Managing Your Documents: Working From Your Office Desktop Computer

You can keep your documents secure and accessible when your office computer is connected to the SAS file servers.

 This page is part of a series intended to help you work productively in a variety of situations.


  1. On Windows desktops, use the U: and S: drives
    Most Windows desktop computers managed by SAS Computing include a U: drive for your own documents and an S: drive for shared documents. When you use these drives, your documents are stored on the SAS file servers.   Accessing documents through these drives is fast and easy.  If you don't have a U: or S: drive on you computers, check with your LSP or follow these step-by-step instructions.
  2. On Mac desktops, use shortcuts to network drives
    Mac computers can also connect to the SAS file servers, but the process is a little different.  Ask your LSP to help you create shortcuts to the file server, or do it yourself using these step-by-step instructions.  Once that's set up, you be able to easily use the SAS file servers.
  3. Backup very large volumes of data to an external disc
    SAS files servers provide enough storage to accommodate the needs of most faculty and staff.  If your work involves very large amounts of data (e.g. audio or video files, large image collections, or big data sets), you may need to backup some of your work to a separate disc attached directly to your computer.  Check with your LSP to determine how best to backup large volumes of data.
  4. Configure your office computer for Remote Desktop
    Most Windows computers can be configured to support Remote Desktop connections.  With Remote Desktop enabled, you can operate your computer from home, from a laptop, or even from a Mac.  Check with your LSP for help enabling Windows Remote Desktop, or for suggesting on how to make remote connections to a Mac desktop.  Remote Desktop may not be a viable solution on computers shared by multiple users.
  5. Never store documents that include Social Security Numbers (SSNs)
    Penn has very clear policies about use and storage of SSNs.  If your job requires access to documents with SSNs, check with your supervisor or LSP about appropriate procedures. Use Identity Finder to periodically scan your computer for SSNs or other sensitive information such as credit card numbers or passwords.
  6. Use a strong password
    Most Windows computers require the use of strong passwords by default.  Mac users should set a password of at least 8 characters, and include special characters  (e.g. $, %, &, etc.).  See SAS Computings guidelines for Selecting a Good Password
  7. Enable a password-protected screen saver
    Have the screen saver engage after short periods of inactivity.  10 minutes is a good rule of thumb.
  8. Disable unused accounts
    Many Windows computers include a Guest account by default.  Most users should disable this or any other accounts that are not actively being used.  Check with your LSP for help.

Office desktop computers are typically:

  • Located on campus
  • Connected to a wired, high-speed PennNet port
  • Provided and managed by SAS Computing
  • Assigned to a single user; occasionally multiple users will share a dekstop computer