BOROUGH OF WEST CHESTER Information Technology Training Session 8 – February 21, 2013• THE LONG HISTORY OF EMAIL• EMAIL ETIQUETTE• EMAIL – ARCHIVING, DISCOVERY & OWNERSHIP• SMARTPHONES SECURITY• F I L E & F O L D E R O R G A N I Z AT I O N• W I N D O W S U P D AT E• GETTING TO KNOW PDF DOCUMENTS• W H AT S U P W I T H J AVA A N Y W AY ?• W H AT ’ S N E W I N T E C H ?• QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS William Mann, Chief Information Officer
EMAIL has become a very important part of the way we all communicate, bothat work and home. I think this cartoon sums it up accurately… with humor. For those under 20, it is probably very hard to remember a time when email was not there for communication.
What came first, email or the internet?You may be surprised to learn that EMAIL is much older then the internet. Infact Ray Tomlinson is credited for inventing email way back in 1972. That’sright, 1972. That makes email 41 years old.Tomlinson worked for Bolt Beranek and Newman as a contractor. He pickedthe @ symbol from the computer keyboard to denote sending messages fromone computer to another.By 1974 there were hundreds of military users of email.Meanwhile it took until 1992 when the “world wide web” grew to 26 sites. Yes26 sites. 1993 brought the internet that we know of today although it was muchsmaller, slower and no graphics (GUI) to speak of. Between 1994 and 2000the internet grew by leaps and bounds. Search engines like Google made theirfirst appearance in the mid 1990’s.The internet continues to grow and in fact the original internet protocol (IPv4)is rapidly running out of space and new IP addresses are now being assignedto a new protocol (IPv6). We will lean more about this during our next trainingclass.
But why, in 1974 did Ray Tomlison take the time to inventEmail? I love this. Tomlinson was inspired to invent EMAIL because he was tired of colleagues who did not answer their phone!
EMAIL ETIQUETTE Here are some detailed suggestions for professional email etiquette. • Be informal, not sloppy. Your colleagues may use commonly accepted abbreviations in e-mail, but when communicating with external contacts, everyone should follow standard writing protocol. Your e-mail message reflects you and the borough. Traditional spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules should be applied. • Keep messages brief and to the point. • Use sentence case. USING ALL CAPITAL LETTERS LOOKS AS IF YOURE SHOUTING. Using all lowercase letters looks lazy.
EMAIL ETIQUETTE• Use the blind copy and courtesy copy appropriately. Dont use BCC to keep others from seeing who you copied; it shows confidence when you directly CC anyone receiving a copy. Do use BCC, however, when sending to a large distribution list, so recipients wont have to see a huge list of names. Copy only people who are directly involved.• Dont use e-mail as an excuse to avoid personal contact. Dont forget the value of face-to-face or even voice-to-voice communication. Dont use e-mail to avoid an uncomfortable situation.
EMAIL ETIQUETTE• Remember that e-mail isnt private. E-mail is considered borough property and can be retrieved, examined, and used in a court of law. Also remember that e-mail can be forwarded, so unintended audiences may see what youve written. You might also inadvertently send something to the wrong party, so always keep the content professional to avoid embarrassment.• Be sparing with group e-mail. Send group e-mail only when its useful to every recipient. Use the "reply all" button only when compiling results requiring collective input and only if you have something to add.
EMAIL ETIQUETTE• Use the subject field to indicate content and purpose. Dont just say, "Hi!" or "From Bill."• Dont send chain letters, virus warnings, or junk mail. Always check a reputable antivirus website or your CIO before sending out an alarm. If a constant stream of jokes from a friend annoys you, be honest and ask to be removed from the list.• Direct personal e-mail to your home e-mail account.• Remember that your tone cant be heard in e-mail. Have you ever been misunderstood in an email message?
EMAIL ETIQUETTE• Use a signature that includes contact information. To ensure that people know who you are, include a signature that has your contact information, including your mailing address and phone numbers.• Summarize long discussions. Scrolling through pages of replies to understand a discussion is annoying. Instead of continuing to forward a message string, take a minute to summarize it for your reader. You could even highlight or quote the relevant passage, then include your response.
EMAIL ETIQUETTE – MY VERY OWN BASIC RULES Ask yourself these 2 questions before sending an email. 1. Would you actually say what is contained in your email “face to face” with the recipient? 2. Would you be embarrassed if a third party read your email?If you answer “no” to #1 or “yes” to #2, re-evaluate the email message. Never send email when you are feeling negative or angry emotions! Once you hit send – there is no going back.
EMAIL – ARCHIVING, DISCOVERY & OWNERSHIPIt is important for all employees to be aware of these rules and regulationsgoverning email.1. The Borough of West Chester owns all email using the west-chester.com domain.2. All Borough of West Chester email is archived by Microsoft and stored at several locations offsite.3. All Borough of West Chester email is discoverable. This means that all email that is sent and received is discoverable and may be accessed by management or third parties requesting email as part of an investigation or litigation.4. If you use borough owned equipment to send and receive personal email this may be discoverable as well. IT Memo - 2012-16 (Corporate Email Compliance) IT Memo - 2012-18 (File Ownership)
SMARTPHONE SECURITYSmartphones today are really small powerful computersthat happen to able to make phone calls. Smartphonescan access documents and sensitive files.These facts should never be forgotten.One of the best ways to protect yourself (and your data)from falling into the wrong hands is to apply a PIN # toyour phone. All smartphones come with this ability.Sadly many of us do not take advantage of this simplybecause it takes “too much time” to enter the PIN #.You can usually enable your PIN # in the settings areaof your phone and even set the “time out” policy.Believe me. If you ever lose your phone this securitysetting will help you sleep! You can usually set the lock screen time frame from immediate to about 15 minutes.
