Tech Tip: Microsoft Office and Mojave

Mac users who wish to update their computer to Mojave must be sure that all Microsoft Office software is updated. Some older versions of the software will not work on Mojave. More information can be found here 

To avoid issues like this altogether, update Office software regularly. You can update the software from any Office application. Instructions can be found here.

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Tech Tip: Introducing the Myer Gaming Room!

If you live in Myer, you’ve probably noticed that ITS has been hard at work doing something involving a wall of TVs. Now, that project is finally complete – and it’s a gaming room! There are four Xboxes for students to use. Adding personal accounts is easy, and more information can be found at this KB article. Additionally, you can also bring your own device. Check the laminated instructions in the room for more information. 

If you encounter any problems, DO NOT try to fix them yourself. Contact ITS at ext. 3333. Our office hours are Monday – Thursday 8:00 am – 9:00 pm, Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, and Saturday 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm. 

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Tech Tip: Reset Your Password Through Office365

The days of trouble resetting a forgotten password are over. You can now reset your password through Office365, using an alternate email or phone number.

You should enter a backup email or phone here to ensure continued access to your account, and the ability to reset your password without contacting the Help Desk.

If you ever forget your password or when it expires, click “Can’t access your account?” on the Microsoft sign-in page and select “Work or school account.” Follow the prompts to reset your password.

Click here for detailed instructions.

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Tech Tip: Password Rules Update

With the transition to Office365 as our mail server, the rules for password complexity have changed slightly. In addition to the previous rules, your new password cannot contain any of Microsoft’s banned words (common words like Fall, Password, or Office) or any of Microsoft’s banned substitutions (like “P@ssword”). The full rules read as following: 

  • 8 characters minimum 
  • Must contain 3 of the following 4 items:  
    • Uppercase letter 
    • Lowercase letter 
    • Number 
    • Special character like # 
  • Cannot be your username or email address 
  • Cannot be the same as your last ten passwords 
  • Cannot contain any of Microsoft’s banned words (common words like Fall, Password, or Office) 
  • Cannot contain any of Microsoft’s banned substitutions (like “P@ssword”)  

We suggest you use a pass phrase, which is a long phrase or sentence that is easy to remember and hard for others to figure out.

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Tech Tip: Outlook Rules

Is your inbox always cluttered with a lot of email that’s potentially useful, but hides the truly important email that you’re looking for? Try creating a rule in Outlook. ITS’s newest Knowledgebase article details just how to do that. Maximize your productivity by filtering your mail to stay organized and up-to-date, and never lose an important email again.  

Click here to find out how.

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Tech Tip: Stop Programs Running at Startup

One reason that your computer may be running slowly may be too many programs set to run at startup. Here’s how to disable those programs to clean and speed up your computer. 

On Windows, right-click the windows icon and select Task Manager. Click the Startup tab. Click unnecessary apps and select Disable. Windows will even tell you the level of impact that specific apps have. 

For Macs, navigate to Apple menu > System Preferences > Users & Groups. Choose your user account and click Login Items. To disable a program, click on the title and select the minus icon. 

Adapted from https://support.apple.com/kb/PH25590?locale=en_US and https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4026268/windows-change-startup-apps-in-windows-10.

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Posted in Computer Tips, Home Page Tagged with: , , , ,

Tech Tip: Have You Been Pwned?

Companies are being hacked and losing encrypted information every day, even if it only makes the news occasionally. Want to know if your information has been part of a breach? Haveibeenpwned.com is here to help. Enter your email into their search bar, and they’ll search their database of over 5 billion “pwned” accounts and let you know if your data was part of a breach. 

What happens if you find your email on the list? You’ll want to immediately change your password on the hacked account and any other accounts that you used the same password for. Try a password manager to generate a secure and unique password for each account. ITS recommends Password Safe, LastPass, or Dashlane. If the account contained any sensitive information, contact the parties responsible for that information and alert them to potential identity theft attempts.

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Posted in Digital Citizenship, Home Page, Web Tips Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Keep Your Home Secured

We lock our doors and have alarm systems to prevent break-ins in our homes. So why don’t we extend the same precautions for our online safety? In this interconnected world, someone gaining access to your home wifi could be catastrophic. Anyone with access to your home wifi can theoretically see any passwords or other sensitive information that you enter. This is especially relevant when dealing with home wifi since this is where most people do important tasks like paying bills or filling out other important paperwork. 

