Microsoft Office 2019 campus rollout—important information and timeline

Michigan Tech IT is preparing to roll out this version to campus in the upcoming months.

Useful information

  • Office 2019 is available for Mac OS and Windows 10
  • Mainstream (non-paid) support for Office 2016 ends October 2020
  • There are almost no visual differences between Office 2016 and 2019
  • Office 2019 will be 64-bit, allowing for access to more system resources during calculations.
  • Some have reported having issues in the past with files not being compatible between Office 2016 and older versions of the software. Microsoft has stated that this is not an issue with Office 2019.
  • Like students, faculty and staff have access to Office 365, which automatically updates. More information is available at our Software Download Center.
  • Office 2016 is the last version of Microsoft Office that is compatible with Windows 7

Notes

  • We strongly encourage faculty and staff who rely on Office Add-ins to get involved with the testing and let us know about your experience.
  • Installing Office 2019 will uninstall any other versions of Office installed. You cannot run multiple versions at the same time.
  • Existing Office Add-ins (Aspen, ChemDraw, JMP, Endnote, etc.) may need to be reinstalled or may stop working in Office 2019.

Timeline

November thru New Year—Early testing

Starting in mid-November, IT will make Office 2019 available to faculty and staff through the Software Center in Windows 10 and to MacOS machines running 10.12/10.13/10.14 through JAMF Self Service.  Faculty and staff with laptops or off-domain machines can contact our Help Desk Consultants to arrange a time to install the software.

January 2019

All campus-connected systems with Office versions older than 2016 will be upgraded to at least Office 2016.  All new faculty and staff computers purchased will have Office 2019 installed by default.  Office 2016 will remain in the campus computer labs throughout fall and spring semesters.

June 2019

Following Spring Commencement, campus computer labs, as well as remaining faculty and staff on-campus computers, will be upgraded to Office 2019.

Questions, comments or concerts?  We can help. Contact us at it-help@mtu.edu or 7-1111.

H, M, and G—More Than Just Letters

H:\, M:\ G:\ drives. What do these letters mean? Pat Hopp, Michigan Tech IT’s Director of Operations, gives us a rundown.

When you log into a Windows computer on campus, you have access to multiple storage locations on the network. Faculty, staff, and students have access to three network storage locations on campus—H:\ drive, M:\ drive, and G:\ drive.

When you log into a campus Windows PC, you will see:

The H:\ drive (home drive)

This is your place to store personal files. The data stored in your H:\ drive is only accessible to you. It also contains your desktop, document folders, and some application settings. The data stored here is backed up nightly, and IT keeps those backups for up to a year. You have the ability to restore your own files using the Previous Versions function described in KB article, Restoring a File on an On-Domain Windows Computer.

You do have a data quota, or limit, on your home drive. Your home drive is not meant for the long term storage of archival data. The Multidrive or Google Drive is more suitable for files or information you would like to archive or share with others.

The M:\ drive (multidrive)

The multidrive contains shared network folders (repositories). Files related to your work, research, or group projects should be stored here. These folders are set up to be securely accessed by multiple people and are backed up nightly. You have the same ability to restore your own files using the Previous Versions functionality described above.

It’s important to the University that work you do for your department, research group or academic unit is stored in a safe place. The multidrive is that place. If your department, research group, or academic team would like a new multidrive share created, we can help. More information is in the article, Requesting a multidrive share.

The G:\ drive (Google Drive)

Google Drive is also an option worth considering, depending on your needs. With the Google Drive File Stream application installed, your Google Drive and Shared Drives will show up as a drive letter, usually G:\. This allows you to browse through Google Drive as if it were another folder on your PC.

With Google Drive File Stream you will see your personal Google Drive space along with any Shared drives (formerly Team Drives) you have access to. Michigan Tech faculty, staff, and students have unlimited Google Drive space. It’s a great place to store long term archival data.

Please note that any data deleted from Google Drive moves to Trash for up to 30 days, but is then unrecoverable after that period. If longer retention for deleted data is important to you, we recommend using the multidrive instead.

If you have any questions about the drives on campus, we can help. Contact us at it-help@mtu.edu or call 7-1111.


Understanding the Basics of Online Safety and Security

Inside your connected home. Protect your always-on family.

Americans use 3,138,420 GB of internet data every minute of the day.

It is safe to say that being online is now a way of life for many. Engaging in safe and secure online practices helps protect against the risks of living life on the internet.

Shopping, surfing, banking, gaming, and connecting Internet of Things devices such as toasters and refrigerators are some of the many actions performed each minute in cyberspace. These common everyday activities carry the cyber threats of social engineering to gain unauthorized access to data, identity theft, bullying, location tracking, and phishing, to name just a few. How can we decrease our risk from these cyber threats without abandoning our online activities altogether? Here are some basic online tips everyone can follow to help stay secure while online.

