OIT News – July 2014

OIT News
Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 81, July 2014

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Follow OIT on Twitter @NCStateOIT
For up-to-the-minute reports on OIT systems, see SysNews
For help with computing problems, contact the NC State Help Desk

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01: OIT publishes 2013-14 Annual Report: Leading IT
02: DC2 Team tackles final projects in power and cooling renovation
03: 2013-2014 ResNet User Survey results are available
04: Computing @ NC State and Student Services Calendar are here!
05: Summer Google Apps updates
06: Add Page Breaks to Google Forms
07: OIT to offer Google Apps training
08: SAR training scheduled for July 29
09: Beware of Ransomware

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01: OIT publishes 2013-14 Annual Report: Leading IT
The OIT 2013-14 Annual Report: Leading IT simultaneously introduces a new era of IT partnership and marks the completion of a three-phrase strategic planning process to improve the use of information technology as a driver for change.

The annual report highlights Partners in Innovation: A Strategic Plan for IT at NC State, 2014-2020, a collaboration between OIT and its campus partners. Introduced this year, the university’s first IT strategic plan will help lead campus IT innovation, cyberinfrastructure management and collaboration. The strategic plan is the culmination of a multiple-year strategic planning process, which initially involved an assessment of OIT’s internal operations and then later the formation of a new campus IT Governance structure, which was the first step to align campus IT objectives with those of the university.

In Leading IT, OIT aligns its numerous projects and services completed this fiscal year with the goals and strategies of the new IT strategic plan and with those of The Pathway to the Future: NC State’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan. Finally, the annual report recognizes the accolades and accomplishments of OIT staff members. Read Leading IT to learn more about how OIT is improving the campus IT infrastructure and university business operations.

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02: DC2 Team tackles final projects in power and cooling renovation
Since February, the Data Center 2 (DC2) Team has expeditiously planned and crossed items off the center’s power and cooling renovation list and is now embarking on its last two major projects — a backup chiller and generator.

The team will install a new stand-alone backup chiller to reduce the center’s reliance on a single primary cooling source, and an independent backup generator to reduce the non-data center loads on the existing generator. No significant adverse effects on OIT systems and services are anticipated, as all other DC2 cooling systems will still be in operation.

The team has already replaced the center’s water pumps with chilled water piping to support four new chilled water HVAC units, which replaced the existing air-cooled climate control units.

The seven-month power and cooling renovation is expected to help mitigate risks of future outages in DC2 and will be completed by the end of August. See SysNews for continuing updates on this project.

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03: 2013-2014 ResNet User Survey results are available
How satisfied are you with the quality of your ResNet connection?
How many devices do you have connected to the Internet in your room?
How much do you actively use the Internet connection in your room on an average day?
Which of these paid on-demand video services do you regularly use?
Which of the following Google Apps have you used for school/academic-related tasks?

These are a few of the questions in the 2013-2014 ResNet User Survey, the results of which were released June 30. OIT conducts this annual user survey and 1,553 students who have Internet service, or ResNet, in their residence halls participated.

According to the survey, 75 percent of respondents say they are either satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of their ResNet connection; 84 percent connect two or more devices to the Internet; 56 percent use the Internet in their room at least five hours daily; about 68 percent regularly use Netflix; and nearly 98 percent use Gmail for their academic-related tasks.

The survey enables OIT to gauge students’ use of information and communication technology services to improve or provide student services such as wireless networking in Bowen Residence Hall and WolfTV, the student cable TV service that features a new lineup of HD channels and programming.

In the survey, students in 23 residence halls and Greek Village responded to an array of questions concerning their use of computing devices and operating systems, hours of Internet usage, social media usage, quality of wired and wireless network connectivity, NC State Help Desk and Walk-In Center services, etc. See ResNet/ComTech Surveys to view the 2013-14 ResNet User Survey results and those since 1998.

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04: Computing @ NC State and Student Services Calendar are here!  
This summer, OIT published Computing @ NC State 2014 and the Student Services Calendar 2014-2015, annual publications that orient new students — and their parents — as well as faculty and staff to information technology resources and campus activities.

Both publications are filled with numerous topics, including Unity accounts, the MyPack Portal, secure mobile devices, Google Apps @ NC State, safe computing, copyright infringement, social networking, phishing, computer recommendations, printing, accessible IT, phone service, cable TV, labs/workstations, iTunes U, and networking connections.

As a faculty or staff member, you may have an opportunity in your class or office to direct students who have IT-related questions to these informative publications. Grab your online copy of Computing @ NC State 2014 and the Student Services Calendar 2014-2015. Printed copies of the calendar also will be available at the Avent Ferry Technology Center, the NC State Bookstores and the Hillsborough Building on Monday, July 28.

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05: Summer Google Apps updates
Changes are coming to or are already in your Google Apps @ NC State account! On July 14, the Google Service Team enabled the following apps:

In addition, you’ll also see these major enhancements to Google Drive to improve your Google Apps experience and to safeguard your work:

  • Google Drive has been redesigned for speedier performance on the desktop, making organizing and sharing files faster.
  • All files uploaded to Google Drive will now be encrypted for all users (consumer and Google Apps alike) so your content is encrypted from your device to Google, in transit between Google data centers and at rest on Google servers.
  • A new user interface in Gmail and Google Drive provides better document and image viewing.
  • In Google Docs, users with “can comment” access to a document will be able to make suggested edits to a document. Users with “can edit” access will be able to accept or reject these suggestions. Those with “can view” access will not be able to see suggested edits until they are accepted, nor will they be able to see comments. For more information, see the Google Drive Blog.
  • Quickoffice, which allows you to open and edit Microsoft Office documents on your tablet or phone, is now integrated into both Google Docs and Sheets.

