Friday, August 31, 2018

Shop Online Safely

Online shopping is a wonderful and dangerous way to pass the time. The amount of deals and products available at our fingertips is immeasurable. The act of simply pressing a couple of buttons is effortless. It’s easy to get swept up with the deal of the century and end up in a situation you don’t want to be in. There are many websites out there that simply want your information rather than provide a guaranteed product. If a deal seems too good to be true, investigate before committing to the purchase. 

Here are a few tips to follow when making an online purchase:

Use Familiar Websites

Start with the name of the company. If it’s unfamiliar or you’ve heard negative comments about it always look for reviews. A great source of information is the BBB or the Better Business Bureau, this is an organization that analyzes the quality of companies and customer reviews. If the website isn’t found or has significant negative reviews don’t chance losing your information in the process of finding a “good” deal. 

Check Policies
Once you have approved of the website check to see who you are purchasing the item from. Many websites, like Amazon, allow you to buy from individuals along with the company itself. If you are purchasing from an individual or a secondary company always make sure you check the policies associated with that particular company or individual. One great example of a policy to check out is returns. If by chance you aren’t in love with the product, you want to be sure that you can return it rather than being stuck with it.

Make Sure Encryption is Used

The most important step is processing the payment. As with any website you should make sure the web address starts with https://. If it begins with http:// or anything else it is not secure. Another way to tell if it is safe is to check the lock image, if it is closed the connection is secure. This means that the personal information you are providing is being encrypted until it is received to the intended recipient. Even if it shows a lock, be careful with the information you’re providing. For example, no online purchase should require you to provide your social security number or birthday. 
Save Confirmation Numbers and Check Statements 
Once you click the magic purchase button, the watch doesn’t stop. Always watch for either a confirmation number or tracking number associated with your order. This will allow you to question the site if something goes wrong. Without it, it can be difficult to prove you provided your information. Also, be aware of your account statements. Checking your accounts regularly will allow you to notice if a business has billed you and if it is for the correct amount. If you fail to notify your bank or the business in time, you could lose the extra amount taken from you. 
Double Check Your Order
Finally, that exciting day when your purchase arrives. Make sure not to get too swept up in the moment, always check the merchandise sent to you. While many times you will receive exactly what you ordered, occasionally mistakes occur. This can include either missing items, incorrect items (ex. the size or color), or incorrect orders. If this occurs always contact the company and inform them of the issue. Similarly, if your package doesn’t arrive after the proper amount of time and you’ve checked the tracking number contact the proper personnel. 

Learn more by visiting and clicking on the "Information Security" tile. Have a great fall semester!

myIT Tip of the Week

myIT Tip of the Week

Introducing Electronic Scheduling in Richel Learning Space  

The Richel Learning Space now has self-service electronic scheduling for study rooms.  Students can use the scheduling calendar located outside of each room to schedule the space for study sessions, group project work, or other academic uses.  Each room has a computer with a large screen for easy collaboration, web cam for video conferencing, and a whiteboard for brainstorming.  

 Welcome back, students.  Have a great semester!


Sunday, August 26, 2018

IT Only Takes a Minute - PREVIEW!

Emporia State IT's ongoing web series are back for another season!  You can find us on Hornet TV by going to  Tyler gives us a preview of what's to come with IT ONLY TAKES A MINUTE and stay tuned for more videos very soon!  ESU groups interested in their own Hornet TV channel (it's free!) can get one by contacting the IT Help Desk.  #myhornet365

-Brian Osbourn, Director, Web & Digital Strategies

Welcome to the Fall 2018 Semester!

We hope your first week of the Fall 2018 semester is off to a great start!

Here are a few things we thought you should know:

  • The student printing system is called SkyPrint.  You get $8 (or 100 pages) for free!  You submit your print jobs over the web and release them at SkyPrint station in most of the campus buildings.
  • Need a place to store your files?  Use OneDrive!  You get 1 TB of space and you can access and share your files on any device!
  • Get Microsoft Office for free!
  • Want to see ESU videos?  Check out Hornet TV on displays across campus and on the web! (and preview our web series below!)
  • All of this and much more can be found in ESU's new portal--HORNET 365!  Go to on any device to get started!

