OIT News – October 2015

OIT News
Monthly news briefs, information and announcements
Office of Information Technology, NC State University
Issue 96, October 2015

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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: Protect the Pack: Secure State during National Cyber Security Awareness Month
02: IT Community Exchange: Envision a secure State!
03: Central IT extended maintenance scheduled for Nov. 7-8
04: OIT issues Microsoft Windows 10 support statement
05: Check the status of your Google App via SysNews
06: Google to end XML calendar feeds on Nov. 18
07: Best practices for managing your spam folder
08: SSL to become default for OIT-hosted websites
09: Use Template Gallery to format your Google Docs
10: Become a Good Searcher and look for more training opportunities!
11: SAR training scheduled for Nov. 10
12: Never, ever share your password

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01: Protect the Pack: Secure State during National Cyber Security Awareness Month
In observance of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), the Office of Information Technology (OIT), the NC State Department of Computer Science, ePartners Program, and NC State Engineering Foundation are co-sponsoring Protect the Pack: Secure State!, a month-long event to inform campus IT users about cyber security measures, including mobile device security, antivirus protection, 2-step verification, password protection, and security updates.

This year’s event will highlight the FBI Cybersquad on Thursday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Coastal Ballroom of the Talley Student Union. Special agents John Maser and Scott Bennett will give an engaging presentation on the current cyber threats and trends. They will:

  • provide a general overview of the FBI and its cyber resources, criminal and national security cyber matters, and threat statistics.
  • examine personal computer safety and provide general recommendations for protecting yourself online.
  • conclude with an overview of FBI cyber careers and internship opportunities.

To register, visit Classmate. Breakfast will be served, and there will be great door prizes, such as tablets, video drones, Fitbits, Beats headphones, a projector, a Pebble smartwatch, and an iPad.

CSAM also will feature Data Security for Researchers, a panel discussion that will be held on Friday, Oct. 30 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Currituck Ballroom of Talley Student Union. If you are a researcher:

  • Are you funded by a federal grant?
  • Do you or your students work with human subjects or vertebrate animals?
  • Does your research group have a confidentiality agreement with a company?
  • Is your data and intellectual property protected from cyber criminals?
  • Did you know that there are specific locations where sensitive data should be kept?

Panelists, including faculty researchers, research administrators and OIT staff, will address these and other questions you might have regarding data security and storage. To register, visit Classmate. A light lunch will be served, and there will be great door prizes, such as tablets, video drones, Fitbits, Beats headphones, a projector, a Pebble smartwatch and an iPad.

Other CSAM activities planned during October include:

Mobile Device Security Checkpoints

  • Thursday, Oct. 15: Talley Student Union
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21: Nelson Hall
  • Tuesday, Oct.  27: Court of Carolinas

OIT Security and Compliance staff will run a very quick diagnostic check on your iPhone or Android phone to see if your device is protected against the most common risks.

Mobile Security for iOS Devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch)
Noon to 1.p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28
119 Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC), Centennial Campus

Everette Allen of OIT Outreach, Communications and Consulting will show you how to use a screen lock passcode, encrypt and backup your data, locate your device if it’s lost, scan your device for malware, and much more. To register, visit Classmate.

Tool Talks – Identity Finder
Noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29
106 Avent Ferry

Campus system administrators and other interested parties are invited to join OIT Security and Compliance for a live demo of Identify Finder, a scanning tool used to locate social security numbers, bank account information, credit card information, and other sensitive data on devices connected to NC State’s network. System administrators will learn tool functionality as well as how to leverage it on campus. This data discovery tool will be implemented on campus later this fall in connection with the Payment Card Industry-Data Security Standard project. To register, visit Classmate.

For more event information, see NC State’s Cyber Security Awareness Month website.

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02: IT Community Exchange: Envision a secure State!
OIT invites the campus IT community to participate in a cybersecurity strategic planning workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 4280 of the Talley Student Union. This event is the first of the “IT Community Exchanges” to bring university IT staff together to discuss items of interest.

Your input will help shape NC State’s first Cybersecurity Strategic Plan, which will outline a roadmap of cyber defenses to protect the university’s digital assets.

To learn more about the cybersecurity strategic planning process and to share your ideas about priorities for cyber defense measures, please come to this workshop. Light refreshments will be served.

