IT Services
Training Tips

Training tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the wide array of useful technologies and services available at the University of Chicago. Check out IT Services on Twitter every Tuesday for the latest #TrainingTipTuesday.


Training Tip: Take a Shortcut in Office

Keyboard shortcuts can help you accomplish routine tasks more efficiently. For users with mobility or vision disabilities, keyboard shortcuts can be easier than using a touchscreen and are an essential alternative to using a mouse.

Microsoft has compiled a list of Windows keyboard shortcuts for many of the popular Office applications. For Mac users, there are also keyboard shortcuts available for Microsoft Excel, Outlook, and Word.

Training Tip: Create Safe and Trustworthy Emails

When sending emails, it is important to ensure the recipient views your message as safe and legitimate, so they will read the contents and take action as needed.

There are some best practices you can follow to make sure your emails don’t appear to be phishing. These include:

  • The subject line should accurately and clearly describe the contents of the email. Readers should not have to guess or feel suspicious of the intent of your email after reading the subject line.
  • Phishers often include attachments in their email that can harm readers in various ways. Avoid sending attachments unless your recipient is expecting them. Include a clear explanation for the email and attachments in the body of the email.

For more guidance on drafting safe emails, visit the Knowledge Base article.

Training Tip: IT Services Is Here to Help

Whether your computer needs a checkup, you need help installing or updating software, or you’re seeking advice on the best secure file sharing solution, IT Services is here to help with these and many more technology issues.

You can contact IT Services the following ways:

  • Online – Submit a ticket, and the University’s IT Service Desk will follow up shortly.
  • By phone – Call 773.702.5800 (2-5800 from a University phone) to get directly connected to the IT Service Desk.
  • In person – Visit the TechBar in the Joseph Regenstein Library for convenient walk-up technology support. You can also visit the Polsky Exchange TechBar, part of the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, located on 53rd Street.

This technology support is available to all UChicago faculty, students, and staff.

Training Tip: Don’t Get Fooled by Phishing

A phishing scam is a legitimate-looking email that appears to come from a well-known and trustworthy organization or website but is really an attempt to gather personal and financial information from a recipient.

This April Fools Day, avoid getting hooked by a phishing attempt by following a few precautions:

  • Be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for personal information.
  • Never share passwords, personal information, or financial information over email.
  • Don’t trust offers that seem too good to be true.
  • Do not click links in email messages if you suspect the message might not be authentic or if you don’t know the sender.

If you would like to report a phishing attempt or you have questions about the validity of an email you have received, please contact Be sure to include the full email header, which contains important information for IT security.

Training Tip: Get to Know Your Computer

There are several pieces of information that are helpful to keep on hand if you are making changes or need assistance with your computer.

Knowing your computer’s operating system is important so you’re able to identify what software is supported, select the correct software version to install, and complete the latest security updates. Find your operating system on Windows or Mac.

To address network connectivity issues, you will often need to find your computer’s physical address or master access control (MAC) address. The MAC address is your computer’s unique hardware number in the network. Look up your MAC address.

Training Tip: Simplify Teamwork with Box

The University of Chicago has partnered with Box to deliver file sharing services to all faculty, staff, and students. Box is a cloud-based storage service that provides unlimited free, online space for storing or sharing files.

For Box users, it is easy to collaborate with others by sending them an invitation to access your Box folder. View instructions on how to invite collaborators.

If you want to share a Box folder with a larger group of people, you can create a shared link. This allows you to quickly pass on a link to content stored in Box with your colleagues or classmates at UChicago and to collaborators outside the institution. You can adjust the shared link permissions and even set an expiration date. Get more information about Box shared links.

If you would like to create a departmental folder that you can manage but will remain with the University if you or other owners depart, submit a request to IT Services.

Training Tip: Travel Safely this Spring Break

Whether you are traveling around the U.S. or abroad for spring break, there are some tech tips you can apply to your mobile devices to ensure you have a safe and stress-free trip.

Before heading out, back up any local files stored on your devices, and password-protect or remove files that contain personal information. For laptops, check that your antivirus software is installed and up-to-date and that your computer requires a password to log in.

Once you’re on your trip, be mindful of the websites you are accessing while using “free” wireless networks. If you need to access important data, consider using the UChicago VPN or secure cloud services like UChicago Box or Google Drive.

Discover more tips for traveling.

Training Tip: Create Strong Passwords

Passwords are used to access many online services, both at the University of Chicago and for personal banking, e-commerce, social networking, and beyond. Creating a strong password is your first line of defense against anyone trying to gain access to your private information.

The guidelines for a secure University password is one that contains at least 12 characters and combines letters, numbers, and symbols. Alternately, you can choose a passphrase, which contains at least 19 characters in length, including punctuation and spaces between words or letters. These University password guidelines also provide best practices to follow when creating a password for any website login.

Get more detailed tips about creating strong passwords and keeping your passwords secure.

Training Tip: Get Outlook on your Mobile Device

For everyone using Microsoft Office 365, a group of cloud-based applications, the Outlook mobile app makes it easy for you to access your UChicago email account. Send and receive email, attach files, and schedule meetings all from your mobile device. The Outlook mobile app functions similarly to the desktop version, but is designed to work seamlessly with touch screen.

The app is available on Android and iOS and only takes a few minutes to configure. To set it up using your O365 account, view instructions for Android or iOS.

Explore the Office 365 project website for more tips on using Outlook.

Training Tip: Stay Connected with Flexible Phone Features

Do you love staying connected on the go? The University of Chicago’s phones offer many functions beyond those of a traditional phone. With most University phones, you can use the single number reach feature to answer incoming calls to your UChicago extension simultaneously on your desk phone and a remote destination, such as a mobile phone. This is great for those who occasionally work at home and simplifies life by giving callers one number to reach you.

You can manage the alternate numbers you want to use with single number reach; select the days and times you want to receive calls at your alternate numbers; and set custom settings for specific incoming phone numbers. For details, view the single number reach instructions.