Computing "Best Practices" for Faculty, Staff and Administration


This document is intended as a quick guide for Faculty, Staff and Administration to safe and effective use of your PC, the Dowling networks, and Dowling email. There is a considerable amount of additional information on our Intranet at the Technology @ Dowling link, which we encourage you to browse.

This guide is divided into three categories:

Passwords, Accounts, Access

  • If you are an employee of Dowling, you have a network and email account. Human Resources (x3020) alerts Administrative Information Services (x3445), who creates network, email and Banner accounts. Details are at acctmgmt.html. If you have trouble logging in please contact the Help Desk at x3445.
  • Network, email, Blackboard and BannerWeb passwords come from a single source (Novell eDirectory) and are always in-sync. When you change one, both are automatically changed. Banner forms server passwords are independent.
  • Your password expires every 6 months, in order to encourage you to change it, which helps to maintain good security. Choose a good, long password, not "dowling", "banner", someone's name or any dictionary word. For hints, see our good-passwords.html page.
  • NEVER share your account or password. YOU are responsible for all activity in your account!
  • We will NEVER ask you for your password. If anyone does, be suspicious.


  • We will always use your address. You should do the same when communicating with students, since we can never guarantee the privacy or even the success of off-campus delivery.
  • Use your Dowling email account only for Dowling business, to keep spam low.
  • Especially if you tend to sit at one PC, request the GroupWise Windows client for more power. (Help Desk, x3445, and Instructional Tech, x3157).
  • You can keep your mailbox size small if you set GroupWise to archive old mail. Normally we limit you to 200MB of stored email. This should be more than enough for most people, especially if you do some daily maintenance described below. If you approach the limit, GroupWise will warn you to cleanup and prevent you from sending email until you do. If you feel you need more space, please call the Help Desk to discuss.
  • Perform routine, regular email maintenance:
    • Schedule at least 5 minutes a day, depending on volume, to maintain your email.
    • Go through your Mailbox from the oldest to the newest messages, and decide which messages can be deleted.

File storage

We cannot emphasize this enough: there is no reliable way to backup data on your C: drive. We backup network-stored data nightly, so it makes sense to store ALL important, business-related data on the network. To conserve space, we also ask that you not store personal or non-essential files on the network.

The J: drive - your home directory on the network
  • Use your J: network home drive for data you can't afford to lose.
  • You can tell Microsoft Office applications like Word and Excel to store on J: automatically. Call the Help Desk for help with this.
  • Do not store non-essential files on J:. Move them to C: or burn them to a CD - the Help Desk can help you with this. What files are unnecessary?
    1. Files that you have not accessed in a long time, and don't expect to access any time soon. Depending on your business needs, this may be 3 months, 9 months, 15 months...we trust your judgment. Rarely should files more than about 2 years old be stored on the network. How can you tell when a file was last modified? Read this page.
    2. Program files, videos or music files, unless they are for College-related business. Store them on your C: drive if you must, or copy them to a CD. We may delete unauthorized music, video and program files from servers without notice. Please do not ask the Help Desk to assist you with files in this category.
  • Perform routine, regular file maintenance:
    • Schedule at least 15 minutes a week to maintain your files, depending on volume.
    • How to move critical data to J: and move non-critical to C:
      1. Create a My Documents directory in J:.
      2. Open My Computer and find J:\My Documents.
      3. Open the My Documents that you see on your desktop.
      4. With two windows open, move files you cannot live without from C:My Documents to J:My Documents. Move files that you have not accessed in months, or that don't belong, from J:My Documents to C:My Documents.
      5. Check the root of J: for non-critical files, and move them to C:
      6. Check elsewhere on C: for critical files, and move or copy them to J:
The K: drive - shared storage on the network
  • Use K: for critical data that is shared with others on the network.
  • Your department's shared directory under K: ends in "ALL", for example ACTALL or BUSALL. Only the members of your department can save and view files here.
  • Use caution when deleting files because, in this shared directory, others may be using them.
  • If you need to frequently share data among a group of people across several departments, call the Help Desk about setting up a private shared directory.
  • Use K:\TEMP for transient storage of files; for example, for moving files to other depts - move it in, move it out.
    • It's not private: EVERYONE who is logged in can see it. If you place sensitive info (student id's, etc.), phone the target person to coordinate deleting it as soon as it has been retrieved. DO NOT LEAVE sensitive data on K:\TEMP!
    • The K:\TEMP directory is automatically purged every Sunday.
  • Maintenance: for your department's K: drive, coordinate with the others in your department to delete unnecessary files on a weekly basis.

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