Tech Tip: Sharing Accounts with Students

For faculty and staff with student workers who need to access files and send emails on their behalf, just telling the student their login credentials may seem like the simplest option. Unfortunately, this gives the student worker access to all your data, not just the information they need for their job, and destabilizes the entirety of the Etown network. Passwords CANNOT be shared with others, no matter how much you trust them.

However, the same data-sharing can be done in a much safer manner. Contact ITS at helpdesk@etown.edu to set up a shared account with a student worker.

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

Refuse the Phishing Bait

Cybercriminals are getting better at manipulating people, and we need to keep up with them. Approximately ninety-five percent of security mishaps are in some part due to human error. Learn the signs of phishing and stay on the lookout for attempted manipulation.

Phishing is more than just email. Hackers may try to attack via phone call, text message, or other messaging systems too. If you don’t know who’s contacting you, or the offer seems too good to be true, stay safe and don’t respond to the bait.

Remember the telltale signs of phishing. Does that email contain copious grammatical errors, a vague introduction that doesn’t mention your name, or an urgent message that’s scary? Does it contain an offer that seems too good to be true, or ask you to verify your password? It’s probably phishing.

Check who sent the message. Is their email address something like universityhelpdesk@ymail.com? Or does it have an unknown domain name that doesn’t seem at all related to the place that they’re claiming to contact you from?

Don’t be convinced because it “looks official.” Scammers are getting better and better at making a phishing attack appear to be legitimate by using real company logos and contact information. Even if an email looks like it’s real aesthetically, look carefully for signs of phishing in the actual content. Don’t react emotionally, even if the message looks scary. This is the response that the hackers want!

Never reveal your password. Never. A message asking you to verify your password is almost certainly malicious. Remember, ITS will never ask for your password!

Don’t open links or attachments. If the message seems to be even the faintest bit suspicious, do not open any attached links or files. This is how hackers install malware on your computer.

When in doubt, contact and verify. Contact the person or company that the message claims to be from, be it a friend, coworker, or even a company that you regularly shop at.

Don’t talk to strangers! That old childhood rule still applies. If you don’t know who’s calling or messaging you, be cautious. If they’re asking for personal information or making odd requests, hang up that phone and don’t do what they say.

Don’t pick up abandoned flash drives. Cybercriminals sometimes leave flash drives with malware on them for unsuspecting victims to pick up and plug into their computer, unknowingly installing malicious programs.

Report possible phishing to ITS. Do you think you’ve received a phishing email? Report it using the Phishing Alert Button. If you think you may have clicked on a link that you shouldn’t have or given someone your personal information, contact the Help Desk at x3333 or helpdesk@etown.edu.

 

Adapted from https://er.educause.edu/blogs/2016/11/february-2017-learn-what-it-takes-to-refuse-the-phishing-bait

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

Tech Tip: How to Clean Your Earbuds

No one really wants to think about how dirty their earbuds are. It’s not a particularly pleasant topic. Unfortunately, dirty earbuds are a source of potential ear infection and just plain gross.  

Cleaning your earbuds is fairly simple, though! First, be sure that they’re not connected to any device. Mix some warm water and gentle soap, and use a soft cloth to soak up a little of the mixture. You don’t want to use too much because soap could leave residue and water damage goes without saying. 

If there’s a lot of gunk in the crevices, use a dry toothbrush to gently scrub it away. If your earbuds have detachable silicone covers, remove them and clean them separately using the same methods. 

Remember to never submerge your earbuds in water, as even a second could damage them permanently. Enjoy your new, clean earbuds!

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

Is Facebook Spying on You?

Have you ever noticed that Facebook’s ads seem suspiciously similar to whatever you last looked at on Amazon? Or Googled? Many people are aware that Facebook gathers data from other websites that you visit so they can target your ads to your unique tastes.

