Chrome Extensions You’ll Love – Happy Valentine’s Day!

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to be a better student, procrastinate less, or be more organized then these Chrome Extensions are for you.

Distraction-free viewing

Mercury Reader (formerly Readability) allows you to focus more on the task at hand without all of the distractions. Many webpages, even academic ones, are filled with distractions like ads or recommendations. To avoid all of that, download the Mercury Reader extension. Whenever you find yourself on a distracting webpage, click the rocket ship in the toolbar to remove anything that doesn’t belong. This will leave you with the main content including videos, photos, or links in the article just minus the annoying ads.

Built-in break times

Everyone knows that the lure of Facebook, Netflix, and even Pinterest can turn an hour of studying into six hours of no studying. With Strict Workflow, you can block those distracting websites to force you to study. This chrome extensions acts like a temporary parental block on your chrome. The app reminds you to remain patient and stay on task until your break time. Then you can visit your distractions for a little while before going back to studying.

Study and procrastinate at the same time

With Memorize! you can create questions and answers, like flashcards to appear at preset intervals. Every five to fifteen minutes the extension will ask you a random question from your list. Get the question right, and you can go back to your browser. Answer wrong, and you will be given a single letter hint. Keep guessing until you answer it correctly to make the window disappear. At least until the next question.

Sticky notes galore

Do you always lose your planner? Do you have tons of sticky notes posted all over your desk? You should get Note Board, the electronic alternative to pen and paper to-do lists. With Note Board, you can create different boards and create tons of notes to keep yourself organized. You can even set reminders right in the extension.

Study smarter

Never be late turning in an assignment with My Study Life. This Chrome extension allows you to create and manage your schedule as well as all of your assignments and tasks. The app will remind you daily about upcoming due dates, classes, exams, and tasks. If you have trouble keeping track of everything and sticky notes aren’t working, try this and finally get organized.

And a dictionary

Who hasn’t wished for a dictionary when they were reading a particularly wordy article? With the Google Dictionary extension, you can click on any word to view a definition, synonym, or translation. This could revolutionize your research experience.

With these Chrome Extensions, this semester could go a lot smoother and help you keep that New Year’s Resolution. Make Chrome your Valentine this year and download one or all of these extensions.

 

Adapted from Karrar Haider and originally posted on Make Tech Easier.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Computer Tips, Digital Citizenship, Home Page, New Student Tips, Web Tips Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Tech Tip: Device Issues? Turn it off and back on again. Really.

When your computer acts up or apps stop responding or your Wi-Fi won’t connect, don’t panic.  The easiest thing to try and fix any technology device issue is to turn the device off and then back on again. No, really. This does work. Rebooting can fix a number of issues. Sometimes a device glitches such as the Wi-Fi not connecting, an application not acting right, or the computer simply acting slow. An easy fix is to turn the device off and back on again. This works for desktop computers, laptops, tablets, game consoles, and phones. Rebooting also helps with wireless routers at home too.

Rebooting resets the device and starts reading the code from the beginning. Like tired students, sometimes the computer just loses its place or something gets messed up like when you get one bubble off on the Scantron and nothing is right.

Next time your device is acting up, try restarting it before you start to panic. Close the application (like Firefox or Word) and open it again. If that doesn’t fix the problem, try turning the entire device off and turning it back on. If that doesn’t work, give us a call at the Helpdesk at x3333, email us at helpdesk@etown.edu, or stop by and let us take a look in Nicarry 125.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Computer Tips, Digital Citizenship, Home Page, Office 2016, Web Tips, Windows 10 Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Subscribe to us!

Do you enjoy reading our content? You should subscribe to the ITS Blog! We’ll send you one email weekly about the content that we posted that week. You can stay updated on what we post without having to wait for the Newsletter each month. Plus, you can read all of the awesome content that doesn’t get sent in the Newsletter. *GASP* You mean to say that not everything is included in the IT Matters Newsletter? YES! Don’t miss out on anything! Subscribe to the blog today!

