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.


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


Technology Digest: September 18

Student Email Does It Again

Upgrade adds even more productivity features to Office 365

Over the summer, student email transitioned from Windows Live to Office 365 with its improved services and separation from the personal SkyDrive storage account.

Beginning Tuesday, October 1, student email improves yet again with the addition of SkyDrive Pro, Microsoft Web apps, an ECU Yammer link, an improved interface and full integration with the faculty/staff address book.

New Office 365 menu

Updated Office 365 menu

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Access mail and calendar items throughout the upgrade (no downtime)
  • Store class assignments in the SkyDrive Pro* library
  • Create and edit SkyDrive Pro* documents with Web apps (lite versions of Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote)
  • Manually move documents from your personal SkyDrive* to your SkyDrive Pro* (if you choose)
  • Create new contacts through the People link in the toolbar
  • Log in to the ECU Yammer social network through the Yammer link
  • Learn more about SkyDrive Pro* below
  • The Sites menu link is only available to ITCS administrators at this time
  • If you encounter further problems accessing your Office 365 account, contact the IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866 or 800.340.7081

*What’s the Difference?

SkyDrive Pro is the business-class cloud storage that is part of the ECU Office 365 student email. Personal Skydrive is personal (outside ECU) cloud storage offered by Microsoft to Windows users.


After the Upgrade

  • Your email login WILL NOT CHANGE: mymail.ecu.edu
  • If you need help at any time, call the IT Help Desk at 252.328.9866 | 800.340.7081

SkyDrive Pro Lets You Go Places – Learn More

SkyDrive Pro is 25GB of private, online storage for organizing documents, spreadsheets, images and more. Access your SkyDrive Pro storage from the menu at the top of your Office 365 screen.

SkyDrive Pro allows you to…
…store up to 25GB in easy-to-organize libraries (folders).

Visit the Microsoft Office site for an explanation of SkyDrive features:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-server-help/what-is-skydrive-pro-HA102822076.aspx

SkyDrive Pro allows you to…
…Access your SkyDrive files from the browser of any device.

SkyDrive Pro allows you to…
…edit your Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote SkyDrive documents using online Web apps within your browser.

Click a document’s drop-down menu and choose Edit in a Browser, or the Edit in Word option (Excel for a spreadsheet, etc.), which opens your computer’s Word program for more full-featured editing.

SkyDrive Pro allows you to…
…create new Office documents in your SkyDrive Pro.

Within SkyDrive, click the new document link. Create brand-new documents within SkyDrive, organize files by creating new folders and upload files from your computer.

SkyDrive Pro allows you to…
…share your documents with others.

Click the icon in the Sharing column to open the Share with… dialog box. Enter email addresses and set permissions (view or edit).

SkyDrive Pro allows you to…
…sync your SkyDrive Pro (cloud) documents to your computer (Windows only).

If you make a change in either location, the document updates in both SkyDrive and your Windows computer.

First, download and install the FREE SkyDrive Pro client to your computer:
http://www.microsoft.com/en-US/download/details.aspx?id=39050

For full tutorials, visit http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/support/sync-a-library-to-your-computer-HA102832401.aspx?CTT=5&origin=HA102822076