But some people have noticed that Facebook seems a little too attuned to what’s going on in the rest of their daily lives. For instance, have you ever casually mentioned something with a friend and then, an hour later you open Facebook and see an ad for that very thing? It might make you wonder if Facebook is not only tracking your footsteps on the internet but also listening in on your face-to-face interactions.

Facebook states explicitly that they are not using your microphone to listen to you. But with so many personal stories to the contrary, can we be sure that they’re telling the truth?

Facebook does collect extensive information on its users, and it admits that. It has over 52,000 categories that it places its users into target ads precisely. You can actually see what categories you have been placed in by going to Facebook and clicking Settings in the drop-down menu, then going to Your Information and clicking on the Your Categories tab.

Okay, so we know that Facebook is very good at personalizing its ad experience to individual users. But what about those personal anecdotes from people who said something and then had an ad pop up on Facebook an hour later, unrelated to any of their categories?

But even these occurrences can be explained. For example, say your mom does some online shopping for a new yoga mat. Facebook records this and also tracks her location and notices that she’s traveling. When she arrives at your home and mentions that she’s been looking for a new yoga mat, Facebook doesn’t hear her. But Facebook knows that’s she’s been shopping for a yoga mat, and she just traveled to your location. So Facebook targets yoga mat ads not just to your mom, but also to you because you’re in the same place as your mom and you’re Facebook friends with each other.

Basically, Facebook’s algorithms are incredibly complex and are exceptionally good at delivering ads perfectly targeted to you. But there is no evidence to suggest that Facebook is listening in on you through your microphone. If you’re still paranoid about how much Facebook knows about you, visit this page for tips on how to avoid being tracked by Facebook.

 

Adapted from https://gimletmedia.com/episode/109-facebook-spying/

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

Tech Tip: Battery Myths – The App Switcher

Welcome to Battery Myths, a new series of tech tips from ITS about how your phone’s battery REALLY works. This first part debunks the idea that closing apps from the app switcher preserves battery power.

The app switcher is the function found on smartphones that allows you to swipe between recently opened apps. Many people have heard that closing apps that you’re not currently using from the app switcher helps preserve battery life and RAM. Unfortunately, this is a misconception that actually does the opposite of what it’s supposed to do.

Basically, your phone knows what it’s doing, and it’s been programmed to divert power away from apps that aren’t being used. Force-quitting these apps forces your phone to expend extra energy, rather than leaving that power for other apps to use.

Adapted from https://www.wired.com/2016/03/closing-apps-save-battery-makes-things-worse/.

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

The Anatomy of a Phishing Email

How good are you at spotting phishing? Do you notice anything wrong with this email? See if you can spot all the signs of phishing.

(Hint: if you click the photo, it will open in another tab for easier viewing.)

How did you do? How many did you find?

Let’s start from the top. This email is from someone with the address lmason@philasd.org. If you Google “philasd,” you’ll find that it’s the web address for the Philadelphia School District. Why would someone from a school district be contacting you about a court appearance?

Next, look at the first two lines of the email. There is no introduction; it opens directly with “Notice.” Don’t you think that if you were being called to court, they would have your name?

Now look at the link to the supposed “court notice.” A good practice is to hover over a link when you’re unsure if it’s legitimate. In this link, hovering over it shows that it’s bringing you to a website housed on earthlink.net. That doesn’t look very official. Why would an email instructing you to appear in court be devoid of information and instead direct you to a link? That seems a little suspicious.

Often, people using smartphones don’t understand how to hover over a link, and scammers are relying on this flaw. To hover on a smartphone, simply tap and hold the link, which will show you the url.

If we look at the signature, we can see two grammatical errors: the phrase “Court Secretary” ends with a period, and this person’s name, “Lynette Mason,” has a comma at the end. How likely is it that a court secretary would have multiple typos in their signature?

It’s completely understandable that this email would seem very alarming at first. No one wants to receive a surprise message to appear in court. But don’t let yourself get fooled. Scammers are growing increasingly clever and better at playing off people’s emotions. Stay smart and always be aware!

