Friday, September 30, 2016

Encrypt Your Laptop

Imagine walling up every window and all but one door into your home.  As long as you have the key, you're the only one who can get in. Encrypting your laptop does this, leaving only one door into your system—and your password is the key. Encryption protects your data even if your laptop is stolen and its hard drive removed. Apple, Windows and Android devices come with both encryption and backup functionality. 

Of course, if you forget your password, you've got a serious problem. Start by making a complete backup of your data, then turn on encryption. If yours is a College-owned laptop, consult ITS before you encrypt!

For more tips on securing your devices and protecting your data, visit Safe Computing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Should you update your device to macOS Sierra?


Don’t update your Mac OS—yet!

ITS recommends that you wait to upgrade your device to MacOS version 10.12, macOS Sierra, which is scheduled to be released by Apple on September 20, 2016.

macOS Sierra update checklist

✓ Will my existing software still work?

Maybe not. Third-party software vendors need additional time to make their software compatible with the latest Mac operating system. Here's a growing list of software titles that are not ready for the update:
  • Adobe CS5
  • Canon multi-function devices—provided by Loffler
  • MATLAB, At this time, MATLAB is not completely compatible with macOS;  this is only a problem if your computer is set to "non-United States regions and locales. Is MATLAB compatible with macOS 10.12 "Sierra"?

✓ Will it run on my computer?

The latest and greatest may negatively affect the performance of older computers.

✓ Back up my device.

Backing up your device is strongly recommended. Once the update is complete, there's no going back.

✓ Clear my schedule.

Upgrading your device to macOS Sierra may take hours.

Bottom line: When in doubt, you probably shouldn't.

Here's now to hide the UPDATE button to avoid accidentally updating to macOS Sierra.

  1. From the Apple menu, select App Store…
  2. Click Updates.
  3. From the Update Available list, locate MacOS Sierra (it will appear when available).
  4. Right-click (or Control+Click) on the macOS Sierra update title.
  5. Select Hide Update.
  6. Close the window to exit the App Store.

Additional Information

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Find out which files in your Google Drive are about to be deleted and what to do about it!

Any Google Doc, Sheet, Slide, or YouTube video owned by staff or students will be deleted when their Macalester account is deleted. All accounts are disabled and then deleted, so you have a short grace period to keep those Google Drive files. For 2016 graduates, their accounts are scheduled to be disabled September 27, 2016. For staff, their accounts are scheduled to be disabled on their last day of employment. Once disabled, accounts are deleted within in days and are unable to be recovered.

When the original owner has not changed the ownership to you, take the following steps to keep Google Drive files

Step 1: Search your Google Drive by owner

  1. Click Search options.
  2. From the Owner menu, select Specific person… and enter the person’s name and select it from the list of possible matches that appears.
  3. Click Search.
  4. Now you have a list of Google Drive files owned by your former student worker.

Step 2: Make a copy

  1. Select all the documents you want to keep.
  2. Right-click and select Make a copy.
  3. Copies of the files are created, adding Copy of to the file title.
  4. You are now the owner of those files.

Step 3: Share the copies (optional)

  1. Select the files you want to share.
  2. Right-click and select Share…
  3. In the People field, enter the accounts with whom you want to share the documents.
  4. Click Done.

For questions about Google Drive, YouTube, and changing ownership, contact the ITS Help Desk at or 651-696-6525.