Wednesday, 27 November 2013

PDF problems on student computers

We’ve been hearing from some students that you’re having problems with PDFs on uni computers. We are working to find a permanent solution for you, but if you are affected here are some things you can do.

  • If you are having problems using PDFs in IE, you can save the PDF then open it from your computer or, use the new Firefox 17 instead.
  • If you are viewing your PDFs directly from Adobe Reader, try opening Adobe Reader and then the PDF.
If you have tried the options above and are still having issues let us know.

Monday, 25 November 2013

There's a new online security threat - Cryptolocker

The latest criminal scam reminds us how important it is to backup our files. Ransomware scams try to trick you into downloading software that then encrypts all of your files so that you can’t open or view them. The criminals behind the scam then demand money in return for a password that will let you view your files.

The latest one is ‘Cryptolocker’ and it’s particularly nasty. It’s a real threat to your files and has gained a lot of attention in the media. The good news is that you can avoid being caught out if you follow our good practice advice.

How to stay safe

You can protect yourself from scams like these by doing the following:
  • Keep antivirus software up to date and install operating system security updates.
  • Don’t be taken in by fraudulent emails claiming to be your bank or another service provider.
  • Be very careful when downloading attachments from emails, especially when they are unexpected or from people you don’t know.
  • Keep backups of important files in a safe place, separate from your computer.

We have information about staying online on our website at

To protect your computer from Cryptolocker and malware in general you should install security updates for your computer as soon as they are made available. To detect specific threats (such as Cryptolocker) you should also download antivirus software from the link below and ensure you keep it updated.

Unpleasant though Cryptolocker is, it reminds us how important it is to make sure all your work files as well as your photos and other personal files on your home computer are securely backed up.

Cryptolocker will encrypt any external hard drives and memory sticks that are connected to your computer. To protect your files make sure you have multiple copies in multiple places - you need to make sure there is separation between your working files and backups or they will both get caught out by this type of scam.

  • University personal and shared networked filestore are the safest place to store files; CiCS will make sure your work is backed up.
  • Google Drive is also a great place to store your files.
  • CDs and DVDs are are great for offline copies of important files but they are not infallible so should be used as a backup and not the only copy of important files.
  • External hard drives and memory sticks are vulnerable to Cryptolocker so they should be disconnected once you have finished backing up your files.

Cryptolocker currently only affects Windows PCs and is primarily spread as an email attachment. It is likely that the threat will evolve to spread through other means and may be developed to affect Macs.

What to do if you get caught out

Don’t panic! If you do suspect your computer has been infected by Cryptolocker, or any ransomware, turn your computer off immediately, disconnect any external hard drives or memory sticks and contact the CiCS Helpdesk. Do not try to and fix the problem or recover files yourself as you may make the problem worse by spreading the infection to other computers and files.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The latest on student printing...

Here’s the latest on printing from your own laptops. This morning, we have applied an update to the technology and re-enabled the ability for you to print from your own laptop. However, though this works in testing, we cannot be certain that it’s worked until you start printing from your own laptops again. If we continue to have problems we may have to turn it off again, so we will monitor the situation closely we’ll keep you updated too.

We’re really pleased that we can provide the ability for you to use your own laptops here at Sheffield, but the flip side is that there’s always a risk of something new coming out which doesn’t play nicely, and causes situations like this which are outside of our control. This also means that it can take a short while for us and our suppliers to be able to find a fix.

As well as having re-enabled printing from your laptop, we’re working on new ways for you to print using new, more flexible technology. We’ll keep you informed with the current issue and with our progress working on the new printing as we go. Your continued patience during these difficult times is really appreciated.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

We've reenabled advanced PC bookings for student computers...

Over the past couple of days we've made some promising developments with our problem with PC Bookings.  To recap, you could book a PC, but your reservation didn't always work which led us to decide to temporarily disable advanced bookings.

However, we've made some progress and it is now possible to book computers a day in advance. Hopefully we will be able to increase it back to two days if the work we've done proves successful, but for now this is a precautionary measure. We'll keep working at it and let you know how we get on.

Monday, 18 November 2013

No PC bookings for Thursday and Friday...

Due to a problem with the PC booking service for student computers, we are seeing an issue where you can book a PC, but your reservation doesn't always work. Instead, you may find that someone else is already using the computer you have booked. 

As part of our work to fix this issue, you will not be able to make an advanced bookings for Thursday or Friday. You will, however, still be able to use any of our computers around campus on a walk up basis for these two days.

We hope that the work we do will sort out this problem and we'll keep you updated with our progress.

Friday, 15 November 2013

cPanel Sunday service

Over the past few months we have had issues with cPanel, where the service becomes unavailable for short periods of time. To fix the problem we need to stop cPanel so that we can make some repairs which we will be doing this at 6pm on Sunday evening and will take about 4 to 6 hours.

What this means is cPanel, including any websites, blogs or applications hosted on it will be unavailable for viewing or updating from 6pm up until around midnight.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Printing to student printers from your laptop is currently unavailable...

Last week we took the difficult decision to turn off the ability for you to print to university printers from your own laptop. Unfortunately an incompatibility with the latest Mac operating system was causing university printing to keep breaking. We are working hard to bring back the ability to print from your own laptop, and will keep you updated as our work progresses.

In the meantime, you can print to our printers by using university computers in libraries and computer rooms across campus and by using our quick print machines in the Information Commons.

To find a free university computer you can use our Find a PC webpage
And to find where the printer you want is visit our printer locations webpage

You can also find PCs and check your printing accounts using our iSheffield mobile app.

We're updating our eduroam certificates on Monday 11th Nov

First thing on Monday morning,  we will be updating the security certificate for our eduroam wireless network. Whilst many of you will probably not notice it happen, it is possible that some of your devices may ask you to accept the new certificate the first time you connect after the update. 

If you find that you are unable to connect after the update, simply forget the eduroam network on your device then set it up again using the our instructions here:

If you continue to have trouble get in touch with our IT Support either by phone, using the Self Service Helpdesk or face to face and they will be will be happy to help you get connected. Find out how here:

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Promotional Offer from Print & Design Solutions

Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift? Then why not take advantage of Print & Design Solutions' promotional offer. Buy any canvas print or float frame before Christmas and receive six cards with the same image and envelopes free of charge.

Canvas prints are made from high quality polycotton canvas and printed with long-lasting pigment links, stretched around a wooden frame and coated with a satin varnish finish for extra protection.

Float frames are lightweight and glass free, giving a modern minimalist look. Photographs are printed on high quality satin, matt or gloss paper and framed ready to hang. Order any of the sizes below before 9 December and Print & Design Solutions will guarantee delivery on campus by 17 December 2013:

Canvas Prints 12x12 & 12x16
Float Frames 10x12 in black or bare wood

Creating everlasting memories, these are the perfect Christmas gift for all your family and friends, so order early to avoid disappointment.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Accessing Google services is changing

Google Apps menu
Google are changing the way you find your different apps. Soon the black bar across the top of your Gmail, Calendar, Drive etc, will be a thing of the past, being replaced by this grid icon: Google grid icon 

The grid icon appears in the top right hand corner of the page when you're using your Google Apps and once clicked it reveals a menu of your other apps. The menu opens as shown, with the same apps as in the old black bar. As before, to access things like Blogger, YouTube and Translate you can click on the 'More' button and if you still don't find what you want, then there is an 'Even more' button. 

You can access Google Mail, Google Calendar and Google Drive directly from the My Services tab in MUSE as always.