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Internal News - 23 November 2007

Username and password security

It is a fundamental part of BUCS’ Acceptable Use Policy that you keep your password secret - this is particularly important as it is used to authenticate you to an increasing number of systems containing sensitive information. For example we will be releasing Employee Self Service at the end of November, a facility which will allow you to access your information from the HR system, including your payslips.

We strongly recommend you change your password immediately if you have any suspicion that someone else knows it. You can do this using the web-based password changer. We are aware that some people perceive a need to give others their passwords – as far as we know there are no good reasons for doing so. However you may not be aware of the facilities available to help with this.

Here are some scenarios and our suggested solutions:

I need to publicise a contact to answer questions from prospective students. Use shared email boxes rather than personal email addresses. Not only does this mean that people’s personal email addresses are not used for corporate publicity etc, but it also helps organise your inbox by keeping certain groups of emails separate. A web page is available to set up a shared mailbox.

We also offer a sophisticated web-based request tracking system called RT, which may be more appropriate than a shared email box in some cases. RT is used widely across the University to help manage general enquiries and a variety of help and support functions.

I need to let a colleague check for some emails I’m expecting. You can share your inbox (and/or other folders) with specific people by sharing your email, so that your email folders appear in their email account. A web page is available to do this, though note that some of the options are quite complex due to the security involved, and we therefore recommend you do this in conjunction with your local IT support.

My PA needs to manage my diary. You can use designate rights within Oracle Calendar to allow others to manage your agenda. This is described in the section “Defining Access Rights for Other Oracle Calendar Users” in the Oracle calendar manual.

I’m working on a project with several others and we need to collaborate. Use shared directories to work on files, particularly for more formal documentation etc. Benefits of this include better security as only certain people can see the files, they are backed-up every night, it is effective in handling situations such as holiday or sickness, and not least it helps organise your files. To set up a shared directory please contact your local IT support.

There are other collaborative tools that may help too, for example a wiki can be ideal for sharing ideas or documentation in a semi-formal manner while still being secure. Some of the other e-Learning tools are equally useful to staff as well as students, such as the Learning Materials Filestore.

If you have further concerns or questions regarding this, please contact your local IT supporter or the BUCS helpdesk.

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