Simply go to the ITS Blog, type your email address into the box, and click subscribe! Easy as 1,2,3.
subscribe to blog

We appreciate your time. For all of the hard work you just did, here’s a joke for you. If you didn’t subscribe, if this makes you laugh then you have to subscribe. It’s only fair.

A company owner was asked a question, “How do you motivate your employees to be so punctual?”
He smiled & replied, “It’s simple. I have 30 employees and 29 free parking spaces. One is paid parking.”

(http://www.ajokeaday.com/joke/office-jokes/punctuality-5myutxo4xe)

Happy Subscribing!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Digital Citizenship, Home Page, New Student Tips, Web Tips Tagged with: , , , , ,

PS4 Wi-Fi Broadcasting

Playstations can broadcast a Wi-Fi signal when they do not have an internet connection in order to play multiplayer online or Remote Play. Our network does not support broadcasted Wi-Fi signals. You must turn this function off when you are on campus. Game systems can connect to Guest Wi-Fi if their IP address is registered with ITS. Make sure you register your device with the registration form before attempting to connect to the Wi-Fi.

To turn off Remote Play and Wi-Fi Broadcasting, you have to uncheck Enable Remote Play so that it is disabled. This will stop broadcasting a Wi-Fi signal. For step-by-step instructions, visit the Knowledgebase article on Playstation 4.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Digital Citizenship, Home Page, New Student Tips, Web Tips Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

It’s Time to Change Your Password

Welcome back to campus! It’s that time of year again. Classes are starting and passwords need to be changed! It is best to change your password occasionally to maintain security for your account.

When you change your password, it must be at least 8 characters long and contain:

  • 1 uppercase letter
  • 1 lowercase letter
  • 1 number
  • 1 special character (!@#$ etc.)

By following these rules, your password will be stronger, and when all of the network passwords are strong then our entire network is safer.

You can change your password from the Outlook Web App (mail.etown.edu) by following these steps:

  1. Sign in.
  2. Click the gear in the top right hand corner.
  3. Select Options.
  4. Expand the General tab on the left.
  5. Select My account (it will be the first option).
  6. Click the Change your password link. It is located right above the Mailbox Usage in the bottom right.

For detailed instructions, visit our Knowledgebase article on Changing Your Network Password.

After you change your password, remember to update the password anywhere you might have it saved including in web browsers (although we do not recommend this practice).

You no longer need to update your password to connect to the Wi-Fi with your mobile devices. This now happens automatically when you reset your email password. Nice, huh?

If you have any questions, feel free to stop by the ITS Helpdesk in Nicarry 125. You can also email us at helpdesk@etown.edu or call us at x3333.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Computer Tips, Digital Citizenship, Home Page, Web Tips Tagged with: , , , ,

Recent Updates to Canvas – January 2017

There are several awesome enhancements to Canvas for the beginning of the Spring semester. Watch this short video to learn more.

https://www.screencast.com/t/gaFYBkYoZH

 

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Canvas, Home Page

Tech Tip: Office 365 for the Holidays

Screen Shot 2016-12-12 at 2.24.56 PM

Don’t forget, as a student as Elizabethtown College, you can download Microsoft Office products for free from ITS onto 5 different devices. With this download, you’ll have free access to Excel, Outlook, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Word. Follow the steps in our Knowledgebase for both Windows PC download and Mac downloads. You’ll start by going to https://portal.office.com/home. Happy holidays!

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Computer Tips, Digital Citizenship, Home Page, New Student Tips, Office 2016, Web Tips Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tech Tip: Out of Office Messages

Leaving your office for winter break requires some planning. It may not be quite as long as summer break, but you still may need to set your Out of Office Replies or change your Voicemail.

Out of Office Email Response

Setting your email to automatically reply is an easy place to start when preparing for a break. This notifies correspondents that you will not be responding to their email right away. It’s always a good idea to include when you will be returning as well.

Read this Knowledgebase article to learn how to set your Out of Office Email Reply.

