Technology Digest: January 2014

Helpful Technology Resources for Students

Whether students need to create a Web site, store course files in a secure location, learn more about Microsoft Word or Excel to complete a project, or search for a campus computer lab in which to work – ITCS is here for them!

Please take a few moments to review these valuable Student Technology Services and Resources!


How Phishing Scams are Becoming Sophisticated

Phishing is a method by which someone tries to lure you into revealing your valuable personal information, such as an account password or credit card number. The intent of this type of scam is to gain access to your user accounts or money—something we all want to avoid.

The problem we face today is that phishing scams are becoming more and more convincing. They look like authentic communications from people and organizations that we know and trust. No longer can we depend on finding misspelled words in a hastily written email or obvious mistakes on a fake website to know that something is amiss.

Phishing attacks are being carried out with far greater attention to detail. Emails and websites look surprisingly authentic, easily fooling the casual observer. But how can we tell the difference?

Fortunately, most phishing scams have some telltale signs that will give them away. Here’s what to look for and what to do:

  • BE WARY of any request for your password, account number or other personal information, especially if the request is urgent and a web link is given for you to submit your information. This is the key signature of a phishing scam.
  • DO NOT click on the imbedded link, even if you are curious. Sometimes, these links will take you to a fake website to harvest your information and sometimes they will infect your computer with malware.
  • DO check with your trusted source (e.g., your bank, online retailer, IT department) to determine if the request is legitimate. Be sure to open a new browser window and type in the home address and navigate from there. Or simply give them a call on the phone.

For more information see Don’t be “Phooled” by Phishing Scams at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/itsecurity/Phishing-Scams.cfm.


How Phishing Scams are Becoming Sophisticated

Phishing is a method by which someone tries to lure you into revealing your valuable personal information, such as an account password or credit card number. The intent of this type of scam is to gain access to your user accounts or money—something we all want to avoid.

The problem we face today is that phishing scams are becoming more and more convincing. They look like authentic communications from people and organizations that we know and trust. No longer can we depend on finding misspelled words in a hastily written email or obvious mistakes on a fake website to know that something is amiss.

Phishing attacks are being carried out with far greater attention to detail. Emails and websites look surprisingly authentic, easily fooling the casual observer. But how can we tell the difference?

Fortunately, most phishing scams have some telltale signs that will give them away. Here’s what to look for and what to do:

  • BE WARY of any request for your password, account number or other personal information, especially if the request is urgent and a web link is given for you to submit your information. This is the key signature of a phishing scam.
  • DO NOT click on the imbedded link, even if you are curious. Sometimes, these links will take you to a fake website to harvest your information and sometimes they will infect your computer with malware.
  • DO check with your trusted source (e.g., your bank, online retailer, IT department) to determine if the request is legitimate. Be sure to open a new browser window and type in the home address and navigate from there. Or simply give them a call on the phone.

For more information see Don’t be “Phooled” by Phishing Scams at http://www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/itsecurity/Phishing-Scams.cfm.


Wireless Networking at ECU Survey: We Need Your Feedback!

We are interested in your feedback on wireless networking at ECU. Please take a moment to respond to a brief survey related to wireless on campus. Your feedback will help us in our planning efforts and in meeting your academic technology needs.

>>>>> RESPOND TO SURVEY NOW <<<<<http://survey.ecu.edu/wirelessatecu


Accessibility Tips: Five Ways to Get Started

We all know it’s important to create online materials that follow ADA regulations for accessibility. But you may be asking yourself “How do I begin?” and “How do I really know my information is accessible?”

Making your online content more accessible is easier than you think. Start with a few, simple changes like these and then check your pages using the tools below.

  1. Fonts should be easy to read. Tried and true paragraph fonts include Ariel, Helvetica and Verdana.
  2. Foreground and background should display sufficient contrast. Black text on a white background is the best.
  3. Provide alt text for all images. This is the text seen when the mouse rolls over. But more importantly, a screen reader reads this text to a user who doesn’t see the image.
  4. Provide closed captioning for videos. If your video requires captioning, contact the Department for Disability Support Services (www.ecu.edu/cs-studentlife/dss).
  5. Provide a transcript for audio.

There are lots of good tools out there to check your online content for accessibility. One of the best is the WebAIM (http://webaim.org/) Web site with the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. The Web site includes an easy-to-understand training module for those who want to know more (http://webaim.org/intro); however, the free WebAIM tool (http://webaim.org/resources) does not only check your content for accessibility, but also lets you know how to fix it. For example, type your URL into the WAVE tool and color-coded icons appear:  green means accessible, red and yellow mean a second look. Click the icon for a detailed explanation.

Want to know more? Visit the ITCS accessibility tips page (www.ecu.edu/cs-itcs/webpublishing/accessibility.cfm) or sign up for the accessible content training class through Cornerstone.


Data Privacy Day is January 28

Data Privacy Month (DPM) is an annual effort to empower people to protect their privacy and control their digital footprint, as well as escalate the protection of privacy and data as everyone’s priority.

Data Privacy Month will be celebrated starting with Data Privacy Day on January 28 and running through February 28.

EDUCAUSE Data Privacy Webinar – Online Webinar (Jan 30, 1:00-2:00pm ET): Privacy expert and publisher of Privacy Journal Robert Ellis Smith will join EDUCAUSE for a free webinar discussing the NSA data collection program. Host: Marc Hoit, Vice Chancellor and CIO, North Carolina State University.

Registration: http://www.educause.edu/events/educause-live-location-location-location

More information about DPM: http://www.staysafeonline.org/data-privacy-day