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03: Central IT extended maintenance scheduled for Nov. 7-8
On Saturday, Nov. 7 through Sunday, Nov. 8, OIT will perform extensive system maintenance, such as data center improvements that require shutdown and movement of equipment, hardware replacement and infrastructure configuration. This extended maintenance window will run from 6 a.m. Saturday to 6 p.m. Sunday.

OIT services may be degraded or unavailable for extended periods during this maintenance window. These services include, but are not limited to:

  • MyPack Portal
  • Human Resources, Financial and Student systems
  • DELTA Wolfware (Moodle, Mediasite, Collaborate, and WolfWare Classic)
  • Virtual Computing Lab (VCL)
  • WolfPrint services
  • Hosted systems
  • Networked Attached Storage (NAS) shares and exports
  • Backup services
  • Web Services

Other proposed dates for extended maintenance windows include:

  • Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, through Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016
  • Saturday, April 9, 2016, through Sunday, April 10, 2016
  • Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016 through Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016

For scheduled system changes and updates, see the Change Management Calendar or SysNews. If you have any questions, contact the NC State Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or 919.515.HELP (4357).

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04: OIT issues Microsoft Windows 10 support statement
Microsoft Windows 10 is the current version of the Windows operating system and is shipping on new Windows computers.

Windows 10 on university-owned computers

Many university-owned computers are running Windows 7. Workstations in OIT-managed computer labs and classrooms as well as workstations running the OIT Managed Desktop will be running Windows 7 for the foreseeable future. While the NC State Help Desk has some experience with Windows 10, OIT recommends that departments establish their support plans and implementation strategies before upgrading existing workstations to Windows 10.

Individual colleges, divisions and departments may have recommendations regarding Windows 10. Please check with your local IT support for your unit’s recommendations.

All university-owned computers are licensed for all versions of the Windows OS through the Microsoft Campus Agreement. (Log in with your Unity ID and password to view this page.)

Windows 10 on student-owned computers

New computers purchased by students will usually come with Windows 10 installed. The OIT Walk-in Center and the NC State Help Desk can provide support for Windows 10 as well as other currently-supported versions of Windows on student-owned computers.

If you have any questions, please contact the NC State Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or 919.515.4357 (HELP).

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05: Check the status of your Google App via SysNews
You can’t log in to Gmail.
Your Google Drive quits unexpectedly and won’t reconnect.
Your Google Doc is running really, really slow.

If you’ve ever experienced these or other performance issues, you might have asked, “What’s wrong with my Google App?”

Now you can monitor the status of your app in real time via the new Google Apps Status section in SysNews, a Web interface that provides up-to-the-minute reports on OIT systems and services.

If there are any large-scale outages for a Google App, that particular app will appear in Google Apps Status. You can click on the app, which is linked to the Google Apps Status Dashboard, to find out if there is an outage or service disruption.

Google Apps Status in SysNews will display “no issues” if all services are functioning normally. Keep in mind that you may experience issues that haven’t been reported; if they continue to persist, report all occurrences to the NC State Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or 919.515.4357 (HELP).

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06: Google to end XML calendar feeds on Nov. 18
Due to low usage and a continued effort to streamline its services, Google will no longer provide XML calendar feeds, effective Wednesday, Nov. 18. If you are using XML calendar feeds to view your Google Calendar data in other applications or websites, you will need to chose another method before that date.

Google Calendar currently supports three ways to view your calendars in other applications or websites:

  • iCal (e.g., Microsoft Outlook and Apple Calendar).
  • HTML, which allows you to embed your calendar in your website or blog.
  • Google Calendar API, which allows developers to display, create and modify calendar events.

Some website plug-ins and devices use XML calendar feeds, so please be sure you know how your calendar feeds are being handled. If you are using your device’s native calendar application or the Google Calendar app, you are most likely not impacted by this event.

For more information, see XML feeds are going away.

For other Google updates and enhancements, visit NC State What’s New in Google Apps – September 2015.

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07: Best practices for managing your spam folder
The NC State Help Desk often receives calls from campus customers asking why their email has been flagged as spam and relegated to their spam folder. To ensure you receive prompt delivery of your email, follow these helpful tips:

  • Check your spam folder on a regular basis.
    • Depending on your email volume, you should glance at your spam folder daily or weekly.
    • Even though Google may learn what is and is not spam in your Inbox, it is constantly updating and tweaking its spam filtering settings.
  • Links and images can create problems when sending email.
    • If a large volume of your email is marked as spam, make sure all of your email links are valid.
    • Make sure images in your signature file have valid links as well.
  • Keep your messages on target and use descriptive subject lines.
    • Generic subject lines (e.g., update and important) can raise your email’s spam score.
    • Messages with only attachments and no body text may also be tagged as spam.