 

 

For more information, visit our other blog posts on phishing:

http://groups.etown.edu/its/2017/02/24/dhl-email-scam/

http://groups.etown.edu/its/2016/11/23/phishing-for-links/

http://groups.etown.edu/its/2016/04/01/dont-be-fooled-by-phishing/

http://groups.etown.edu/its/2017/02/15/hover-dont-click/

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

Tech Tip: Facebook Chain Mail Scams

Chances are, you’ve received a message on Facebook Messenger from some distant family member that reads something like: 

Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks.  

While forwarding this message may not actually harm anyone, it won’t help either. It’s not possible to hack into a Facebook account by becoming friends with someone that you know. In addition to this, whatever the “system connected to your Facebook account” is, it cannot be accessed by a friend request.  

Again, this is not necessarily a harmful scam. However, “Jayden K. Smith” cannot do any of the things that this message says that he can, so there’s no point in passing the message along. 

Adapted from https://www.ricksdailytips.com/please-tell-all-contacts-facebook-hoax/  

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

Tech Tip: Have You Followed ITS’ Social Media Yet?

Let’s face it, newsletters are old-school. It’s all about the social media these days. And luckily for you, ITS releases the same handy technology information on our Facebook and Twitter. That’s @EtownHelpDesk on both platforms.

 

 

 

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Interested in Blended/Hybrid Learning?

If you are a faculty member that is considering moving a course to a blended/hybrid format, with some classes meeting face-to-face and some class time online, then I hope to see you today at the first of a two-part workshop on this topic.  We will meet in Hoover 108 from 11-12:00 TODAY!

We will reference this document during the session: https://sway.com/ZatrZrlc2KpCtQhy?ref=Link

If you miss the workshop today, but are still interested, we can meet 1:1.

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Posted in Home Page, Teaching and Learning, Training

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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Posted in Home Page, New Student Tips Tagged with: , , , ,

It’s Our 30th Issue of IT Matters!

IT Matters has come a long way since our first issue all the way back in July 2014. Over the past four years, we’ve grown from a few tech tips and notices regarding E-Town technology to a fully-fledged newsletter complete with articles and tech tips on useful tech information. To honor this 30th issue, we’re compiling some of the best articles that have been featured in IT Matters over the years. Enjoy!

 

First, we have our arguably most useful articles for students – if you have to read three articles from ITS, read these!

Web Printing for Students

ITS offers many services to students, including printing. Often, first years and even upperclassmen don’t know how easy ITS makes it to print. Printing your assignments is as simple as uploading your document to print.etown.edu and swiping your ID at the printer!

Network Drives

Network drives are a valuable resource that E-Town offers its faculty, staff, and students. They can be used for document sharing for anything from clubs collaborating to faculty sharing files with their classes to students working on group projects.

Don’t Be a Wi-Fi Monster 

Wi-Fi Monsters are people and things that use prohibited or interfering devices on campus that cause poor Wi-Fi connectivity. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to spot and stop a Wi-Fi Monster and how to avoid becoming one yourself.

 

Next, our top five most-read articles:

  1. Phishing Scams

Put your skills to the test. Can you spot the telltale signs of a phishing scam in this email? Give it a try. These phishing scams are getting smarter. Are you sure you can spot them all?

  1. Clearing Space on Your Phone

Nearly all cell phone users have experienced the dreaded message telling them that they don’t have enough storage. Both Androids and iPhones have a variety of things that you can do to free up space. These include deleting unneeded photos, call history and voicemails, unused apps, and cached data.

  1. Optimize Wi-Fi settings

You may see fluctuating Wi-Fi performance for many reasons. Rather than just lamenting that the “Wi-Fi stinks,” read on to learn things you can do to improve the Wi-Fi signal on your devices. At E-town, we are treated to high-speed and reliable Wi-Fi, but we need to be sure we aren’t getting tricked by settings on our devices that are reducing performance or speed.