GETTING YOUR FILES & FOLDERS ORGANIZEDThere are several ways in which you can get your digital life organized. Oneof the best ways to do this is to organize your documents into folders, justlike you do with physical documents.If you are starting from scratch…..First take a look at your files and try to write down (on paper) some groupsin which you would like to separate the files.Once this is done, simply create folders for each of these groups.Then, drag & drop the files into the new folders you created.Now start thinking about what you are going to do with all the time you aregoing to save because you will be able to find your documents so muchfaster! You can also organize your email in the very same manner as your computer files.
GET TO KNOW WINDOWS UPDATESecurity is really important these days. This concern should not only be atwork, but at home as well. In addition to having an updated anti-virussolution you need to make sure your computer’s operating system and it’sapplications are “up to date” as well. Microsoft updates their softwareregularly in order to deal with security threats & performance enhancements.The easiest way to check your computer is to:1. Open Microsoft Internet Explorer.2. Open Tools and select3. Windows Update. (From here you can check for & install updates).I recommend doing this at least once a month! You can also check for Windows updates from your control panel. You can also do directly to www.update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate
GETTING TO KNOW PDF DOCUMENTSEveryone has heard of and has used PDF documents. But do you know what PDFdocuments are and when they should be used?PDF is short for “Portable Document Format”. Adobe Systems is the creator ofthe PDF format. Adobe made the PDF format available free of charge in 1993.Adobe continued to control the PDF format as a proprietary format until 2008 whenit was released as an open standard.You can create PDF documents directly from Microsoft Word, Excel andPowerPoint, as well as many other applications. You can do this by simply selecting“Save As” and choosing “PDF” from the “Save as Type” option.PDF documents cannot be easily modified or changed. It’s because of this that Irecommend sending PDF documents as opposed to their original format(Word, Excel etc). Especially in cases where you want to maintain an unchangeddocument. Another great reason to send documents in the PDF format is that anyone can download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, preventing compatibility issues .
WHAT’S UP WITH JAVA ANYWAY?I am sure that recently many of you have heard about the JAVA security scares.In fact I have written about this ongoing problem more then once on ourtechnology blog.First things First. What is JAVA anyway?Java has become a very popular programming language for computerprogrammers. Programmers like java because it is designed to require as fewimplantation dependencies as possible. The less dependencies required, thehappier the computer programmer is.Java is also very old, at least in computer years. Java was originally developedby Sun MicroSystems in 1991 and released to the public in 1995.Fast forward to today where we find Oracle Corporation the current owner.Therefore you will often hear Oracle mentioned in the news when problems withJava are reported. Many stand alone applications rely on Java, not just websites. The recent security concerns revolve around how Java is running in the internet browser.
WHAT’S UP WITH JAVA ANYWAY?So What’s The Big Deal?The security issues with Java have been due to flaws in many recent versions.The application has become one of the most unsecure applications in use today.There have been 11 security patches issued during the past 18 months.These security issues can allow hackers and other computer creeps to accessyour computer and any valuable data in it. Or these security flaws can be used toturn your computer into a “spamming server”.Sadly solving the problem is not as simple as just deleting Java. Many popularwebsites as well as many stand alone applications that may be installed on yourcomputer rely on Java. So what to do….. Many applications rely on Java, not just websites. The recent security concerns revolve around how Java is running in your internet browser.
WHAT’S UP WITH JAVA ANYWAY?There a 3 ways to tackle this.1. Hope for the best and keep Java updated whenever prompted. The problemhere is that updates are made available after a security flaw has been found. Thisleaves you vulnerable until the security patch has been, written, madeavailable, downloaded and applied. That’s a bit risky if you ask me.2. Remove Java altogether. The problem here is that many reputable web pagesrely on Java, as well as many computer applications.The #3 option is my recommended solution so it get’s an entire slide all to itself! Many applications rely on Java, not just websites. The recent security concerns revolve around how Java is running in your internet browser.
WHAT’S UP WITH JAVA ANYWAY?3. Disable Java from running in your internet browser (only). Remember thatJava’s security flaws [when they appear] involve how it is interacting with the internetbrowser. Stand alone programs running Java are unaffected by the recent securityflaws.This can be easily done from the Control Panel where you can open the Javaapplication directly. Unchecking this box will prevent Java from running in your internet browser while leaving it active for any stand alone application installed on the computer.
WHAT’S NEW IN TECH?There is a lot to be excited about in 2013, especially if you are a tech enthusiast. Here are some ofmy predictions for the year:1. Move over IPAD here comes the Microsoft Surface Pro.2. Touch Screens. With Windows 8 our new computer screens will become input tools just as important as our mouse and keyboard.3. The differences between tablets and smartphones will start to get a little fuzzy starting in 2013. As smartphones continue to grow in size and some tablets shrink (IPAD Mini) it will eventually become harder to know which is which.4. Windows 8 Phones will continue to improve and by the end of 2013 these will become a real alternative for the professional on the move. With Microsoft Office, SharePoint, Lync and SkyDrive built in it will be hard for Microsoft to mess this one up.5. Cloud Services will continue to find success as consumers, businesses and governments continue moving to the sky.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS This is your big chance to ask any tech questions. Don’t be shy. Be sure to visit the technology blog at wctech.blogspot.com. Did you know you can register online so that new tech articles are sent to you right away?