Alternate Voicemail Greeting

Similar to out of office emails, setting your voicemail to let callers know you are away is a good idea. This is called an Alternate Voicemail Greeting. This must be set manually. Find out more with this Knowledgebase article on Alternate Voicemail Greetings.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Home Page, Office 2016, Phone Tips, Windows 10 Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Phishing for Links

Recently, E-town was the target of a major phishing scam. Many users failed to recognize the misleading link in the email. Links in emails can present problems in two major ways: they can be infected with malware that can damage your files, and they can be phishing attempts to gather your information for potential identity theft.

Corrupt and infected links can release malware that will automatically download onto the device as soon as you click the link. When malware is detected on the network, your account may be suspended. This can take some time to resolve. Don’t put yourself at that risk, and learn to spot these hazards.

phishing video front screen

A phishing link might also redirect to a page that asks for your username and password or other information. Giving account information to phishers could lead to identity theft. Phishers can use this information and put the entire E-town network at risk.

Never click on a link in an email. An in-text link, or hyperlink, is one that uses a word or phrase instead of showing the URL. For example, the link might say “Go to Google and search for cats wearing hats” with Google linked instead of displaying the URL.

A hyperlink could reroute you anywhere. To avoid any misunderstanding, copy the URL then paste it into the browser rather than just clicking on it. This allows you to see where it will go without following it yet. Phishing attempts can come from someone you do not know or from a contact in an email you were not expecting.

If you encounter a link anywhere and you aren’t sure where it goes, you can see the URL without actually following the link. In most browsers, you are able to you hover over the link with your mouse to see the actual path for the link, not just the in-text parts.

hover

Hover, don’t click.

If that doesn’t work, you can right click on the linked word or phrase and copy the link into a Word document to examine it more closely.  How you copy the link may vary based on the program or web browser you are using. For example, in Microsoft Office Word, you might click “Copy Link” or “Copy link location” depending on the version of the application you are using.

Cats in hats2

Example of options window on an iPhone.

If you are using a phone or mobile device, you can tap and hold on a link until an options window appears. The link will appear at the top of that options window where you can confirm the destination of that link.

Before you follow a link, examine it VERY carefully. Is the whole address, especially the extension at the end, correct? Perhaps you thought it would go to “etown.edu” but really it says that it will go to “etown.edu.co.” That is not the same place, and that is a pretty common sign of a phishing scam. If it is going where it said it is, then you are safe to paste that URL into your web browser and follow the link. If it goes somewhere else, do NOT open the link. It might be a phishing scam. Forward that email to mailcop@etown.edu.

Be cautious on the web and always be on the lookout for phishing scams. For more tips on spotting phishing scams, check out our Phishing Scams are Getting Smarter article.

As always, if you think you have received a phishing email, forward it to mailcop@etown.edu. If you have or think you have been the victim of a phishing attempt, call the ITS Helpdesk immediately at X3333 and change your password.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Computer Tips, Digital Citizenship, Home Page, Web Tips Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

Tech Tip: Adobe Accessibility

Why make Accessible PDFs?

We all know that making documents accessible to persons with disabilities is not only the moral thing to do, but it’s also the law. It may seem like a hassle to make your PDFs accessible, but there are benefits for the general user as well.

Making a PDF accessible means that it can read the contents to you. This is useful for listening to a long document while you’re on the treadmill or doing the dishes. You can do your work without having to sit and just read. This function is also useful for auditory learners (people who learn best when they hear the information rather than reading it).

How do you make an Accessible PDF?

To make a PDF accessible in Acrobat Pro DC, start by selecting Tools then Action Wizard. A list of available actions will display in a toolbar. Select Action List then Make Accessible. The pane will change to display new functions. Select the file you would like to make accessible. You can add multiple files to make them all  accessible at once. When you have added all of your files, click Start. The accessibility check will display any issues found.  Many can be corrected right in the accessibility results pane using the hints and ideas in the Wizard.  When finished, save the new accessible document.

For more help, visit the Adobe Help page.  Now that you have an accessible document, use the Accessibility features in Adobe Reader to read the text out load.  More information on how to use this feature is available in this additional Adobe help guide.