One way that people look for vulnerable home networks is called wardriving. This is when people drive around neighborhoods and search for networks that might be easy to break into. Software for doing this is readily available online. Additionally, there are no laws surrounding this technique, so hackers can perform it without legal consequences.  

To help secure your home network, it’s a good idea to change your router password from the default. The same rules apply to this password as all other passwords, and ITS recommends using a passphrase (like Ilovesummer!) and avoiding obvious words like the name of your dog. Click on your provider’s name for instructions on how to change the router password: Verizon, Comcast. 

Additionally, make sure you replace your router every four or five years. This not only helps ensure that the security protocols are up-to-date but also keeps your home network from slowing down as the router ages. 

Protect your home from physical break-ins as well as online ones.

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Tech Tip: Personal Information on Search Sites

The amount of personal information that’s just a Google away is pretty scary. With just a name and area code, or a phone number, you can find out addresses, family members, and even criminal records on sites like Whitepages and Spokeo. Fortunately, these sites are required by federal law to remove listings if contacted. Most sites do have a process for removing your information, usually found at the bottom of the page. If not, emailing the site will also necessitate removal of your information. 

For information about processes specific to certain sites, click here.

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Posted in Digital Citizenship, Home Page, Web Tips Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Social Engineering

We often think of hackers hunched over a computer, typing out code furiously to hack into the mainframe. But what about hackers who don’t fit that stereotype? With just a little knowledge of human behavior, they can manipulate people into doing just what they want. You sabotage yourself, and you’re not even aware that you’re doing it.

Social engineers are a subgroup of hackers who focus on manipulating behavior. They may use a variety of seemingly innocuous techniques to get access to sensitive information. Here’s a couple of sample scams that you might see on social media.

Maybe you get a Facebook message from a family member that says “I’m traveling in [foreign country] and I lost my wallet! Could you send me some money?” While of course you’ll want to help a family member in need, check first with that person through a call or other means to see if they’re really in trouble. How likely is it that they would be contacting you via Facebook for help?

Or how about you get a message on social media that says “I found a video/picture of you on [popular news website]! Click here to view it.” People naturally are curious about this and want to see the picture or video of themselves. Check the sender to see if they’re someone that you know, and hover over the link to see if it leads to a reputable website.

What about those fun Facebook games that your friends are always sharing? The ones that photoshop your profile picture onto a baby to predict what your kids will look like or give you an ID card with information about your superhero powers? These seem pretty innocent, but do you really want these people to have access to the information you have on Facebook? In the interest of security, it’s best to avoid these all together. If you have allowed any of these games to access your information in the past, click here for instructions on how to remove them.

Ultimately, even if you’re conscientious online and don’t fall for any of these scams, you need to remember that everything posted online is essentially there forever. If you wouldn’t want it posted on a billboard next to your face by your mom’s house, don’t put it online at all.

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Tech Tip: The Scary Truth About Public Wifi

It’s a little burst of happiness when you find some public wifi at the airport or at the mall, especially if you’re running low on data. But this opportunity is often too good to be true. 

One of the problems that runs rampant on public wifi are rogue hotspots. Hackers can create a signal that intercepts your attempt to connect to the public wifi. This rogue hotspot looks just like the wifi that you’re trying to connect to, but hackers can see everything you do and potentially access sensitive information. 

Some public wifi may also be running outdated encryption protocols. In this case, it’s easy for hackers to access the entire network and see what everyone is doing who is connected. 

To stay safe on public wifi, be sure to never enter any sensitive information. If you’re just opening Google Maps, that’s no problem. But wait for bills and online purchases. 

 

Adapted from Norton.

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Don’t Feed the Phish

Phishing – a word that strikes fear in the heart of anyone concerned with cybersecurity. Which should be everyone. Once mainly an email-based attack, phishing has developed into smishing (phishing via text) and vishing (phishing via phone call). What are the tell-tale signs of a phishing attack?

 

Hover, don’t click.

The following text is an excerpt from an actual phishing message from last winter:

Notice: You have to appear in court on 18th January 2018. Copy of the Court Notice is attached to this email. Please click here and read it thoroughly.

Ignoring the grammatical mistakes in this email, one clear phishing trademark remains: the link. You should always hover your mouse over a link to see the url. On a mobile device, you can tap and hold on the link to view the url. Does it look legitimate? In this case, the link directed you to an earthlink.net address, which is not what the court system uses.