  • Set up alerts. Consider setting up alerts on your financial accounts. Many credit card companies and banks allow you to set up alerts on your accounts via their websites. These alerts range from sending you an email or text each time a transaction happens on your account to alerts when transactions meet or exceed a designated spending limit that you set. These alerts keep you in control of your accounts’ activities. These types of alerts are useful because they make you aware of what’s going on with your account quicker than waiting for monthly statements. When you receive an alert about a transaction that you did not authorize, you can reach out to the credit card company or bank immediately. Log into your credit card company and banking websites to set up alerts on your accounts.
  • Keep devices and apps up to date. This familiar tip is useful even if you are just casually surfing the internet. Keeping your devices up to date (including apps and operating systems) ensures you have the latest security fixes.
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi. In addition to an updated device, the network the device is connected to is also important. Did you have to enter a password to connect to a Wi-Fi network? If you did, that network is more secure than an open one that any device within range can connect to. Whenever possible, use a secure network, especially when banking or shopping online.
  • Consider using a VPN. VPN stands for virtual private network, and its main purpose is to provide a tunnel for encrypted internet traffic. If you are connected to the internet without using a VPN, your traffic is passed through the internet service provider’s servers. The location of your device is known, and if you must connect to a public Wi-Fi network, there is a risk of snooping by other devices on the same network. Connecting to a VPN redirects your internet traffic to a remote server, encrypting the traffic, reducing the snooping risk. There are many options for VPN software today for consumers and businesses. Do your research and decide which one makes sense for your online needs.
  • Create unique passwords. Here’s another familiar tip. Using the same password for many sites is not a best practice. Suppose that one of your accounts suffered a data breach and your password was exposed. If you reused this password on other accounts, it’s likely that someone would be able to access those accounts as well (especially if your user name is an email address). Consider using a password manager to manage all your passwords. Not only do these tools manage all your passwords, they can also create strong passwords and can even autofill your username and password as you go to websites on different browsers.
  • Be vigilant. Be aware, there are fake websites out there waiting to collect your valuable information. Make sure you are on a legitimate site by double-checking the URL website address to make sure it is spelled correctly. Also make sure you see a padlock and https:// in the URL.

Remember that you are in control of your online activities. Following these security tips will give you peace of mind while online.

Additional resources

Campus Security Awareness Campaign 2019

This post is part of a larger campaign designed to support security professionals and IT communicators as they develop or enhance their security awareness plans. The campaign is brought to you by the Awareness and Training Working Group of the EDUCAUSE Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC).


Keeping Tabs on Mobile Devices

Mobile phone, tablet, and laptop with cation "Protect yourself - Lock your devices. Leaving your devices unlocked provides access to your data. Remember to lock your screen when you finish using your computer, laptop, or phone. For added security, set your device to automatically lock when it goes to sleep."
From the EDUCAUSE Information Security Awareness Video and Poster Contest

With an increasing amount of sensitive data being stored on personal devices, the value and mobility of smartphones, tablets, and laptops make them appealing and easy targets. These simple tips will help you be prepared in case your mobile device is stolen or misplaced.

  • Encrypt sensitive information. Add a layer of protection to your files by using the built-in encryption tools included on your computer’s operating system (e.g., BitLocker or FileVault).
  • Secure those devices and backup data! Make sure that you can remotely lock or wipe each mobile device. That also means backing up data on each device in case you need to use the remote wipe function. Backups are advantageous on multiple levels. Not only will you be able to restore the information, but you’ll be able to identify and report exactly what information is at risk. (See Good Security Habits for more information).
  • Never leave your devices unattended in a public place or office. If you must leave your device in your car, place it in the truck, out of sight, before you get to your destination, and be aware that the summer heat of a parked car could damage your device.
  • Password-protect your devices. Give yourself more time to protect your data and remotely wipe your device if it is lost or stolen by enabling passwords, PINs, fingerprint scans, or other forms of authentication. (See Choosing and Protecting Passwords.) Do not choose options that allow your computer to remember your passwords.
  • Put that shredder to work! Make sure to shred documents with any personal, medical, financial, or other sensitive data before throwing them away.
  • Be smart about recycling or disposing of old computers and mobile devices. Properly destroy your computer’s hard drive. Use the factory reset option on your mobile devices and erase or remove SIM and SD cards.
  • Verify app permissions. Don’t forget to review an app’s specifications and privacy permissions before installing it!
  • Be cautious of public Wi-Fi hot spots. Avoid financial or other sensitive transactions while connected to public Wi-Fi hot spots.
  • Keep software up to date. If the vendor releases updates for the software operating your device, install them as soon as possible. Installing them will prevent attackers from being able to take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. (See Understanding Patches and Software Updates.)

What can you do if your laptop or mobile device is lost or stolen? Report the loss or theft to the appropriate authorities. These parties may include representatives from law-enforcement agencies, as well as hotel or conference staff. If your device contained sensitive institutional or student information, immediately report the loss or theft to your organization so that they can act quickly.

Campus Security Awareness Campaign 2019

This post is part of a larger campaign designed to support security professionals and IT communicators as they develop or enhance their security awareness plans. The campaign is brought to you by the Awareness and Training Working Group of the EDUCAUSE Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC).