Shawn Beattie, ITS, editor
Welcome to the Fall 2006 Augie Techknowledge from ITS, an e-newsletter to share "what's new" in ITS and provide useful tips and articles on Information Technology and Educational Technology at Augustana. We hope you like it and find it useful. This issue and previous issues can be fount on the ITS web site at http://its.augustana.edu/techknowledge. Enjoy!
In this issue:
Computer Basics Seminar for First Year students
Data Security at Augustana
Computer purchases and the "P-card"
Working at home
Making unruly web addresses short
Seminar for First Year students
Wendy Ramsdale, ITS Student Computing Coordinator
the second year that a one hour “Computer Basics Seminar” has been required
for all first year students in order for them to connect their personal
computer to the Augustana College network. If they fail to attend the
seminar, their personal computer was not allowed access to the Augustana
network. This year, four sessions were held the first two weeks of school.
New this year was a class for the Macintosh users on campus. About 650
first-year students attended these seminars; those that did not attend were disconnected from the network
after being notified. Some of these students were commuters or
did not own a personal computer so they were unaffected by this. For the
others, an additional seminar was held 2 weeks later for them to attend so
they could regain internet access.
Students are shown where to find help for network, cable, phone issues, etc. They are taught basic webmail and public folder use. We covered Microsoft Windows Update and the importance of keeping your system up-to-date. Lastly, they were shown basics about spyware and virus protection. This includes both how spyware and viruses get onto their computer and how to remove them.
The idea of this seminar was introduced two years ago. The hope was to help decrease viruses being spread across campus with a second effect of keeping the network up and running more reliably. At the same time, students become self-empowered when managing their computers. Of course, we do still help students with viruses and spyware, but now they are more knowledgeable in maintaining their personal computer.
Overall, this has been a great success. We have seen a substantial reduction of viruses being spread across campus since the seminars started.
Security at Augustana
Christopher Vaughan, Director, ITS
Recently, the Educause Center for Applied Research released a report indicating that security threats to data and network security remain the number one concern for higher education information technology departments. The report goes on to say that the specific risks associated with network and data integrity have shifted from easier to detect “loss of service” (ie:denial of service attacks, data destruction, viruses) to much less noticeable data hijacking or information theft.
Over time, the latter type of threat poses a much greater threat and loss to the institution than the former, so much so that the insurance industry has created specific coverage to protect colleges in the event of a break-in and potential exposure of private data.
|The State of California’s Database Protection Act specifically targets the responsibilities of an institution when faced with the exposure of private data by an institution, whether accidental or as the victim of a illegal act. In essence, the law makes it a requirement for any person, agency or company doing business in California to notify California constituents of data exposure within an expedient timeframe. Previously, it was up to the institution to decide as to whether or not to notify constituents and often this was not done due to embarrassment or risks to the continuing relationship. This left identity theft victims to navigate the maze of restoring their records after the fact. Many states have adopted or are developing similar legislation and the federal government may supersede all with its own version of laws covering breaches of cyber security. HIPPA, FERPA, and Sarbanes-Oxley -- federal laws on the books dealing with data security and privacy -- are just the beginning as our government begins to wrap its arms around the potential for mischief in our increasingly digital world.|
Unfortunately, Augustana College is not immune to the security issues
experienced by the rest of the cyber world. The College has adopted many new
policies and procedures with regard to government regulation of private data.
The Registrar’s Office has initiated the strategy of educating members of the
campus about the privacy guidelines outlined in the
Educational Rights and Privacy Act
(FERPA). Other offices have been trained with regard to data protected under
other laws. Additionally, one of the pillars of support for the conversion to
Datatel’s Colleague system was the increased ability to secure data
While the College as a whole continues to remain vigilant, we as individual employees of Augustana must also insure the integrity of our information. Simple steps such as logging out of the network or locking your workstation (by pressing Windows Key - L) when you are away from your desk, shredding or securing hardcopies of private information, and safeguarding and changing your password can help to avoid a potential breach. As a group, each office should discuss the type of college related information that can or should be maintained on laptops and personal home machines or even shared with outside agencies. As a reminder, there should be no unauthorized data servers on campus. Many campus exposures are a result of “temporary” storage on “department” servers.