  1. Xfinity on Campus

Xfinity on Campus is here! Navigate to XfinityOnCampus.com, enter Elizabethtown College as your School Name, and then login with your E-town email and password. Now you can watch live TV, stream your old favorites, and even record shows to watch later. It’s as simple as that!

  1. Etown’s Top 10 Apps for Students

Ever wondered if there’s an app for practicing your language class? How about a countdown to tests in each course? Perhaps you need an app that blocks social media like Facebook and Twitter while you’re studying? Well, have no fear! Here’s ITS’ Top 10 Apps for Etown Students.

 

Last, we have several of the articles that were our favorite to write. Enjoy!

What’s Up with Those Robocalls From My Area Code?

Not only are robocalls irritating, but their ultimate goal is to scam people out of money. A new technique is allowing scammers to make it appear as though they’re calling from your town, which makes people more likely to pick up the phone. Beware of these smart robocalls and stay safe by never giving away your personal information.

Watch for Smartwatches

Smartwatches are one of the most convenient smartphone accessories on the market. They have many excellent uses. For some information about the best Smartwatches and their functions, read Watch for the Smartwatch.

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Posted in Home Page Tagged with: , ,

Don’t Be a Wi-Fi Monster

What Does It Mean to be a Wi-Fi Monster?

Wi-Fi networks are sensitive. Certain items can interfere with the signal and cause poor connectivity all over campus. To ensure strong Wi-Fi, we must all be on the lookout for Wi-Fi Monsters.

Wi-Fi Monsters are people and things that use prohibited or interfering devices on campus that cause poor Wi-Fi connectivity. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to spot and stop a Wi-Fi Monster and how to avoid becoming one yourself.

 

Connect Correctly

Use EC_SECURE_WIFI

EC_SECURE_WIFI is the fastest and most secure wireless network available on campus. (EC_SETUP_WIFI is only used when you first connect to the Wi-Fi with a new device.) After you have connected to Secure, you should “forget” Setup on your device to avoid connectivity problems.

Guest Wi-Fi is for Guests

EC_GUEST_WIFI is reserved for guests without an etown.edu credential, and for certain other devices (like gaming systems). Guests can request immediate access to the Guest Wi-Fi via our login system, and they will be texted a password that is good for 72 hours of access.

Wired Connections Have Benefits

Using a wired connection, or Ethernet cable, can be faster than wireless connections. They are also less likely to lose signal. ITS recommends using a wired connection whenever you are completing an important form online or taking an online test or quiz.

 

How to Spot a Wi-Fi Monster

Wi-Fi networks use a range of signals similar to other devices, so there are certain items that are prohibited from being used on campus as stated in the Acceptable Use policy. These prohibited devices hog the radio signals used to transmit Wi-Fi creating poor signal strength for others around campus.

Prohibited devices on campus include:

  • All personal Wi-Fi routers or hotspots
  • VPN servers that are not college issued
  • Wireless printers that are actively broadcasting wireless signals (wireless printers with the wireless function turned off are permitted; visit the Knowledgebase for instructions)
  • Google Chromecast devices
  • Any other device that actively uses channels 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz

Some devices that can interfere with wireless signals are not prohibited, but we recommend limiting their use and powering them off completely when not in use. These devices include:

  • Microwaves
  • Cordless phones
  • Wireless speakers
  • Wireless game controllers

If you see an unknown Wi-Fi network pop up nearby, that could be a prohibited device broadcasting a signal. Alert your RA right away. If you know someone who has a wireless printer, remind them to turn the wireless function off.

If you have a question about Wi-Fi interfering devices on campus, please contact the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@etown.edu, ext. 3333, or stop in Nicarry 125.

Template for content provided by its.umich.edu/wifi

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

Tech Tip: How Slow Is Your iPhone?

