OIT News – May 2015

OIT News
Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 91, May 2015

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Follow OIT on Twitter @ncsu_oit
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: Web Registry and Mail Manager unavailable until end of May
02: “Off the Record” will be new history default setting for Google Hangouts and Google Talk
03: Fall central IT extended maintenance windows announced
04: OIT to enable SSL as default security for OIT-hosted websites on Nov. 2
05: NC State Cyber Security Incident Response Training scheduled on June 3
06: Third annual NC State Global Accessibility Awareness Day Website Challenge ends May 20
07: Google+ Photos coming to Google Drive
08: Exercise your mind this summer! Get Google Apps, 2-Step Verification and WordPress training
09: SAR training scheduled for July 15
10: Minimize identity theft!

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01: Web Registry and Mail Manager unavailable until end of May
OIT Mail Manager and Web Registry tools will be unavailable to campus users until the end of this month. As a result, no new email aliases or Google generic accounts, calendar resources or groups can be created.

OIT staff experienced complications during the April 26 migration off Postini’s mail infrastructure. Responding to these issues has delayed the modifications that are required to integrate both tools into the new post-Postini environment. In addition to these modifications, staff will implement long-delayed Web Registry improvements.

OIT is making every effort to restore these tools to full functionality as soon as possible.

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02: “Off the Record” will be new history default setting for Google Hangouts and Google Talk
The Google Service Team, on the advice of NC State’s Office of General Counsel, will set “Off the Record” as the default setting for Google Hangouts and Google Talk chat histories. This change will become effective Monday, June 1.

This means that none of your chat histories, by default, will be:

  • retained in Google Vault, the university’s new email retention service; or
  • available for search in your Inbox.

Google Hangouts and Google Talk chat logs were not retained in Postini, Vault’s predecessor.

There may be some special business cases where chatting “On the Record” might be desired. In these cases, set your session history to “on” when needed. This will have to be done on a per session basis. Your session will be stored in Vault and retained for seven years.

For help with modifying these settings, see:

If you have additional questions, contact the NC State Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or 919.515.HELP (4357).

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03: Fall central IT extended maintenance windows announced
If you’re already looking ahead to schedule academic or work-related projects for the fall semester, make sure you include OIT’s extended maintenance windows.

The proposed dates for extended maintenance are:

  • Saturday, Sept. 19 through Sunday, Sept. 20
  • Saturday, Nov. 7 through Sunday, Nov. 8

OIT-hosted systems and services (e.g., MyPack Portal, Human Resources and Financials) that you depend upon may be unavailable or degraded during these maintenance windows, so please plan accordingly.

An extended maintenance window is an extension of the regular maintenance window that is reserved every Sunday from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. During this time, OIT staff perform major system maintenance, including physical maintenance and installation of necessary security updates and upgrades.

For scheduled system changes and updates, view the Change Management Calendar and SysNews. OIT will announce proposed 2016 dates for IT extended maintenance windows soon.

If you have questions or concerns regarding OIT extended maintenance windows, email oit_or@help.ncsu.edu.

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04: OIT to enable SSL as default security for OIT-hosted websites on Nov. 2
On Monday, Nov. 2, the OIT Web Services Team will enable secure sockets layer (SSL) for all OIT-hosted sites to improve Web security and to prepare for the move from WRAP authentication to Shibboleth. Affected sites include those hosted in the:

  • Andrew File System (AFS)
  • OIT Web hosting (cPanel) environments
  • OIT-managed WordPress blogs and hosted WordPress environments

SSL (https://) provides an encrypted connection between websites and browsers that allows secure data transmission. This security minimizes the ability of phishers and others to execute impersonation attacks on websites.

The OIT Web Services Team will contact campus Web developers, communicators and other content providers with more information about this change within the next few months.

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05: NC State Cyber Security Incident Response Training scheduled on June 3
OIT Security and Compliance has developed a two-part training session that delivers a knockout punch to cyber attacks against sensitive data, such as research, credit card data and Social Security numbers.

If you are a system administrator or technical staff, you are invited to attend the Cyber Security Incident Response Training Overview on Wednesday, June 3 from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Room 106 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This will be an interactive session on how to detect if your server has been hacked and what to do next. It will provide you with:

  • an overview of the NC State Cyber Security Incident Response Program
  • an introduction to Digital Forensics Incident Response
  • best practices
  • ways to identify potential threats/compromises
  • new procedures and tools to help you understand cyber threats to your systems and to develop a plan of action if a system is compromised

After you attend the overview and register your servers, Security and Compliance will help you develop a Cyber Security Incident Response Plan for your sensitive systems. This working session will include:

  • identification of security loopholes and potential threat vectors
  • containment, eradication and recovery steps in the event of a security compromise

To register, visit Classmate.

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06: Third annual NC State Global Accessibility Awareness Day Website Challenge ends May 20
Time is running out to participate in this year’s NC State Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) Website Challenge, which is held annually “to get people talking, thinking and learning about digital accessibility and users with different disabilities.”

Campus website owners and designers are encouraged to make accessibility improvements to their websites by Wednesday, May 20. Sponsored by the University IT Accessibility Office, the contest includes two categories:

  • sites that improve their overall accessibility by the greatest percentage
  • sites that link at least their homepage to the Accessibility @ NC State University website
    Website owners and designers are asked to link to this site so their users can easily find campus accessibility services and to follow the Office of Civil Rights recommendations.

So far, only six websites show accessibility improvements and five are linked correctly to the Accessibility @ NC State University website. To receive credit for this category, campus website owners and designers must link to the current accessibility website and submit a rescan of their websites. Internal audits show a total of 38 websites with the correct link, but most are not receiving credit because they have not been rescanned. 