These features are useful for everyone so that we can access content in the way we prefer to do so.  However, if you have a documented disability and require accessible documents, contact Lynn Davies (daviesl@etown.edu) in Disability Services.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Computer Tips, Digital Citizenship, Home Page, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , , ,

Thankful for Wi-Fi Tips

Thankful for Wi-Fi Tips 

Last month, we gave you some Phishing Tricks (http://groups.etown.edu/its/2016/10/26/optimize-your-wi-fi-settings/) and Wi-Fi Treats (http://groups.etown.edu/its/2016/10/26/optimize-your-wi-fi-settings/). This month, we’re thankful for even more Wi-Fi tips! Apple users, this time it’s all about you. Android users, pay attention though; some of this is useful for you, too.

Turn Off Wi-Fi Assist

You might have noticed a difference in your battery life following the most recent software update for Apple iPhones. Sometimes after an update, Wi-Fi Assist can turn back on. It is important to check that Wi-Fi Assist is off to ensure that you remain on the network and your battery isn’t drained from trying to constantly switch back and forth between Wi-Fi and cellular to find better service. If you’re okay with slightly slower service while you walk between buildings, turn Wi-Fi Assist off.

Turn Wi-Fi On and Off

Disable Wi-Fi from the Control Center (swipe up on the screen) when you’re using cellular to stop the phone from searching for Wi-Fi that doesn’t exist. This is especially useful when you are in the car, or in public with no Wi-Fi. Your phone will constantly search for Wi-Fi in these cases, which will drain your battery faster.

Keep an Eye on Bluetooth and Brightness

Bluetooth and Brightness settings, found in the Control Center, can also take a toll on battery life. Keep Bluetooth turned off when you don’t need it for the same reason. As with Wi-Fi, your phone constantly searches for Bluetooth devices when the setting is turned on. Turn Bluetooth off when you don’t need it. Brightness takes up a lot of battery life, too. To extend the use of your battery, set Brightness on low whenever possible.

Turn Off Background App Refresh

Another battery saving tip is to turn off Background App Refresh. Background App Refresh allows apps to continue to access the internet while the app is not active on your screen. This includes Facebook or Twitter updating in the background even when you aren’t using it. To turn off Background App Refresh, navigate to Settings, General, then Background App Refresh.

Disable Unneeded Fitness Tracking Apps

Turn off Fitness tracking apps that are unneeded or unwanted. If you have a wearable, you don’t need fitness tracking on your phone. You can turn Fitness tracking off from Settings, and select the app name from the bottom. Then toggle Motion & Fitness to off. You can view all apps using Motion & Fitness by navigating to Settings, Privacy, then Motion & Fitness.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love,

ITS

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Digital Citizenship, Home Page, New Student Tips, Web Tips Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Tech Tip: Recording in PowerPoint

You may not have noticed, but PowerPoint allows you to record your presentation. This can include recording yourself through the camera, recording your voice with a microphone, and recording notes right on the slide with a laser pointer, highlighter, and pen.

Voice recording is easy and allows you to present your information without having to write it all down on the slide for viewers that will not watch you present live. That is useful for listening to yourself present or for distributing the presentation online like Canvas. Voice recording

You can record using Camtasia or the built-in PowerPoint record function. To use Camtasia, finish creating your PowerPoint presentation then click the Add-Ins tab at the top. Next, select whether you will record with a microphone, webcam, or view camera options, record options, or access help. Most laptops have built-in microphones, but if you don’t have a microphone, you will need to get one or use headphones or webcam with a built-in microphone.

To use the built-in PowerPoint function, you will need to go to the Insert tab, then select Audio, Video, or Screen Recording.

Make sure you confirm recording with any application or device you are using. Camtasia uses a popup window to begin and end recording. If your recording does not work, try checking that the camera or record options are set to your preferences.

For more information, check out our Knowledgebase article on Recording in Powerpoint: http://helpdesk.etown.edu/helpconsole2012/KB/default.aspx#pageid=background_audio.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Computer Tips, Home Page

Security for Your Mobile Device

Mobile devices are one of the most common ways to communicate and interact now. We can do nearly anything right from our smartphones such as banking, shopping, viewing medical data or history, and even working remotely. That information is good to know and convenient to have right at your fingertips, but its not exactly information you would want to fall into the wrong hands.