Good luck and stay connected with us!  See our social media links below or contact us at the IT Help Desk!

In Person: Cremer Hall 149
Phone: (877) 341-5555

-Brian Osbourn, Director, Web & Digital Strategies


If you're looking for more details on the new Hornet 365, Hornet TV or any of the new IT services, follow us on social media and look for the hashtag MyHornet365.  In addition to first looks and previews, we'll post some exclusive content here--including some fun stuff, too!


Facebook -
Instagram - EmporiaStateIT
Snapchat - EmporiaStateIT
Twitter - @emporiastateIT

-Brian Osbourn, Director, Web & Digital Strategies

Introducing the new Hornet 365

Hornet 365 homepageThis past week, visitors to, aka the gateway to Hornet 365 services, saw a visual upgrade.  This first step moves us closer to the ultimate goals of Hornet 365 to become the next generation portal for all ESU digital services.

What about Buzz In?

The current portal, Buzz In, will be retired in the coming months, but will continue to be operational while we work to add new content and features to Hornet 365.

If YOU build it...

That's right, we want you as a student, faculty, staff or guest of ESU to help us build it!  Give us your feedback (you'll see a fancy new button on to fill out a short form.  Because the new 365 will run in parallel with Buzz In, we're taking the unique opportunity to work collaboratively with groups across campus to help make Hornet 365 better throughout the fall 2018 semester!

What's New?

Hornet 365 has a lot going on under the hood, not least of which is the fact that the authenticated sites (or the parts you DO have to log in to) are powered by Office 365.  In addition to FREE Microsoft Office, there are many different services.  We'll cover those in future posts, but here are just a few of the new things that are live now:

Hornet Sites - These sites are just like a public website, but you need an ESU userid and password to access them.

g365 - A special service for group emails, sharing files, a team collaboration space, integration with Microsoft Teams and more!

w365 - A place for sharing files with your department, committee or standing group.  Just files here, plus it integrates with OneDrive!

OneDrive - Okay, this one isn't new, but there is a feature that is--the ability to intelligently synchronize files to your computer.  The OneDrive client is able to determine which files you're using and which one's you're not and only sync the one's you've used recently.  All of your files still live in the cloud and are there whenever you need them.  This saves on disk space and bandwidth.  Right now, this feature is exclusive to Windows.  OneDrive gives every ESU student, faculty and staff member 1 TB of file storage space that you can access via Windows/Mac file explorers, web browsers and your Apple/Android mobile device.

Hornet Spaces - this is a new ESU service, or collection of services showing you all of the various maps of ESU.  From a details overhead map to a Street View-style 360 service that gives you the ability to virtually walk throughout the entire campus, we've got them all in one place.  Plus, don't miss our new site about campus computer labs currently being beta-tested.

Newsstand - Have you ever needed to share a file or document in a way that makes it pleasant to read?  Would you like to share it with the public or even embed it into another website?  PDF's are boring--why not add some interactive features to your documents?  Those are just some of the things that we've made available with the new service called Newsstand.  Powered by the popular web service Issuu, Newsstand is available to any ESU department, recognized student group, etc. at no cost.

These are just a sampling of some of the great new things that are coming to Hornet 365!  Stay tuned to the blog and our social media for more coverage of the services we've mentioned here and even more in the future!


-Brian Osbourn, Director, Web and Digital Strategies

Reserve a Study Room in Richel Learning Space!

Emporia State's IT department just launched a new service in Richel Learning Space (Cremer Hall 193) to make your experience just a little more convenient. Powered by iPads and Office 365's Bookings, you can reserve study rooms in Richel Learning Space in just a few seconds! If you need a space to study with your group, stop by ahead of time or reserve available rooms when you arrive. This software will also send you a reminder e-mail so you won't forget when you reserved your room. Some study rooms are equipped with a Hornet 365-powered computer, TV and a whiteboard, so don't miss out on these exciting new features!

