Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Have you been hacked?

Anyone who uses email, makes online purchases or uses the web to conduct business runs the risk of having their account or information hacked.  When a person gains unauthorized access to your data in a system, it is often said that you've been "hacked".

How can you tell if you have been hacked?

  • Antivirus software on your computer finds malicious files.
  • When you go to the internet, your homepage is different than usual.
  • A program on your computer or your firewall is asking to make updates to your computer that you didn't request.
  • You find new programs or accounts on your computer.
  • You begin having problems with your computer crashing or running slowly.
What should you do if you think you have been hacked?
  • Disconnect your computer from the internet to make sure data isn't being sent without your permission.
  • Change your account passwords from a DIFFERENT computer than the one that has been compromised.
  • Update and run your anti-virus software, cleaning any infected files.
  • Contact a professional computer service if you feel like you need assistance cleaning and updating your computer.
*Note - If you are using a machine at your work or school, contact your support personnel immediately.

For more information about hacking, check out the OUCH! newsletter at http://www.securingthehuman.org/newsletters/ouch/issues/OUCH-2014-05_en.pdf

If you feel like your MSU computer might have been hacked, please contact the Service Desk immediately at (270) 809-2346.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Disposing of Old Cell Phones

For many of us, we'd be lost without our cell phones.  They hold information about how to contact our friends and family, connections to many of our accounts and balances, calendar events that govern our activities and many other important pieces of personal information.

But there comes a day in the life of every cell phone when it draws its last breath and a new phone rises up.  How do you lay your old friend to rest safely and make sure your personal information isn't available to others?

Backup Your Data
Most phones can be connected to a computer or an online account such as Google Drive, iCloud or Verizon Cloud to back-up photos, contacts, videos, music and more.

Factory Reset Your Old Phone 
This will remove all personal information from your phone.  Make sure you backup your data first!  Here are instructions for most smartphone operating systems:

  • Apple iOS Devices: Settings | General | Reset | Erase All Content and Settings 
  • Android Devices: Settings | Privacy | Factory Data Reset 
  • Windows Phones: Settings | About | Reset Your Phone
Remove SIM Cards & External Storage Cards
These are normally stored under the phone's battery.  Storage cards can often contain pictures, files and other sensitive content.

For more information about safe phone disposal, visit the Ouch! newsletter.  It is provided as a monthly security awareness newsletter for campus users everywhere.  Information for this week's post came from their June 2014 edition titled "Disposing of Your Mobile Device".  Visit their website at http://www.securingthehuman.org/ouch

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Your RacerMail and Google Docs

We sometimes get questions from students, former student, retirees and faculty members about how shared Google documents and spreadsheets are handled when students graduate, faculty members leave or employees retire.  Here are all the interesting details!

What do new RacerMail users see?
When a user first uses their RacerMail, they agree to the terms and conditions and are welcomed with a message similar to this one.  It lets the user know about the great Google services that come as part of their RacerMail account and how to maintain those during their time at Murray State.

What happens when users create Google Docs and Spreadsheets?
As users create documents or spreadsheets and share them, the creator is the "owner" of the shared document. As long as the owner's email account exists on the system, those shared items are still available to everyone.

Do RacerMail accounts ever get deleted?
Yes.  Certain populations such, as retirees, retain their accounts as a benefit, but students who graduate or stop attending school and employees who leave the university are subject to account management.  The details and timelines for account management are listed online here.

What happens when the doc or spreadsheet owner's account gets deleted?
The shared item is also deleted.  Those sharing the doc or spreadsheet will no longer have access to it and there is not a way to get it back.

How can shared items be saved from deletion?
Ownership of an item can be transferred before the owner's account is deleted.  These instructions will walk you through the process.

How could this affect me?
Let's say a faculty member makes a group assignment for his students.  Unless the instructor creates the Google doc they are using for collaboration, the doc could be subject to deletion when the student that created it graduates.  This could affect grade challenges for the student or other students in the group.

Or maybe a student worker creates an elaborate spreadsheet with important inventory data for the office.  Once that student graduates or leaves the university, that file could be deleted.  In office situations, it might be best to create a generic departmental RacerMail account to be the "owner" of all important, ongoing documents.  These accounts aren't subject to the same deletion schedule.

If you have questions about Google Apps, RacerMail or email account deletion, please contact the Helpdesk at (270) 809-2346.