Just how prepared are you? Are you protected in case your phone is stolen? Is your data backed up in case you need to remotely wipe the device? Is your information safe from hacking and viruses online?

Your first step to protecting your devices and information should be password security. Password-protect all of your devices, and don’t share that password with anyone. Passwords for websites are a little more complicated than device passwords. They should all be different for starters, and have substantial length. We require that your network password is at least 8 characters in length. This is the minimum length to ensure greater safety for your account. Never store your passwords in the browser for added safety too.

After you have your passwords safe and ready to protect your information, make sure that you aren’t unnecessarily putting yourself at risk. Using public Wi-Fi hot spots or free Wi-Fi may seem great, but in reality they’re a hacker’s dream. Don’t access sensitive information or make online transactions on public Wi-Fi.

It is always a good idea to prepare for a worst case scenario, make sure your device and data have a recent backup, and the ability to remotely lock and wipe the device to ensure your security. If your device is stolen, you should be able to lock the device and wipe the information off of it from anywhere to double protect you and your information from the wrong people. Make sure that you are prepared to use a remote lock and wipe feature on your device by backing up your data frequently. You wouldn’t want to lose anything important.

Let’s review:

  • Password protect your devices.
  • Don’t share your passwords with anyone. Even ITS.
  • Have unique and lengthy passwords for every website, and don’t save them in the browser.
  • Don’t access sensitive information or make online transactions on public Wi-Fi.
  • Just in case, backup your device frequently, so you’ll always have a recent backup of your device.
  • Have a remote lock and wipe feature installed to protect your information.

To reward you for reading all about protecting your device again this year, enjoy this entertaining yet informative password protection video. Because who doesn’t love ukulele?

For more information or help with your device, come visit the ITS Helpdesk in Nicarry 125 or call us at x3333.

Article adapted from: http://er.educause.edu/blogs/2015/12/march-securing-mobile-devices.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Computer Tips, Digital Citizenship, Home Page, New Student Tips, Phone Tips, Web Tips Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tech Tip: VHS players are out!

VHS players on campus are no longer supported. Some classroom podiums may still have VHS players, but as these devices fail, we will not be replacing them. Faculty are encouraged to bring old VHS tapes to the Help Desk in Nicarry 125 for conversion to supported media such as DVDs or Video Furnace. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at x3333 or stop by the Help Desk.  

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Digital Citizenship, Home Page, Teaching and Learning Tagged with: , , , ,

Watch for Smartwatches

There are tons of smartwatches on the market from big brands and smaller tech companies. Here’s a handy article with a review of the Best Smartwatch 2016 from Wareable.

These Smartwatches can make a great holiday gift for yourself or someone else. Do your research before buying a smartwatch though. While there are some standard features common to most smartwatches, you will want to buy one that has the best features for what you plan to use it for.

A popular feature of a smartwatch is the ability to GPS track your movement while running, biking, walking, and even sleeping. If this is something you are interested in, double check the features as some require you to have your phone with you while others allow you to leave your phone at home. If you do plan on wearing your smartwatch while exercising, consider buying a silicone watchband rather than a leather or metal band. Leather is harder to clean and should not get wet. Using a smartwatch during exercise may improve your workout and help you reach your fitness goals.

Smartwatches are more than just fitness monitors, though. They can be really handy in class. They allow you to keep your calendars or reminder “to-do” lists right on your wrist so you can stay organized and on top of your classwork and assignments. It can also help  you stay updated on current events with customizable news apps and alerts. There’s no better way to be an informed citizen than having news alerts straight to your watch. As a wearable, it gives you instant and constant access to information.

Smartwatches are here to make our lives easier, but, like with all technology, there is an adjustment period. Professors and students have to find a balance for when and how smartwatches fit into the classroom especially during tests and exams. Outside of class, smartwatches provide excellent fitness tracking among other downloadable apps like news, weather, and games.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Posted in Digital Citizenship, Home Page, Web Tips Tagged with: , , , ,