Contest winners will be posted on the 2015 NC State Global Accessibility Awareness Day Website Challenge page on Thursday, May 21.  

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07: Google+ Photos coming to Google Drive
It’s true. In June, you will be able to manage and store your Google+ photos and videos in one convenient location — Google Drive.

All photos and videos will appear automatically in Google Photos, a new Drive menu item (e.g., Recent, Shared with me, Uploads). You can also opt to add a Google Photos folder to “My Drive,” so you can manage these files and your other file types together.

If you delete a file in Google Drive, it will also be deleted from your Google+ account and vice versa. However, if you edit a photo in Google+, your changes will only appear in Google+. To get the new photo into your Google Drive, download it from Google+ and then upload it to Google Drive.

For more information, see View and manage photos and videos stored in your Google Drive.

For more details on Google’s recent enhancements, including those for Android and iOS, check out the April edition of Google Apps What’s New. You can also follow the Google Service Team on:

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08: Exercise your mind this summer! Get Google Apps, 2-Step Verification and WordPress training
Upcoming OIT training workshops include:

  • Introduction to Google Hangouts – Laptop/Desktop Application will be offered on Tuesday, May 19 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This is a fun and interactive workshop to learn about the emergence of Google Hangouts, a free Web conferencing tool that allows easy communication on campus or across the globe via video, audio and text messaging. Learn how to use the Hangouts platform and its many helpful features. You are encouraged to bring a laptop to the session and can register via Classmate.

  • Gmail: Advanced – Plus Tools, Tips & Tricks will be offered on Thursday, May 21 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.

  • Create and Collaborate with Google Drive will be offered on Tuesday, May 26 and Thursday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to noon and 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. To register, visit Classmate.

  • Google Calendar will be offered on Thursday, May 28 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This workshop will focus on 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, visit Classmate.

  • Benefits of 2-Step Verification will be offered on Tuesday, June 2 from noon to 1 p.m. in ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Hill Library. Register for this one-hour session to learn more about how this security feature can protect your account from being compromised. To register, visit Classmate.

  • Google Slides will be offered on Thursday, June 4 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Hill Library. This session will focus on how to create, edit and share presentations. It will also include themes, transitions, animations, and more. If you would prefer to use your own laptop, feel free to bring it. To register, visit Classmate.

  • Gmail: Beyond the Basics will be offered on Wednesday, June 10, from 9 a.m. to noon in  ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Hill Library. 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, a brief introduction to Google Hangouts will be provided. To register, visit Classmate.

  • Google Forms will be offered on Thursday, June 11 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Are you looking for a way to easily create surveys, plan events or gather data? Are you interested in learning more about specific apps available in Google Drive? If so, don’t miss this interactive session on the basics of creating forms and viewing responses. You will also learn several advanced features, such as embedding forms in websites, adding page breaks and incorporating question validation. If you would prefer to use your own laptop, feel free to bring it. To register, visit Classmate.

  • Basics of WordPress will be offered on Wednesday, June 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Learn everything you need to know to get started using WordPress here at NC State. The workshop will cover topics including setup, configuration, themes, plug-ins, settings, options, and management of WordPress. To register, visit Classmate.

For other available training sessions, visit Classmate Scheduled Workshops. If you are interested in custom software training, complete the Custom Training Form. Email all training questions to classreg@ncsu.edu.

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09: SAR training scheduled for July 15
Security Access Request (SAR) training for campus requestors and approvers of access to secured university data will be held Wednesday, July 15 from 9:30 a.m. to noon in Room 108 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. Visit Classmate to register for training.

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10: Minimize identity theft!
A simple truth — the primary responsibility for protecting your identity lies with you.

Through no fault of their own, millions of people were affected recently by the Anthem breach and TurboTax fraud that gave hackers and fraudsters access to their Social Security and health care identification numbers, home and email addresses, and employment income and data.

Such incidents increase the possibility of identity theft for everyone, including NC State employees. Three university employees recently reported that someone used their stolen Social Security numbers to file fraudulent tax returns. Thus far, in OIT’s internal investigation, there is no evidence of compromised NC State accounts that can be linked to the fraudulent tax returns.

You may not be able to completely prevent your identity from being stolen, but you can take action to minimize the possibility.

  • Be especially careful with whom you share any personally identifiable information (e.g., Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, financial account numbers, medical records).
  • Do not store credit card or other personal information in your email account.
  • Beware of phishing attacks. Never give your password to anyone! NC State will NEVER ask for your password.
  • ALWAYS hover over links in email, posts or texts to verify their intended location.
  • Never click on suspicious or unrecognized links in emails, including those from NC State.
  • Stay alert. Pay attention to any change in your credit card or banking statements. People tend to overlook small amounts that appear on their statements, but identification thieves frequently use small purchases to test a card.
  • If you suspect that any of your accounts have been compromised, change your password immediately.
  • Use a unique and strong passphrase for each of your personal, banking and financial accounts.
  • Monitor your credit reports. Check these at least once a year. You are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). You may want to stagger these and get one every four months rather than all three at once.
  • Protect your personal computer by installing the latest security patches and antivirus software. You can install the free, university-provided antivirus software on up to three of your Internet-connected devices to reduce risk of virus infection and malware.
  • Visit the IRS’ Identity Protection: Prevention, Detection and Victim Assistance website. See also Identity Theft Information for Taxpayers.
  • If available, take advantage of free-credit monitoring and identity-protection services if you are a victim of identity theft.
  • Arm yourself with security knowledge by watching brief security awareness videos provided by NC State at SANS Securing the Human.

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