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Updates from the IT Service (20/10/22)

Published: 17 November 2022

News Category: Staff News

IT Service

This post is the first of an ongoing series from the IT Service, to consolidate our updates to University’s staff and students in one place that covers information relating to upgrades, upcoming works, potential service disruption and other topics which may be of interest to you.

Please also visit our IT Status Page to keep track of individual IT services uptime and forthcoming maintenance.

Updates for University Staff

Important: New Windows 10 Feature Update

From 01/11/22 University staff computers running Windows 10 will receive the operating system’s next feature update so it can continue to receive security updates. This update will download in the background on your machine so you won’t notice much happening whilst you’re using it, however the next time the machine is restarted it will install the update before you login.

This can take a little longer than usual and on some older, lower specification devices could be as long as 15-20 minutes, so this is something to bear in mind and schedule accordingly. It’s also worth noting that if you haven’t restarted your computer by December 5th then the update will force a restart to ensure your computer is kept secure.

Changes to power options on staff computers

We’re also making some changes to power options to prevent wasteful electricity use and to keep machines more secure. The first of these is to decrease the amount of time before a staff Windows computer goes into sleep mode from 90 minutes down to 30 minutes. We know they’ll be scenarios where this won’t be ideal for everyone so this option can be overridden if necessary although we’d encourage to keep this set if you can to do your part in ensuring we work as sustainably as possible.

The second change to the power options on Windows devices will help to prevent unauthorised access to staff computers when left unlocked. If you forget to lock your machine after leaving it unattended then after 5 minutes of inactivity the machine will switch to a screensaver and once woken will require you to login again to unlock the device. You won’t be able to alter this setting but we’re making sure it doesn’t apply to devices such as lectern PCs. This change is scheduled to come into effect from 31/10/22.

Launch of the Always-On VPN service

After several months of testing including pilot schemes in several teams, the IT Service will be launching our Always-On VPN service to staff computers. This allows these devices to behave as if they are connected to the University’s campus network from any location with internet access and unlike other similar services this doesn’t need switching on or off to use (did you guess that from the name?).

This brings numerous advantages, namely that your device will receive important updates even when away from campus to keep it secure, you’ll be able to change your account password by pressing the “ctrl alt del” keys without also needing to update it online (users operating away from campus for long periods will likely appreciate that one).

Please remember to use our IT Feedback Tool to tell us know if you like this new service or what we could improve.

Updates for University Staff & Students

Multi-Function Printer upgrades

Works are about to begin to upgrade the University’s network of multi-function printers. Please see this previous post from us on what is happening and how these works may affect you.

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