 

Who sent the message?

In the example above, the email was sent from an @philasd address – the Philadelphia school system. How likely is it that you would receive a notice to appear in court from someone in the Philly school system? Hint: not at all.

 

Verify identity.

In a similar vein, it’s wise to verify the identity of the sender. If you receive a text from your aunt asking to wire her money or a message from your boss telling you to transfer money to a bank, contact the person another way. Call them and make sure they really sent that message.

 

Watch out for passwords.

If someone is asking for a password or PIN number, be it via email, text, or phone call, do not give it to them. Your bank will never as for your PIN. ITS will never ask for your password. You may even get calls from people claiming to be the IRS. While these may seem especially scary, the IRS sends documents via mail. They do not call people.

 

Trust your gut.

Does the message that you got feel…wrong? Trust your instincts. Beware of scare tactics. If a message seems very frightening, it’s probably not real. Take a moment and review the available information. Does it feel “real?” If in doubt, you can contact the help desk at helpdesk@etown.edu or ex. 3333.

 

Remember to report any phishing messages using the Phishing Alert Button.

 

Adapted from Educause.

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Tech Tip: “But I Don’t Have Anything Worth Stealing!”

“But I don’t have anything worth stealing!” You’ve probably thought this to yourself before, reading ITS’ dire warnings about how to stay protected. You’re pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of things as far as hackers are concerned, right? There is a grain of truth to this. You’re probably not the CEO of a giant firm with millions on people’s confidential information at your fingertips. You’re just an average Joe with only your own information at stake, right? 

Over the summer, someone on the E-town network’s email was hacked, and a malicious link was sent out. When clicked, the webpage asked users to enter their email and password to continue. While the problem was quickly remedied, it’s an important reminder that you are not the only one who can be compromised. As part of a greater network (like E-town), there is a wide web of information that could be reached through one breach. 

As a member of E-town’s network, you are responsible for upholding proper digital citizenship and keeping not only yourself but others safe as well. 

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Tech Tip: Office 365 OneDrive

Most students are aware of the Microsoft Office package that’s available to students. But did you know that Office also has an online component, called Office 365? Think the constant backing up of your files that you get with Google Drive, but with Microsoft Office’s more refined features and universal accessibility for E-Town students. Log in to your school OneDrive using your E-town credentials, then choose the type of file that you would like to create. Office 365 is a suite of many online apps such as Word, Powerpoint, Excel, Forms (for online surveys), OneNote and Visio.  Files created with these apps can be stored online in your Elizabethtown College OneDrive, so they are accessible anywhere you have internet.

Files are easily shared and the same document can be edited at the same time on separate devices. The document is automatically saved each time a change is made. These files can be accessed anywhere on or off campus, including through Microsoft Office’s mobile apps.

For more information on using Office 365 OneDrive, check out our Knowledgebase articles.

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Tech Tip: Web Printing

ITS offers many services to students, including printing. Often, first years and even upperclassmen don’t know the full scope of the printing services that Etown offers. Many students email themselves files and print them out from a computer lab. While this is a perfectly viable option, web printing can be much faster! To web print, simply go to print.etown.edu and log in using your Etown username and password. You’ll see an option on the sidebar called “Web Print”. Once you click on that, click “Submit a Job”. It will ask you to choose an account to charge, but don’t worry! Etown offers every student 500 printed pages free per semester. From there, select and upload your file. Once it says that it’s held in a queue, you have 24 hours to print your document at any of Etown’s print stations.  

Print stations are housed in the following locations:  

  • Brossman Commons 2nd Floor – 24 Hour Lab across from the Marketplace 
  • Nicarry Hall – 1st Floor Hall, southeast corner 
  • High Library Main Floor – Circulation Area 
  • Masters Center – Mineral Gallery 
  • Royer 
  • Founders – Main Lobby 
  • Hackman Apartments North 
  • Schlosser Hall 
  • Schreiber Quads Commons 

At a print station, simply swipe your ID and you’ll be able to select and print your document from the printer’s monitor. Much quicker than logging into a computer and digging through your email to find your file.  

Visit ITS’s Knowledgebase article for more information on web printing. To print directly from your computer, check out our article on installing the Papercut driver 

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