Recognizing potential risk is a major step towards preventing disaster. Cyber theft is no different from physical theft, however as the old adage says - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of Tylenol. Or something like that.
Powerpoint Tip: Take
a Break During a PowerPoint Slide Show
Beth Whitty (Weber), ITS Software Analyst
|Here's an easy
yet very useful tip for those who give presentations using PowerPoint
When you want to stop for a break in your presentation without losing your place in the slide show, just press the lowercase B key or press the PERIOD (.) key. This will make the screen go black, and if it is a self-running presentation, it will pause. When you are ready to resume the show, press either key again, and you will start right where you left off.
Computer Purchases and the "P-Card"
Dennis Hurd, Desktop Support Manager
Recently, ITS has been notified of some computer and computer related purchases that were made by Staff and Faculty with their new "P card." While this recently-implemented method of purchasing works well for many purchases, it would definitely help in supporting and installing computer-related equipment if we at ITS were involved in the purchasing process before the purchase was completed.
We can assist you in making sure that the correct software will be ordered with the equipment so it will meet your needs and still be functional and compatible with our network and our other equipment. Also, the college has some site licenses for software and we may be able to save you some money by installing this software instead of ordering it with the equipment from the manufacturer.
In addition, if the equipment is purchased through ITS, the entire warranty process is much easier when we have to contact the manufacturer for replacement parts and/or service. The recent battery recall on some laptops is a case in point as Dell was able to tell us exactly what models we had ordered and what needed to be replaced. Any users ordering equipment on their own may have been missed if we were not notified of their purchase.
We can assist you in the purchase of any type of computer equipment including CPUs, monitors, printers, scanners, or special purpose equipment such as projectors. Just call Denny Hurd at 794-7309 or contact our help desk at 7293 for more information.
Working at home
Shawn Beattie, Educational Technology Services Manager
While ITS hopes you get a chance to relax this upcoming holiday season, it is often convenient to work on a file at home -- whether an Excel spreadsheet, your latest PowerPoint for class, or adding inline comments to a student's Word document -- to save time and gas by not having to drive to campus. Many of you have already taken advantage of Microsoft's Work at Home offer. Basically, if you use Microsoft Office at work on your workstation, you are permitted to also install it at home for academic work-related tasks. ITS supports this by allowing 24-hour checkout of the Microsoft Office media from the reserves desk at the library. You must sign an agreement at the time of the checkout. Click here to see the details from Microsoft
Now - how can you get access to those files at home? While you don't have access to your C drive, H drive, or O drive at home, you can use a couple simple techniques to make files available for working at home. One tip is in Microsoft Office - when you're working on a document, and it's time to get home - go to File...Send to...and choose Mail recipient (as attachment). For you keyboard shortcut fans, hold ALT and press F-D-A. This drops whatever Office document you are working on as an attachment in an Outlook email that you can send to yourself. You can then use webmail at home (http://webmail.augustana.edu) to access your e-mail.
But what if you are working on larger files, such as a large PowerPoint file or video clips? That's where USB flash memory works very well. Prices for 512MB and 1GB versions have been dropping fast. But be extra careful with sensitive documents -- you may want to encrypt or password-protect files you store on flash memory. In Office, select Tools..Options..Security.
Making unruly web
Shawn Beattie, ITS
|You may have had the unpleasant task of typing in a long web address (URL) and found yourself scratching your head and asking..."where IS the tilde key?" Or, perhaps you were e-mailed a long link and found that it wrapped onto more than one line and you had to re-assemble it as you pasted it into the address bar. Wouldn't you like to spare others from that frustration? Two web sites allow you to take long web addresses and make them short. TinyURL.com and SnipURL.com are two such services. Simply go to the website, paste your long URL in, and these services will generate a short address (such as http://tinyurl.com/a2503) that will redirect users to the long address. This new address is now short enough to write down for someone or to place in an e-mail message without it getting wrapped.|
Have a great Fall term!
Visit us at http://its.augustana.edu