Friday, May 02, 2014

New Draft State Coming to Canvas Summer 2014

In response to many requests from instructors, Canvas has released a new "Draft State" for items in Assignments, Modules and other areas that keeps them unpublished for students until instructors publish them.  This will be a significant change for users.  This feature is currently optional for courses but will be added by Canvas for ALL courses on June 30, 2014.

Here is how you can be proactive in learning the changes Draft State brings, and preparing your summer and fall courses.

1. Familiarize Yourself - Watch the Draft State Overview Video: http://vimeo.com/91029547

2. Learn the Functions - Read and Review the Canvas Help Guides

3. Try Draft State - Log into our Beta Site and manipulate a course.

  1. Log in at https://murraystate.beta.instructure.com/login 
  2. Go into one of your courses.  Remember - in Beta you are not making any changes to your actual course. Anything you do will not impact the student experience, nor will it be saved.
  3. Click on Settings (bottom left of your course)
  4. Click Feature Options (tab in the center pane)
  5. Click "On" next to Draft State 
  6. Explore and experiment

4. Register and Attend a Canvas Draft State workshop at CTLT.  Click here for dates/times.

If you have questions about Draft State within your course, please contact the CTLT Help Desk and ask for Canvas help.  (270) 809-2346.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Early Bird Parking Registration

Beat the crowd and get registered for your 2014-2015 parking permit now!  All registration is completed online and payment won't be collected until the fall semester begins.  Current permits will expire on August 15, 2014.

To register, log in to myGate and click on the Register link in the Parking Channel.  You will need the following information to register:
  • Local Address
  • Vehicle Year, Make, Model and Color
  • License Plate Number
  • State and County of Vehicle Registration
Additional information about parking permit pricing and availability is available on the Parking Management website.

Also, remember that Murray City Stickers are expiring in May.  The deadline to avoid a penalty is May 31st. According to their website:
City ordinance requires that those citizens that work, perform a business related activity, or live within the city limits of Murray obtain a city sticker for each personal vehicle utilized within the city limits. This includes Murray State students who reside within the city limits of Murray. The cost of each sticker is $50.00 and is valid for a period of one year. 
For more information on City Stickers, please visit their website at http://www.murrayky.gov/citystickers.htm

Friday, April 04, 2014

Get Ready to Schedule!

Advanced scheduling for summer & fall classes begins on Monday, April 7th.  Make sure you are prepared with the following tips:

Find out when you are eligible to schedule. Visit the Timetable for Advanced Scheduling for details.

Make sure you know your myGate password.  If you can't log in to myGate, try the Forgot Password link on the homepage or contact the Helpdesk at 270-809-2346.

Verify your information on the Pre-Registration Verification Form.  Each semester you will be prompted to review your contact information and make any needed changes.  Do this early by clicking on "Look Up Classes" on the Academics tab in myGate.

Check for holds on your account.  View your holds from the Academics tab by clicking on Holds in the Student Links channel.

Be sure to meet with your advisor.  If you aren't sure who your advisor is, follow these instructions.

Best wishes as you plan for another great semester at Murray State!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Microsoft No Longer Supports Windows XP

Still using a Windows XP machine?  Microsoft has announced that support and updates for the XP operating system will be ending on April 8th of this year.  Here are some questions you might be asking:

How do I know if I have the Windows XP operating system?
This link on Microsoft's website should help you determine your operating system.  In some cases it may detect it automatically.  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/which-operating-system

Why does it matter if they stop supporting and updating XP?  I don't call their support anyway.
Updates put out by Microsoft help to protect your machine from known viruses and security risks.  Without future updates, your machine could be at risk.  In fact, some hackers may actually be waiting for support to end to deliver malicious attacks since there won't be any updates to stop them.

Will my computer stop working on April 8th?
Current installations of Windows XP won't stop working, they will just be more vulnerable to viruses and security risks.  As time goes on, some devices may also not work correctly with Windows XP.  Newly manufactured devices like cameras and printers may not have drivers for or be compatible with Windows XP.

Can I upgrade or do I have to purchase a new computer?
Microsoft has some information on their website about what machines can be upgraded and which ones will need to be replaced.  More information is available here:  http://www.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/xp/upgrade-options.aspx

What if I'm using a Murray State-owned computer?  What should I do?
Please contact the Helpdesk at 270-809-2346 or msu.helpdesk@murraystate.edu for more information.  Most departments with machines still running Windows XP have already been contacted.

Microsoft has more information available online at:  http://www.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/xp/default.aspx