Your staff computer account is one of the most important pieces of information required for your studies, enabling access to all valuable library and teaching materials.   Therefore your computer account should be treated with importance:

  • Your password lasts for 365 days.
  • If you attempt to log into your PC incorrectly 3 times, you will be locked out for 15 mins, in which time you can try again.
  • DO NOT give out your network password or username to anyone
  • DO NOT reply to any emails asking for your username and password
  • DO NOT stay logged in on any unattended computers or printers
  • DO use a strong password, combining numbers, letters and characters
  • Use your mobile device with your university account? Read our advice on security measures.
  • Read our advice on how to avoid getting infected with viruses and malware.

Installing Software

University of Stirling desktop PCs will not enable you to install software using your computer account.  This security is in place in order to avoid malicious software and malware installing itself 'silently' whilst you work, which could then disrupt not only your PC but the network as a whole.   If you wish to install any software, you must use a 1-hour local admin account:

  1. Go to Start>Control Panel>Run Advertised Programs
  2. Select 'Create Local Admin Account' and click 'Run'
  3. After approx 10 seconds, a box will appear informing you of the temporary username and password. Write this down, it is case sensitive.
  4. Log out of your PC
  5. Log in with your temporary username and password.  Please note, that in order to log in locally, you need to enter '.\tempusername' (full stop, backslash, temporary username), rather than just the temporary username.
  6. You will be required to change the password on your first log in.
  7. You can then install any required software.

Protecting your data

Mobile Computing Data Encryption

Information Services has identified two solutions below that would be of benefit to mobile computer users who have a general need to ensure the security of sensitive or confidential data. There is an additional section below dealing with other agencies that may have prerequisite conditions for secure data exchange.

Flash Drives

The first is a portable USB Flash Drive which has both a public and encrypted partition. The Kingston DataTraveler Vault Privacy has been evaluated on a PC platform with both Windows XP & Vista as a Standard User.

When using on your laptop or desktop PC and autorun is enabled for external devices, the Data Vault software runs automatically and asks for the encryption password to use. Once the password has been entered the device is formatted and is ready for use. The encrypted partition appears as a separate CD-ROM drive.

On XP a reboot is asked for after installation.

Should autorun not be enabled you will have to navigate to the removable disc and run the executable manually.

You should be aware that if you forget the encryption password then you will not be able to access the encrypted data on the drive, therefore you should ensure that you backup all data to a secure network location.

Information Services can assist with restoring the device to its original as shipped condition in the event of password loss.

These devices are significantly more expensive than standard USB Flash Drives of equivalent capacity and the Kingston device is more expensive than many unbranded products.

Encryption Software for Windows Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux

Secondly, you may wish to encrypt some or all of the data on your laptop.


Exchanging Data with other Agencies

Some colleagues may have to exchange data securely with other agencies and there may be procedures stipulated by those agencies.

You should establish if there are prerequisites for exchanging data with other agencies and if necessary contact the information Centre should you require guidance with the solutions required.

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