Simple Things to Avoid A Computer Virus

On Friday May 12th, a massive cyber attack was launched and has affected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries worldwide.  The attack affects computers running Microsoft Windows operating systems, particularly the older variety such as Windows XP.  This Wikipedia article goes into more detail about the ransomware called WannaCry.  There is a screenshot available which you should review.

There are already measures in place to reduce the potential for a software like this to affect our internal network.  However, there are still a few good things to keep in mind.

  • Be extremely critical of links and attachments within emails (even the one in this email).  If you receive an email with a link or attachment, make absolutely sure you know who sent you the email in the first place.  Even if the display name (the sender’s name that you can see) is a person or company your trust, the underlying email address may be different.
  • If you need to take action based on a request in an email, navigate to the website directly.  As an example, instead of clicking the link above to the Wikipedia article, open your browser, start with a fresh Google search page, and search for the name of the virus directly.  The first or second result should be that Wikipedia article.
  • At any time if you are unsure of an email or website, please feel free to ask a member of our IT staff.

If you believe you have been affected by this virus (or any virus), unplug the network cable from the back of your workstation and come find me right away.

Locking a Workstation vs Logging Off

When you need to leave your desk, there are two options for securing your workstation.  1) Locking it, and 2) Logging Off.

Locking the computer simply locks access leaving your user session running and keeping files open.  A Log Off will completely disconnect your user session from the computer and server and close any open files.  There are advantages to both approaches.


You can lock your PC when you aren’t using it but don’t want to sign out.  This will keep you user’s session running and will leave any files open.

To lock your PC press the Win+L key combination.

Locking the workstation results in the next log in being super-fast.

Log Off

Logging Off your computer will completely disconnect your user’s session from the server and close any open files.

To Log Off press Start->Log Off.

When you want to use your computer again, logging in will force any changes pushed out by your network administration to propagate and execute.  This includes things like user and file permissions as well as network drive mappings.

Logging Off regularly may uncover other issues like slow logins or improper server configuration. This is a good thing!  If we see these kinds of symptoms it is usually indicative of a more systemic issue that should be resolved.

In Windows 8 and Windows 10 the Log Off function is now called Sign Out.

So, please feel free to leave your computers on, but please Log Off regularly.

Outlook Asks For My Password

Sometimes, Outlook 2007 briefly looses its connection with the back end Exchange 2010 server.  This happens despite a healthy network connection on the workstation.  If this occurs, there are two ways to get around the issue temporarily.

Enter your fully qualified domain username and password

In the password dialog that has so rudely interrupted your workflow, enter your fully qualified username and password into the fields provided.  A fully qualified username is one that also includes the domain name that the user is associated with.  For example, if my username is stupendous and my domain is marbles.local, the the fully qualified username is as follow.  Note the back slash.


Putting this into our context, my fully qualified username for the Heritage network is as follows.  Again, note the back slash.


Next, enter your Heritage account password into the password field.

It's also wise to check the Save Password checkbox so your updated credentials are cached by Outlook.

Then hit OK.

Close Outlook and reopen it

This is as straight forward as it sounds.  Just close Outlook and reopen it.  It will use cached credentials based on your most recent Windows login to re-authenticate with the Exchange server.

If that doesn’t work

In the event that neither of those things work, logging off and logging back into Windows will force all of your credentials to be re-cached.

The dropped connection is characterized by a message in the bottom right corner of Outlook.  It will say something like:

  • Password Needed, or
  • Offline with Microsoft Exchange.

A successful connection message will read:

  • Connected to Microsoft Exchange.
  • Online with Microsoft Exchange.

So, make note of the message that shows up in that location.

Outlook Web Access

Congratulations on joining the Heritage College and Seminary email community.

Logon to the Heritage College and Seminary email server from the following link using the credentials supplied.

If your email address is, then your username is 

Outlook Web Access
 Username: <your-heritage-username>
 Password: <your-heritage-password>

It would be smart to change your password when you login for the first time.  This can be done from the Options menu in the top right corner.  Click Options then Change Your Password... and follow the instructions.

Activate Heritage Email Account on a Smartphone

The Heritage email server is hosted on-site using Microsoft Exchange. Microsoft Exchange provides a number of advances features beyond basic email. Most of these features you will be familiar with such as Calendar and Contacts. But, Microsoft also includes a number of features for ‘free’.

By free, I mean that out of the box Microsoft Exchange provides a protocol (ActiveSync) that allows us to synchronize our communications data between different endpoints.  One of those endpoints is Microsoft Outlook.  Other endpoints can include a smartphone (such as an iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone device) or a web browser.

Below are the settings that your smartphone will need in order to activate your Heritage account.  It will give you Email, Contacts, and Calendar sync between the server and your phone (and Outlook, and the web access site).

  • Username: [your-full-Heritage-ID]
  • Password: [your-Heritage-ID-password]
  • Email Address: [your-Heritage-email-address]
  • Domain (if needed):
  • Mail Server Address (if needed):

Your Heritage account can also be accessed from a web browser using Outlook Web App from