It’s hard to believe summer is nearly over and a new academic year is here.
Here’s the latest news for new and current faculty and staff.
WebEx vs. Skype: Is There a Difference?
With both WebEx Cloud and Skype for Business available to ECU users, how do you pick the right online meeting solution? Both tools share collaboration tools, audio and video options, scheduling through Outlook and a Meet Now feature.
However, there are also differences that make the choice clear depending on your requirements. Here’s how you can decide which is the best tool for your meeting.
Skype is part of the Office 365 download and is available to students, faculty and staff. It is currently ECU’s standard for instant messaging and desktop sharing. It is used to determine another user’s “presence” through Outlook – not available (red), green (available), yellow (away from the computer).
Skype is an excellent choice for desktop sharing and is approved to discuss FERPA information – while holding online office hours, for example. But, Skype is NOT approved for HIPAA discussion. See these security considerations.
WebEx is currently only available to faculty and staff. Users have a personal online meeting room where the URL never changes (ecu.webex.com/join/your-pirateID). WebEx is browser-based and works well with either a Mac or a Windows computer as well as iOS, Windows and Android mobile. WebEx is also approved for both HIPAA and FERPA.
So, both Skype for Business and WebEx are excellent choices for your online meetings, with some situations favoring one tool over another. Still not sure? Visit the video and web conferencing website for more information.
REDCap’s New Informational Website
REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture) is a secure, HIPAA compliant, web-based application used for building and managing online surveys and databases. All data is secure within ECU’s IT infrastructure.
Over the summer, the ITCS Multimedia & Technology (MTS) team made significant updates to the REDCap website by adding new user guides, frequently asked questions, security information and other resources to assist researchers in using this powerful tool.
New users must meet all prerequisites and approvals before creating an account. See the REDCap online research survey website for details.
OneDrive vs. Piratedrive: Which is Best?
ECU provides two storage solutions for your course work, research and other documents. Read on for the specifics of each.
All ECU users have a 125GB Piratedrive network storage folder on ECU servers. Piratedrive is approved for sensitive ECU information – good for research data or personal documents. Your folder is named the same as your PirateID and is always available when on campus as a network connection named, Piratedrive (U:). Piratedrive can also be accessed through Pirate Port. See the Piratedrive website for more information.
OneDrive is a feature of your ECU Office 365 subscription. This 1TB cloud storage folder is housed in the cloud and is approved to store your FERPA data and academic schoolwork, etc. OneDrive is NOT approved for storage of sensitive information. OneDrive is different from Piratedrive in that you can share, edit and collaborate online – a good idea to use when you are working with others! You can also sync documents from your mobile or computer to your OneDrive folder. Everything you need in one place and available from anywhere. See the OneDrive website to learn more.
Don’t Forget Your Software!
Windows 10 Operating System
Over the next few weeks, ITCS is making the Windows 10 OS available to staff as a download upgrade for a nominal fee. This OS is available to those with either a PC or Apple computer. We will release more information and download links when available.
Office 365 Subscription Includes FIVE Downloads
Don’t forget that your ECU Office 365 subscription comes with FIVE downloads for Office 2016. It doesn’t matter whether you own a Mac or PC, there is a download available for each platform.
See the Office 365 features page for more apps, links to Microsoft support and Lynda.com video instruction for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.
Ransomware: Few Sightings at ECU
Over the last few months, ITCS has implemented multiple security tools to protect devices connected to our network. And it’s paid off; the number of ECU computers infected with ransomware during recent attacks has been low.
However, you can add even more of a protective layer around your information by following these simple steps:
- Do not store ECU data on your computer. See the OneDrive vs. Piratedrive article above.
- Create and manage a backup for data that is stored on your system. If your ECU computer becomes infected with ransomware, the hard drive will be wiped, and we will be unable to recover your data (unless there’s a backup).
- Do not open suspicious emails or attachments.
- Do not click the links in a suspicious email.
- Keep your operating system and other software up to date.
- Remove outdated plugins in your web browsers.
- Have one user account for everyday use like web surfing and one user account with a separate password for administrative duties like installing software, etc.
While not foolproof, these simple steps can go a long way toward keeping your data safe from hackers. However, if you find that your computer has been compromised, turn off your computer immediately and call the IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866 | 800.340.7081.
Accessible Email Announcements
Email announcements help us spread the word to the ECU community on all sorts of important topics: department events and seminars, office openings and closings, HR-related information and much more.
By designing email announcements in multiple formats and using ECU’s accessibility guides, you allow those of your audience using screen readers and keyboard-only access to understand your message. These tips are a good start:
- Structure content using headings
- Provide sufficient contrast between the background and text
- Provide alternative text for images
- Use meaningful link text
- Use a descriptive subject line