Tips and tricks for everyday solutions
File extensions are one or several letters at the end of a file name. They usually follow a period (dot) and indicate the type of information stored in the file. The file extension is useful for knowing what type of file you are dealing with and what programs are needed to access that file. The most universally recognized is probably .doc. But what if you have one that you don’t recognize?
Sometimes you need to know the type of file that you are working with so that you can open or convert it properly. Here is a list of the most common file extensions that you will see in the Division of Student Affairs. If you would like to know more, or the file you are using is not listed here, try this website:
.exe Executable file that runs a program
.html HyperText Markup Language – the code used to write web sites
.pdf Adobe Acrobat Reader Portable Document Format
.doc Microsoft Word document
.xls Microsoft Excel spreadsheet file
.gif Graphical Interchange Format, the most common graphics format found on the Internet
.txt Plain text file – very easily opened by many programs but no frills
.wav Windows WAVE format sound file
Files may be saved into "My Documents" on your computer (C: drive), which is accessible only from that particular PC (cannot access from home or while traveling unless you have a laptop that you take with you). Files in this location are not stored "in Word" or "in Excel" but all together in a single location but you may have settings enabled to only show you files of a type compatible with the program you have open (when in Word and you want to open a document, your My Documents may only show you Word documents instead of all documents).
You have a personal folder on the network, which you access through the H: drive on your computer. Your folder is labeled with your BU userid (and only your userid can access it) and this is where you should save or at least backup your files to guarantee their protection. Files stored on the servers are backed up nightly, meaning they can be retrieved even in the event of a major computer crash, whereas files stored on your office computer (C: drive) may be lost or damaged should your computer fail. Note: In the event of a network failure, this drive will be unavailable.
Follow the instructions below to find your H: drive:
Double click the My Computer icon on your desktop The My Computer window will open.
Double click the H: drive, labeled 'userid$ on firestone (H:).' The H: drive window will open and you may create folders and files there just as you would on your computer.
You also have a shared folder(s) on the network, which you access through the S: drive (or another letter drive) on your computer. The folder will be labeled with the department name (and only members of your department can access it) and this is where you can save files to be shared with other members of your department who may need access to them. Files stored here on the servers are also backed up nightly. Note: In the event of a network failure, this drive will be unavailable.
Follow the instructions below to find your S: drive:
Double click the My Computer icon on your desktop The My Computer window will open.
Double click the S: drive, labeled 'department_name on Firestone (S:).' The S: drive window will open and you may create folders and files there just as you would on your computer. Anything saved here can be accessed by anyone also given permission to the folder.
Most listservs on campus are, by default, set to have replies to a listserv message sent back to the entire list. If you manage a listserv and it is more appropriate to have replies sent to the sender, you may configure the reply-to accordingly. If you occasionally would like replies sent back to the sender, you may use your options in Outlook to change where replies are sent (from your new message window, View>Options>Have Replies Sent To.
Use this link to manage your listserv properties: http://listserv.binghamton.edu/
Do not include SSN or other identifiers on any files that are placed on the web
Do not use the web to share sensitive information with others on or off campus. Even if such pages are not accessible by a public link, the information is still out in cyberspace for public viewing (and can be found using a search engine).
Make sure that data on servers not directly supported by Computing Services have security measures in place (no anonymous access, no wide open share access). If you have your own server containing sensitive data, contact Computing Services to be sure the appropriate security measures are in place.
All computers not for public use should be password protected at logon, have the most current windows updates and antivirus software.
All computers for public use should be clear of sensitive data files. If you have files that you wouldn't want others to have access to, don't make them available on public PCs.
Email and files that you have on your department or personal drives (S & H drives respectively) are protected by Computing Services' security measures. This is the preferred data storage place.
Do not write your password on a post-it left on your computer or monitor.
Be careful with your email address
It is never a good idea to give your email address to strangers, but most of us do it several times a day. Every time you enter an online contest or go to a website that requires you to register you are effectively advertising your email address. Before entering your address or any other personal information, think about the reason you are doing so. Is there a specific purpose or a return investment for you or are you just giving someone the tool to annoy you with advertisements about things you have no wish to view or purchase? Even if the original reason seems sound, will that person sell your address to a spammer?
Don't forget your Binghamton email address is for Binghamton purposes only. Keep your personal correspondence and subscriptions separate. If you do not have a home computer, set up a free email account through Yahoo or Hotmail and have your friends and merchants email you there. It will help your productivity as well if you're not having to sort through a lot of personal email during work hours.
Don’t forward email addresses
If you friend or relative sends you the funniest joke or the best picture and you just have to forward it on – please do not forward all the email addresses with it. An original message may start out being sent to five people and the next person forwards it on to 5 more. By the time the tenth person (an evil spammer) gets the message, it is five pages and the first four pages contain everyone who was sent the email. This can be upwards of 100 addresses, including yours. After hitting the forward key and addressing your message, please go in and “trim” your message so that no other information remains except the one page joke you want to sent.
Bonus tip: Before hitting the send key, make sure your email is properly addressed.
Don’t click "unsubscribe"
When you get a spam email, your first instinct is to open the message and look for way to unsubscribe. This seems logical, but it actually confirms that the spammer has a valid address and it will encourage him to send more. Hit spam from the front end and make sure your junk mail filter is turned on and mark anything not caught as junk as well. It may take a little extra work up front – but the results are worth it.
Routine File Maintenance
ITS recommends running Spybot Search and Destroy and AdAware weekly to catch a significant number of pop-ups, spyware, malware and other nuisances that can cause problems.
You have access to your email, calendar, shared drives, Oracle and other accounts remotely from anywhere you have access to a computer with an active web browser. You should always be cautious when using any technology that transmits information to or from other parties and locations, however. When using a public computer, you should take the necessary precautions of closing the web browser, and any additional browser windows that remain open when you are finished as well as clearing the history and cookies.
Use this single sign on to have access to the items above: http://ssl.binghamton.edu
There are a lot of great resources out there which can make your life easier if you know they're out there. Here is a list of websites that might help you get the information you need personally and professionally.
US Postal System look up zip codes and addresses
Network Associates creator of McAfee Virus scan – contains virus library and useful protection information
Microsoft Office premade templates to download and use
American Universities lists links to home pages for many universities
MapQuest driving directions and maps for almost any locations
Merriam Webster online contains dictionary, thesaurus, and more
Online, searchable thesaurus, encyclopedia, quotations, and literature