Thursday, September 26, 2013

Protecting Sensitive Information



Sensitive information should never be made public and should be used strictly for authorized business purposes and only as long as needed.  There are two kinds sensitive information:  

  1. Regulated by law, state, federal, or industry (e.g., FERPA, HIPAA, SSNs and credit card numbers) and,
  2. Confidential by virtue of its importance to the business operations of the College (e.g., contracts, performance reviews, financial reports)

Personal Information Requiring Notification (PIRN)

PIRN is a category of sensitive information requiring special protection because its loss or theft requires notification of the victims by virtue of Minnesota Law.  In Minnesota, PIRN is defined as a person's first name and last name or first initial and last name in combination with any one or more of the following data elements that relate to such a person: 

  • Social Security number
  • Driver's license number or state-issued identification number
  • Financial or investment account number or credit/debit card number in combination with any required security code, access code, personal identification number or password, that would permit access to an individual’s financial account
  • Passport number

How should sensitive information be stored or transmitted?

  • PIRN, as defined above, should never be transmitted via email (regardless of domain) and should not be stored in Google Drive.
  • Sensitive information that is not PIRN may be transmitted via email within the Macalester domain (i.e., from/to a @macalester.edu account).
  • Sensitive information that is not PIRN may also be stored in Google Docs provided the “shared” settings only include those who absolutely need access to this information and only for a long as they need it.
  • Sensitive information of any kind should not be transmitted via email to an external domain (i.e., a non-@macalester.edu account).
  • Sensitive information should be backed-up to a secure, professionally administered system such as the G:/ drive.  Access to folders on the G:/ drive containing sensitive information should be limited to those who absolutely need access to this information and only for a long as they need it.  Because of the redundancy and protection applied to the G:/ drive, storing sensitive information in this manner ensures rapid and effective recovery in the event of data loss.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Brief Network Outage on September 25, 2013

An electrical failure briefly took all network services down today, September 25.  ITS staff have rerouted power around the failure point, and all services have been restored after approximately fifteen minutes of downtime.

Google Updates Biweekly Post



Google Apps

Updates to core Google Apps and the major services like Google+. Also major updates that may affect the Macalester community.


On September 23, 2013, many Gmail users received an unwelcome surprise: some of their messages were arriving slowly, and some of their attachments were unavailable.


Your Google products are now accessible under a new app launcher, located at the top right of the screen.


Google today announced Calico, a new company that will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases.


Google added Snapseed photo editing to its Google+ apps on Android and iOS back in March, and now it's bringing them to the desktop.


Thanks to advanced options and third-party extensions, there's always some new way to give Google+ an extra pinch of power.


Just in time for iOS7, comes a new Chrome for iOS.


Google Technology

News about other Google products and technology.


Bump’s latest versions had a characteristic Google has been chasing: simplicity of design and function, despite complex algorithms.

Google Business

Google Business news, including policies, user privacy, politics and legal issues.


New York regulators will announce on Monday, 9/23/2013, the most comprehensive crackdown to date on deceptive reviews on the Internet.


Google Ideas supported the Comparative Constitutions Project to build Constitute, a new site that digitizes and makes searchable the world’s constitutions.


This petition requests that Google be allowed to publish detailed statistics about the types (if any) of national security requests we receive under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, including Section 702.


Retailers, who have a love-hate relationship with Google, say the new in-box with an assortment of folders for different types of messages is the latest tussle in an increasingly contentious union.


Google Extra

Other Google side projects, including art, science and fun stuff.


September 18, 2013: Léon Foucault's 194th Birthday


September 4, 2013: With the help of digital agencies TH_NK and Mindshare, The Telegraph has compiled a list of 15 weird and wonderful facts about the technology giant.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Barron Koralesky Wins EDUCAUSE Rising Star Award

EDUCAUSE, higher education's premier information technologies organization, has named Barron Koralesky as a 2013 recipient of its Rising Star Award.

The award citation recognizes Barron “for modeling exemplary collaborative partnerships within his own institution and beyond, demonstrating how IT is a strong, contributing member of institutional strategy, and modeling an excellent example of a rising star in higher education IT.”

The award will be presented to Barron at the EDUCAUSE annual conference in Anaheim, California, October 15–18, 2013. Learn more about 2013 Rising Star Award recipients. Please join Macalester's ITS staff in congratulating Barron on this prestigious award, and for his ongoing contributions to both Macalester College and higher education!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Google Updates Biweekly Post


Google Apps

Updates to core Google Apps and the major services like Google+. Also major updates that may affect the Macalester community.


You’ll soon be able to take advantage of four new features to create your perfect form: progress bars, data validation, embedded YouTube videos, and custom messages.


You'll get a number of improvements that reduce the number of button presses required to read, reply and compose emails.


Google Plus is up with Reddit and Twitter at the forefront of online social media.


To change the size of the text in your document, simply select the text and click the text-size drop-down menu in the toolbar.


Excel has a useful transpose feature when copying and pasting. Here's a tip to do the same in a Google spreadsheet.

Google Technology

News about other Google products and technology.


To celebrate the Google Chrome browser’s fifth birthday on Thursday, the company expanded its ambitions in computing by introducing a new kind of Chrome app that runs offline and on other operating systems besides Google’s.

At its center, Google is a search company, but has made efforts in recent years to expand into other galaxies.

Google Business

Google Business news, including policies, user privacy, politics and legal issues.


Neither side released details of the offer, however, and rivals continued to call for the American technology company to cede more control of its Internet search and advertising business.


Now edX, a nonprofit provider founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is joining forces with Google to create a spinoff Web site where ordinary folks—and professors at colleges that have not been invited to join high-profile MOOC consortiums—can not only sign up for a MOOC but also build one themselves.


Google could be held liable for civil damages for secretly intercepting data on open Wi-Fi routers.

Google Extra

Other Google side projects, including art, science and fun stuff.


Aug 28, 2013 Google Doodle


Sep 9, 2013 Google Doodle

Follow on Google+


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Living on campus? Interested in a room phone?


Each residence hall and house has public access telephones. However, if you would like a phone for your residence hall room, just ask.

Public access phones and room phones can:

  • Call 911
  • Call on-campus and local calls; you'll need a calling card to make long distance calls.  

Although only one phone per room can be installed in residential halls, each resident can have his or her own voice mailbox. Requested telephone and voice mail service is available at no cost to you.

How to request a phone with or without voice mail:

11 things you should know about on-campus telephone service