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IT Update

Dec 7, 2017

Posted in:

By Gareth Griffiths

IT Support System
Since September 1, 2017, 137 new Work Orders were received into Track-IT. Of these, 121 are now closed (88% completion rate). Overall we closed 249 Work Orders during the month. There are currently 39 open Work Orders.

Summer was been busy and as a result, there was a backlog. We have worked hard to get caught up over the last month, as can be seen by the closure of 240 Work Orders. Many thanks to the hard work of the IT team in achieving this.

Don’t forget to email support@gdins.org for any new requests. In the event that an email cannot be sent for any reason, you can also call any member of the IT Team, who will log the support Work Order for you.

Sophos/Anti Virus
We have renewed our partnership with Sophos for the Institute’s AntiVirus needs for another three years. The biggest change is moving to a cloud-based management console. This enables us to push updates out to clients faster, as well as improving the responsiveness in dealing with outbreaks.

Another big change in this version is the introduction of InterceptX. This offers resilient ransomware protection by detecting unauthorized encryption of files at source, and retaining the original encryption state, allowing files to be restored easily. We are in the initial testing phase, but will roll this update out to all computers in the organization over the coming month.

Also, please be wary of files received by email. We are constantly receiving emails asking for your review, or invoice attached. Almost all of these are phishing attacks or Trojans. The best practice is to use your gut feeling. If the email is from someone you don’t know, or if the link is not from the same company, don’t click on it. Forward to IT if it feels wrong and we will investigate.

Client VPN
Did you know –if you are in the main three campuses, you can access your server files from anywhere. If you are on one of our locations, we have a permanent VPN connection back to the office. This means that with a few minor changes, you can login to your machine as if you were sitting at your desk (bear in mind that you may notice a slightly delayed response due to communication speeds). We actually use this method in Yorkton, where the GDI Training and Employment client files are actually stored on the Regina server but accessible remotely.

From outside of our networks, we can configure a VPN Client that will enable encrypted access to our network, meaning files can be accessed from anywhere. If you are interested in this, please send a support request to support@gdins.org and we can set this up for you.

CDW Employee Purchase Plan
We have setup an Employee Purchase Plan (EPP) with our main supplier CDW for computer and electronic purchases. This leverages the purchasing power of the organization to provide discounted rates for computer equipment. CDW are a reputable supplier, and have served us well over the years. There is a small setup piece we have to do to enable access to the EPP. If you are interested in using this, please let me know.

Tip of the Month
Welcome to the first of a new series of articles where I will detail something that will help you. This month it is a quick method for moving windows around the screen. From Windows 7 onwards, Microsoft introduced a method to snap a screen to half width by dragging it to the left or right of the screen. This is a great function that easily allows you to open two docs side by side.

However, with dual screens this is a problem. On an extended desktop, the two middle screen edges don’t work this way (moving to the edge of one screen just moves the screen to the other monitor). There are Windows shortcuts that can help with this (and actually faster than dragging a window on a single screen too). Holding down the Windows key and pressing the cursor keys (arrows) will allow you to snap windows to edges of the screen (even the middle edge of a dual screen). Works like this:

Windows – Left arrow: Snap to left edge of screen
Windows – Right Arrow: Snap to right edge
Windows – Down: Minimize (Restore if snapped or maximized)
Windows – Up: Maximize
The Windows-Left and Windows-Right combinations will actually cycle between left snap, maximized and right snap as you keep pressing

Final Thought
Q:Why did the witch buy a computer?
A: She needed a Spell Check.

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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