is a renamed My Computer icon on the desktop that matches. If your machine doesn?t have a label on it, please contact your office administrator or internal IT support person ASAP to get one!

Thanks to the good folks at ThinkMinistry for the SPoC idea, and the humor to go with it.

Which are you?

  1. ?I don?t know how to do that, somebody will have to show me or teach me.?
  2. ?I bet there?s a way to do that, I think I?ll figure it out.?

Can you be a “2?”

Generic Staff Orientation: Information Sharing

A seeming contrast with information security is the high desire for information sharing, with the right audience (your fellow staff members).

Information Sharing

SharingCaringSharing with hackers is a bad thing. Sharing with other staff members is a good thing. With a central server, and a central email server (Exchange server), sharing is easy. Shared file folders (your S: drive) are a much better way to share documents than passing them back and forth through email. It?s also good not to clog up email with documents going back and forth. It’s a good ?best practice? idea to think about and standardize how you name folders and documents to help in collaborating with others