Friday, May 25, 2018

When Planning Your Wedding Say "I do" to Cyber Safety!

Have you been to a wedding lately? It seems like this time of the year, there is at least one wedding to go to every weekend! Weddings are exciting and the summer months seem to be a prime time. However, in the whirlwind of emotions, some important online security considerations can be easily overlooked.

According to XO Group Inc., 92% of couples used their smartphones for planning their wedding in 2017. Planning your wedding often involves a large amount of personal information, such as family and friends' contacts and credit card information that could be put at risk in the online world. Here are some simple precautions you can take to ensure that a cybersecurity incident won't get in the way of your beautiful wedding!

  • create long, unique passphrases and use multi-factor authentication whenever possible
  • back up all wedding photos and important documents to a cloud service or external hard drive
  • when updating online photo albums, be mindful of your guests' privacy
  • when away on your honeymoon, consider waiting to post photos and "checking in" your location till you are back home - otherwise you may alert criminals that you are away from home
  • avoid transmitting sensitive data, such as credit card information, via unsecured Wifi networks, e.g. in airports
  • shop only on websites if the address includes "https"

 View and share the Wedding tip sheet here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

How to protect yourself from Ransomware

Have you ever noticed a little pop-up window on your computer screen telling you something is wrong with your computer and to call a specific number to fix the issue? Next thing you know you can't access any of your files unless you pay thousands of dollars. This is what we call ransomware.

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your files rendering them inaccessible - it's like a "digital kidnapping" of your files. Cyber criminals will claim you won't get your files back until you pay a ransom. Ransomware is often downloaded from malicious emails or websites.

What you can do to protect yourself:
  • use caution online
  • keep software and browsers up-to-date
  • use current Antivirus protection
  • make regular backups of your important files

Never pay the ransom!

There is no record of people receiving their files back once they paid and receiving payments only encourages cyber criminals to continue what they do. The best defense against ransomware is using caution and backing up your files, that way if something happens to one copy of your files you can use the backed up copies instead.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Cognos Special Topics Training Sessions - Thursday, May 31, 2018

IT Data Management is excited to announce Cognos Special Topics Training Sessions on Thursday, May 31, 2018 in Richel Lab, Cremer Hall 193. 
(10:00 am - 11:00 am & 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm)
These are same sessions, presented at two different times.

To sign up for either of the 2 sessions, go to  [myIT > Training > Sign Up] 
 and fill the form.

Topics to be covered in the training sessions :

1. How to select multiple terms for Academic Partnership Reporting
For example: Currently, all Cognos reports are developed to select/ enter 1 term at a time but going forward with Academic Partnership reporting, we would like to change all possible Cognos reports to be able to select multiple terms at once.
This way, for Spring 2019, a user will be able to select 201910 and 201911 at once; for Summer 2019, a user will be able to select 201930 and 201931 at once; for Fall 2019, a user will be able to select 201950 and 201951 at once.

2. How to request modifications to an existing report
For example: If a user would like to add/ remove data fields, add/ remove aggregate values to a report, etc., the user will submit a Report Form where we have added a checkbox to indicate modifications are need.  

3. How to save Cognos reports in Excel
Tips on how to save and modify (sort/ filter/ save as/ etc.) Cognos reports.

Friday, May 4, 2018

You Heard IT Here First - Good Luck with Finals + SkyPrint Credits!

We hope everyone had a great semester!  To make the last couple weeks as stress-free as possible, we've increased everyone's SkyPrint Credits back to the full $8!  And don't worry, if you've already added money, it will still be there next semester!

As always, you can contact us at the IT Help Desk for any assistance that you need.  Check out our website for hours and contact info.  And please subscribe to our social media channels to get the latest news over the summer!

Good luck with finals, have an excellent and safe summer and we'll see you next fall.  And a special congratulations to all of this year's graduates!

-Information Technology

Windows Releases the Spring Creators Update

Another major week of software updates, except this week it comes from Windows. They just dropped the Windows 10 Spring Creators update (1803) for most users to upgrade. While the update isn't available for employee desktops or campus computers, you are now able to get it on your personal computers. One of the biggest feature updates is the new timeline feature(as shown above) which lets you browse through your history of application usage for the sake of quickly pulling up your past word documents, your third favourite video game, or, in my case, that one programming project... all without having to rummage through your files. Other major updates include major security updates, back-end software improvements, and a new heavy emphasis on Microsoft's fluent design (which you can learn more about here). Overall, it brings a major new aesthetic to windows but only in the subtlest of ways. For instance, they now added a quick link to images and documents in the Start window which have this neat glow to them when you mouse over them (as shown below):

This update is also pokes it's head out as you use the interface more and more often. Tabs in most Windows application like settings, mail etc. have more prominent acrylic components as shown below:

As you can see, it has this slight translucent theme to it. Outside of visual updates, there are other cool features as well that include being able to quickly share documents between computers, the ability to quickly switch processes between your phone and computer via this new share feature that is available on the Android store, as well as a new launcher on android devices to give your phone a Windows feel to it (for all the big Windows fans out there such as myself). While it may not be the biggest revolution in OS updates, it definitely brings a lot of smaller updates that are meant to improve the user experience in an incremental fashion, a manner that seems to be dominating the software market as of late.

Blog Recognized!

Emporia State University Information Technology's blog was recognized as one of the top 30 higher education/technology blogs of 2018 by EdTEch, a leading news website and publication with a focus on technology in education and operated by solutions provider CDW. ESU's IT blog explores a wide range of topics including IT news, tips from the Help Desk, the latest in information security that impacts students and faculty and much more. Visitors can read the blog online or sign up for a weekly digest at -Brian Osbourn, Director, Web & Digital Strategies

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Are your online accounts protected?

This Thursday, we celebrate World Password Day to remind us to keep our online accounts safe. Using the same password for all accounts has long caused a serious security risk. As soon as someone figures out your Facebook password, now they also have access to your online banking. But seriously, who can keep track of all these accounts?

Here are some simple tips you can use to increase security for your online accounts on this year's World Password Day:

  •  Use passphrases instead of passwords. This can be as simple as using your favorite song lyrics, football team or hobby, for example Il0vemyM0t0rcycl3! and remember - the longer, the stronger!

  • While it is strongly recommended that you create unique passphrases for all your accounts, pay special attention to very important accounts such as email, banking and healthcare. Always use a unique passphrase for your work account.

  • Are you having trouble keeping track of all your passphrases? Try using a password manager! Password managers are programs that store all your passwords in one encrypted database. This makes it simple to manage unique passwords for each account! Learn more about password managers here. Alternatively, write down your passphrases and store them in a safe place away from your computer.

  • To add an additional layer of security, try using multi-factor authentication. Enabling multi-factor authentication on your important accounts will prompt you to provide another piece of information in addition to your passphrase before being able to access your account. For example, you will enter your passphrase (something you know) and a security code sent to your phone (something you have). This significantly reduces the chances of anyone being able to hack into your accounts. To learn more about multi-factor authentication, visit  

Implementing these tips won't take long and let's face it - you have enough to worry about :)