Given the recent controversy surrounding Apple’s practice of slowing down old iPhones to preserve battery life, you may be wondering if your phone was affected. Fortunately, this is easy to test with the website SlowApple.

Note: you must have low power mode turned off for this test to work properly.

On your iPhone, visit SlowApple and click the big green button. The website will run a test a javascript function test and report on how long it takes for the task to be completed. The longer it takes, the slower your phone is.

If the test reported that your phone’s speed appears to have been throttled, Apple is offering $29 batteries for the rest of 2018 (a significant discount from the regular price).

 

Adapted from https://www.addictivetips.com/ios/slow-iphone-check-you-device/

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

Computer Tips and Tricks, Part III

In the third and final part of this series, we’ll address a few tricks for internet browsing and file management to increase efficiency. You’ll learn how to cycle through your browser tabs, quickly open a link in a new tab, rename files sequentially, and more.  

 

Internet Browsing: 

If you want to close the current window/tab, simply press [Ctrl] + [W]. Don’t do it right now, or you’ll miss the rest of the article! 

Press [Ctrl] + [L] to jump to the search bar. [F6] or [Alt] + [D] will also perform this action. 

To cycle through all open tabs, use [Ctrl] + [Tab]; use [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Tab] to cycle backwards. You can also press [Ctrl] + [“number”] (ie 1, 2, 3, …, n) to go to the tab in that numeric position. 

Most people are aware that internet browsers have an incognito or private mode that doesn’t save history or cookies (like for shopping for gifts on a shared computer, obviously!). This mode can be activated by pressing [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [N] in Chrome, [Cmd] + [Shift] + [N] in Safari, and [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [P] in Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Internet Explorer. 

Quickly open a link in a new tab without jumping to it is easily done by hovering your cursor over it and clicking on your mouse’s scroll wheel. 

To adjust the zoom on a webpage, use [Ctrl] + [+] to increase the zoom and [Ctrl] + [-] to decrease it. Press [Ctrl] + [0] to return the page to its original state. On Macs, use [Cmd] + [+] and [Cmd] + [-] to zoom in and out. 

 

File Management: 

Renaming files can get tiring and inefficient. Simply select the file and press [F2] to edit its name. To rename another file, just press [Tab] while the first file is still selected. On Macs, press [Enter] while a file is selected to rename it.  

Adjacent to the previous tip, you can rename files sequentially in a batch by selecting all of the files that you want to rename, pressing [F2], and typing in the new name. Your files will appear with a root name and a suffix, like test (1), test (2), etc. On a Mac, select files and right-click. Choose the option to rename the batch as a series. 

 

Adapted from https://www.techspot.com/guides/676-best-computer-tricks/  

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

Tech Tip: Stop Location and Notification Browser Popups

You know the ones. They pop up when you’re least expecting them, asking if you want to share your location with this website or allow that website to send you desktop notifications. The good news is that you can get rid of them. 

On Google Chrome, go to Settings > Advanced > Content settings. Select “Location” and disable, then do the same for “Notifications.” 

For Microsoft Edge, open the menu, then go to View Advanced Settings > Notifications. This will let you customize what websites can send notifications, or block all websites from sending notifications. For location sharing, open the Settings application and go to Privacy > Location. Disable Location Services for Microsoft Edge. 

In Safari, open the drop-down menu and select Preferences > Websites. Click the Location tab and select Deny under “When visiting other websites.” In the Notifications tab, uncheck “Allow websites to ask for permission to send push notifications.” 

If you’re using Firefox, the process is a little more drastic. Type “about:config” into the search bar and hit [Enter]. It will warn you about proceeding. If you accept the risk, click to continue. Then use the search bar to find “dom.webnotifications.enabled” and “geo.enabled.” Double-click on each entry. 

 

Adapted from https://www.techspot.com/guides/1559-prevent-browser-prompts-location-notifications/  

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