Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Web Drop-in Sessions

The next Web Drop-In session is on Thursday 28th of August and it's the last chance to speak to CiCS staff before the students return and it all gets ultra busy again.

The session will run  for approximately an hour from 11:45am to 12:45 pm. in the Hawley Room, CiCS, on Brunswick Street.

If you've got any questions about:

* cPanel
* Google Sites
* analytics
* anything else web-related

please come along and we'll do our best to help.

There's no need to book - just turn up on the day (although you will need to sign into the building).

We won't be able to train new users during the drop-in sessions, however there are training sessions planned for September and October in the Computing Centre on Hounsfield Road. Go to the web page at for more information and how to enrol.

We look forward to seeing you at the drop-in session or at one of the training sessions. 

Friday, 22 August 2014

McAfee Site Licence Expires Sept 25

The University site licence for McAfee antivirus protection is due to expire on Sep 25 2014 and will not be renewed.

CiCS will continue to look after virus protection on Managed 'University Desktop' computers but if you use a non-managed PC or Mac you must ensure that you do not have a copy of the University 'Enterprise' version of McAfee installed to ensure that McAfee's licensing is not violated.  

First you need to check whether you have the University 'Enterprise' installation of McAfee. Right-click the McAfee Shield on the taskbar. If you have the University Enterprise edition when you left click on About VirusScan Enterprise™ it will say:

ver 8.x

If this is the case you must remove McAfee then take the following action as appropriate:
  • Windows 7 PCs on campus should be upgraded to Microsoft Forefront
  • Personal Windows 7 PCs at home should be upgraded to Microsoft Security Essentials
  • Windows 8 and 8.1 has Windows Defender built in so there is no need to install any extra antivirus

Home PCs running your own personally licensed version of McAfee will not need to be changed.


First you need to check whether you have the University 'Enterprise' installation of McAfee. Right click on the McAfee Shield on the dock, left click on ‘About McAfee Endpoint Protection for Mac’ will say

McAfee Endpoint Protection for Mac Version x.x.x RTW (xxxx)

If this is the case, whether on Campus or at home, you must remove McAfee and replace it with Sophos. You should install the correct version of Sophos from 


Alternative antivirus software installers are available from

and are available from on campus and via VPN from off campus.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

External Calls Busy During Clearing

As many of you will already be aware, on Thursday 14th August this years A Level results will be released by UCAS.  In addition to this, the University Admissions service will begin the 
Clearing process.  During this time, and especially on the first day of Clearing, the University receives a very high volume of external calls from potential students which can saturate the main incoming lines in to the University.  As a result of this any incoming or outgoing calls from the University may receive a busy tone, typically during the peak hours of 09:00 - 11:30 on Thursday.  

We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.  The Clearing process is of great importance to the University and so we ask for your patience during this short period and, where possible, that you avoid making external calls from your University extension.  No issues should be experienced in making calls to internal University extensions.

In addition to this, use of the the Universities centralised call recording facilitities will be limited on Thursday 14th and Friday 15th August

Monday, 11 August 2014

Passwords: Now Stronger, Longer (and More Absorbent?)

It is now possible to create University passwords up to 30 characters in length and for the first time they can include mixed case letters as well as numbers and a few special characters. In addition the minimum length of new passwords has increased from 6 to 8 characters.

This means you can now have passwords like:

  • IHaveASmellyDogCalledEric
  • GetTeenageKicksRightThroughTheNight-ALRIGHT
  • Pa55w0rd

The final one illustrates that although we have made it easy for you to choose a very secure password it is still perfectly possible to choose a poor password. Ultimately, the security of your data depends on the strength of password you choose and the diligence with which you protect it.

You can continue using your current password if you like, but we strongly advise you to choose a stronger password. To do this go to the Computer User Account Management link in the My services menu in MUSE. You will be able to choose a stronger password and it must have at least 8 characters.

However, even the strongest password is useless unless you protect it as follows:

  • Never write your password down
  • Never share your password with a colleague or friend
  • Never write your password in an email
  • Never use your University password on an external site such as Amazon, Ebay, Facebook or your bank
  • Never log into a website by clicking a link in an email or other electronic message

Even when University passwords were limited to 8 characters they were perfectly safe unless someone chose an obvious dictionary word. The most common cause of security breaches was when someone deliberately or inadvertently shared their password.

However, there was a perception by some people that our short passwords were fundamentally insecure. We hope that by re-engineering our systems to allow longer passwords we have allayed these fears. At the very least we have made it very easy to create very secure passwords. The rest is up to you.