For more information on spam in general, please see OIT’s Spam Web page.

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08: SSL to become default for OIT-hosted websites
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.

To learn more about OIT’s move to SSL, see Get on the Web.

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09: Use Template Gallery to format your Google Docs
If you need to format a report, resume, slide deck, spreadsheet, or other document, browse through the newly redesigned Template Gallery in Google Docs for an assortment of layouts. Save additional time formatting your document and replace the template’s sample text with your custom content.

To use the Template Gallery:

  1. From your Google Drive, click the New block.
  2. Select Google DocsGoogle Sheets or Google Slides.
  3. From the File menu, select New and then From Template.
  4. Select a template from the design options to get started.

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

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10: Become a Good Searcher and look for more training opportunities!
Upcoming workshops include:

  • Gmail: Advanced Plus Tools, Tips & Tricks will be offered on Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. In this workshop, 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.
  • Google Calendar will be offered on Thursday, Oct. 22 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 more of its features, this hands-on workshop is for you. 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. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Create and Collaborate with Google Drive will be offered on Tuesday, Oct. 27 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Hill Library. In this hands-on workshop, 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 Services will be offered on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. This workshop is intended to be the foundation for all other Google Apps workshops and will provide an overview of Google Services at NC State. Topics will include a review of currently available Google apps on campus, accessibility, recommended settings, security tips, support, Web Registry tools (e.g., generic accounts and calendar resources), searching, and much more! To register, visit Classmate.
  • Become a Good Searcher will be offered online on Tuesday, Nov. 3 from noon to 1 p.m. The number one complaint from Google Apps users is “I can’t find it!” (e.g., mail, document and file). Join this Hangout On Air session to learn how to use Google search functions to find things faster and easier. Visit the Google Apps @ NC State Google+ event page to register for this webinar and to add this event to your calendar.
  • Gmail: Beyond the Basics will be offered on Wednesday, Nov. 4 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, there will be a brief introduction to Google Hangouts. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Google Drawings will be offered on Thursday, Nov. 5 from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 110 of the Avent Ferry Technology Center. In this fun and interactive Lunch & Learn event, you’ll find out how easy it is to create, share and edit your own diagram, chart or image! Google Drawings can be inserted in other Google Apps like Docs, Sheets and Slides. To register, visit Classmate.
  • Google Slides will be offered on Wednesday, Nov. 11 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in ITTC Lab 2 of D.H. Hill Library. Learn how to create your own presentations using Google Slides. This session will focus on creating, editing, sharing and collaboration, themes, transitions, animations, and more! To register, visit Classmate.
  • Introduction to Google Sites will be offered on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 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.

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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11: SAR training scheduled for Nov. 10
Security Access Request (SAR) training for campus requestors and approvers of access to secured university data will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 10 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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12: Never, ever share your password
If you share your Unity password with anyone else, not only is it a policy violation, but you also expose yourself and the university to significant risk. Think of your password like your signature. Sharing it with someone is the same as giving that person authority to sign your name—authority that implies you approve whatever they do in your name. You and only you are responsible for all activities performed with your Unity ID and password.

Never send your password to someone else in email. If you receive an email from someone who claims to be a university staff member and asks for your password, do not share your password. Better yet, do not respond. No NC State administrator or IT support person has a reason to ask for your password.

What if you need to share email or calendar information with someone, like an administrative assistant, while you’re traveling? Instead of sharing your password, delegate email or calendar access to that person. See How can I delegate email or calendar access to another person?

What if someone affiliated with NC State is visiting you, even for a short time, and needs to log in to a computer on campus? Instead of sharing your password with the person, request a guest account for them. See Guest Accounts at Computing Account Procedures for Faculty, Staff and Guests.

Part of your job responsibility may be to coordinate Travel Authorizations and Reimbursements for your department. Suppose you need to look at a department member’s travel documents in the Financials system. Instead of asking for their password, learn how to set up your profile with proxy access for others in your department on page 7 of the Travel Center User’s Guide.

To read more about choosing a strong password and keeping it safe, review:

If you have any questions, contact the NC State Help Desk at help@ncsu.edu or 919.515.4357 (HELP).

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