Sam Derksen
Student Web Developer
Web and Digital Strategies

Friday, August 24, 2018

Back to School Security Tips

Now that we’re back on campus, it’s time to get back in the swing of using the wide range of facilities and services offered on campus. Technology resources, such as our Richel Lab, are incredibly helpful when in classes or when you’re in a pinch, and we want to make sure you get the best use out of them.

Here are some easy tips to ensure your information is safe:

Keep your passwords locked down.
This starts with creating a password or a passphrase that is unique and difficult to guess. Good examples could be a line from your favorite song with numbers and special characters in it. It will be easy to remember and more challenging for someone to discover. One thing you want to avoid is using the same password for multiple accounts. If someone figures it out then they can gain access to your entire life. Therefore, invest in a secure password manager to keep a safe record of each account’s distinctive password.

When leaving a device, always go through each individual website and log out.
While this can be time consuming when you’re trying to race to your next class, it can save you from a potential threat. Leaving your account logged on can give anyone access to go in and do things you don’t want. For example, if you leave your Amazon account logged in, that person could potentially make their own purchase on your dime.

Remember me not on a public computer.
While the "remember me" feature may be handy on your personal devices, it can be very dangerous on a public one. You are opening your accounts up to whoever may be using it next and they might not have your best interests at heart. So, always leave the “remember me” box unchecked.

Update apps and devices with the newest versions.
While the university’s computers automatically do this, your personal ones do not. Therefore, you should be on the look-out for new updates. This will allow you to have the most recent versions of security features available from the developers. Many times their updates are the result of a security issue; therefore, make sure you complete the updates as soon as they become available to you.

Take a second to go through you’re applications on all of your devices.
Each app has different levels of access to your information; therefore, it’s important to know which ones can access what. If you no longer use an app, deleted it. It will open up more room for useful apps, but it will also take any unnecessary access from potentially problematic apps. What might have been safe when you downloaded it could be outdated software with security issues. Therefore, play it safe and get rid of the old apps.

Learn more by visiting and clicking on the "Information Security" tile. Have a great fall semester!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Don't Play the Phishing Game!

Over the last few weeks, ESU has experienced a variety of wide-spread phishing scams. While some of them may have looked different than others, they all had one thing in common - they wanted you to give up your valuable information, such as your username and password.

Let's talk about the concept of phishing for a minute, so you don't play the phishing game!

Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to collect personal (username, password…) and financial information (credit card number…) or infect your machine with malware and viruses. Many times, these attacks begin with a cybercriminal sending a message pretending to be from someone or something you know, e.g. a friend, your bank, PayPal etc.

Spear phishing scams are highly specialized attacks against a specific target or small group of targets to collect information or gain access to systems. For example, a cyber criminal may launch a spear phishing attack against a business to gain credentials to access a list of customers. In our case, cyber criminals pretend to be someone from the University you know, to make you more likely trust the message.

Phishing and other scams are not limited to just email. They are also prevalent on social networking sites. The same rules apply on social networks: When in doubt, throw it out. This rule applies to links in online ads, status updates, tweets and other posts.

How you can recognize a phishing email:
  • Check the email address. If the email appears to come from a legitimate organization, for example our University, but the FROM address is someone's personal account such as this is most likely a phishing scam.
  • Does the email address you by your name or something generic such as "Dear Customer?" If a trusted organization has a need to contact you, they should know your name.
  • Watch for grammar and spelling errors.
  • Phishing emails often call for "immediate action" or create a sense of urgency in other ways. Scammers are using this as a technique to rush you into making a mistake.
  • Be careful with links and only open the ones you are expecting. Also, hover your mouse over the link and see if the destination matches what you are expecting. Similarly, only open attachments you are expecting.

 How you can avoid phishing scams:
  • Don't reveal personal or financial information in an email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent in emails.
  • If you are unsure whether an email request is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company or person directly. Contact the company using information provided on an account statement or other document, not information provided in an email. Alternatively contact the IT Help Desk to learn about known phishing scams.
  • Keep a clean machine. Having the latest operating system, software, web browsers, anti-virus protection and apps are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.

If you think you may have been scammed, contact the IT Help Desk immediately!