For more information about these new features, see the June edition of Google Apps What’s New.

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06: Add Page Breaks to Google Forms
When creating a Google Form, you can now add Page Breaks to manage the flow of questions, organize them into categories and prevent lengthy scrolling.

To add a Page Break, simply click on the “Add Item” button (or the “Insert” menu option), select “Page Break”, and click and drag to the preferred location within your form.

By incorporating logic in your form, you can allow users to skip to different questions/pages based on their previous answers.

For more training tips, follow the NC State Google Services Team on Google+. To view upcoming workshops, visit Classmate.

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07: OIT to offer Google Apps training
OIT is offering the following workshops:

  • Lunch & Learn: Google Calendar Top 10 will be offered on Wednesday, July 16 from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 216 of Scott Hall. In this session, OIT trainers will take you through their favorite Google Calendar tips, features and best practices. To register, visit Classmate.

  • Google Sheets will be offered on Thursday, July 18 from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. With a recent update to Google Spreadsheets, a multitude of new features and functionalities are now available. During this two-hour workshop, you will be given an overview of Sheets and learn how it differs from Microsoft Excel. You will also learn about features, including formatting options, find and replace, and notifications. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Create and Collaborate with Google Drive will be offered on Thursday, July 24 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. In this hands-on workshop, you will learn everything you need to know to get started using Google Docs/Drive at NC State. You will learn how to use Drive in a collaborative environment, including editing a file simultaneously with other people, securing a document through file sharing permissions, and creating files for use by a group of colleagues or friends. For this workshop, you will need to have an active NC State University Unity account with access to Google Apps at NC State. If you would prefer using your own laptop or other mobile device, feel free to bring it. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Introduction to Google Sites will be offered on Friday, July 25 from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. In this class, students will learn how to create a website using Google Sites, control access, and embed Docs, videos, images, and links. The workshop will also cover some customization and basic Web design principles. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Gmail: Advanced Tools, Tips & Tricks will be offered on Tuesday, July 29 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. If you’re comfortable with the basics of Gmail and are ready to take it to the next level, this more advanced hands-on workshop is for you. You will learn more about creating labels, filters and canned responses, scheduling Google Calendar Events, and using Google Drive through Gmail, along with any planned or newly released Google features. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Introduction to Google+ will be offered on Tuesday, Aug. 5 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This class will provide an overview of Google+ along with hands-on instruction for creating your own Google+ page. By the end of this workshop, you will learn how to update your profile, configure privacy settings, create and manage circles, post messages, links and photos, and much more! To register for this event visit Classmate.
  • Google Apps: Google Calendar will be offered on Thursday, Aug. 7 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. If you’re comfortable with the basics of Google Calendar and are ready to use some more of its features, this hands-on workshop is for you. This workshop will focus on features such as appointment slots, event attachments, maps and directions, sharing and embedding calendars, labs, quick add, search options, mobile notifications, scheduling online meetings, and more. For prerequisite information and to register for this event, visit Classmate.
  • Gmail: Beyond the Basics will be offered on Wednesday, Aug. 13 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This workshop will provide an in-depth overview of Gmail features, including Labels, Search tools, Contacts management, Chat, Tasks, Settings, Labs, and new features. If time permits, you’ll have a brief introduction to Hangouts. To register, visit Classmate.

For other available training sessions, see Classmate Scheduled Workshops. If you’re interested in custom software training for your department, unit or classroom, complete the Custom Training form. If you have any questions about OIT training, contact Katie McInerney, OIT training coordinator, at 919.513.4091 or via email at classreg@ncsu.edu.

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08: SAR training scheduled for July 29
Security Access Request (SAR) training for campus requestors and approvers of access to secured university data will be held Tuesday, July 29 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Room 108 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. SAR training will not be offered again until early November. Please visit Classmate to sign up for training.

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09: Beware of Ransomware
A current security threat to you is ransomware — malicious software that encrypts your documents and pictures and demands you pay for some sort of secret key before you can recover them.

Ransomware has names such as Reveton, Vabushky, Trojan.Ransomcrypt, FBI Moneypak and Cryptolocker. Cryptolocker, released in September 2013, targets all versions of Windows. Once it has encrypted your files, a payment window will prompt you that you have 72 hours to send a ransom of $100 or $300 to decrypt them. If time expires and you have not paid the ransom, Cryptolocker will delete your encryption key and there will be no way to decrypt your files. Even if you pay, they will be as good as deleted.

Victims at NC State reported they received an email about using state vehicles for travel with a vehicle authorization form attached. Hovering over the links in this spoofed email revealed URLs pointing to a non-ncsu.edu website — suspicious for a message purportedly coming from NC State. Opening the form spawned the ransomware infection on the victims’ computer systems.

To prevent ransomware infection:

  • NEVER open any email attachments you were not expecting or from an untrusted source.
  • Even if it appears to come from a trusted source, don’t click on a link or open an attachment without first making sure that source is legitimate.
  • ALWAYS hover over a link to verify its intended location.
  • NEVER click on suspicious or unrecognized links in emails, including those from NC State.
  • Keep your antivirus, operating system and software patched and up-to-date.
  • Search for and destroy any malware already on your computer.
  • Make backups regularly and store them in a secure location.

If you receive ransom email, please forward it to abuse@ncsu.edu or contact the NC State Help Desk at 515-HELP (4357) or help@ncsu.edu.

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