Thursday, March 31, 2016

Class of 2016 - Keep Copies of Your Emails and Google Drive Files

Seniors, in just a few weeks you'll accept your Macalester diplomas and become proud alumni, class of 2016! 
Are you interested in hanging on to your Macalester email and Google Drive files? Begin planning to move your Macalester email and Google Drive files to a personal account. Move it or lose it!

Keep your Email
  • Your Macalester accounts will be deleted Friday, September 9, 2016.
  • You will continue to receive email as well as all-campus and all-student email postings until your account is deleted.
  • Depending on how much email you have, it can take several days to move it to a personal email account. 

Keep your Google Drive Files
  • Once your Macalester account is deleted, all of your Macalester Google Drive files or folders will be deleted and cannot be recovered.
  • Change ownership of your files where relevant. Change the owner of each individual Google Drive file. Changing the ownership of a folder does not change the ownership of the files stored within it!
    • Do you own any assignments? You can't change ownership to your personal gmail account. Better make a copy for yourself, then copy and paste it into your personal account.
    • Do you own any group projects for class that need to stay at Macalester after you graduate? Better transfer the ownership to another student who is not graduating.
    • Do you own any work-study related Google Drive files that need to stay with the department after you graduate? Better transfer the ownership to your manager. 

Check out the Graduates Technology Checklist for more info and detailed instructions.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Back up your laptop, phone, or tablet on World Back Up Day!


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World Backup Day is celebrated each year on March 31 and is an independent initiative designed to raise awareness of data preservation and regular backups. The day before April Fool's is a good time to stop and think about backing up your data.

Check out ITS Back Up solutions for detailed information on how to back up your data to one of the following:

  • Google Drive
  • H Drive at webfile.macalester.edu
  • External hard drive
  • Thumb drive
  • Time Machine
  • Crashplan

Contact the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525 or helpdesk@macalester.edu for assistance.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Google Apps Updates Post for March 2016


In Google Docs, you don’t need to type to put words on a page—you can simply talk. And that includes formatting too.


In addition to the “Split text to columns” option, you can also format cells containing delimited data using a contextual menu that appears immediately after you’ve pasted data


EPUB is the most widely supported file format for publishing accessible documents and digital books, allowing people to consume long-form content in their preferred apps on a diverse range of screen sizes and devices, including smartphones, tablets, and eReaders.


Displayed in a pane to the left of the page, this outline features headers for each section of your document, making it simple to quickly jump from section to section.


The participant limit for Hangouts video calls from 15 to 25 for Google Apps customers.



the ability to set an “expiration date” for specific user access to files in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Scheduled 3/29/2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

Information Security Alert: Locky Ransomware Attack

Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware).  It encrypts your files on your hard drive and requires payment (usually $200-$400) in order to get the key needed to decrypt the files.  If you don’t pay, your data are forever inaccessible.  "Locky" is a new version of ransomware released in mid-February, and is often disguised as a Microsoft Word document attached to email. Here’s a sample of the email and Word document:
locky - sample email.jpg
(images courtesy of phishme.com and sophos.com)
locky - ms word doc.jpg


The Word document often contains gibberish, and instructs you, the victim, to enable macros in order to view the document. Macros are small computer programs within MS Office applications (Word, Excel, etc.) that hackers can misuse to take control of your computer. Macros are disabled by default, and should only be used by experts. NEVER enable macros for a document received via email unless you are certain of the source.  If you don’t enable macros, Locky can’t harm your data.

What You Need to Know:

Cyber criminals have kicked off a new email campaign that tries to trick you into running malicious software on your computer. If you receive the email and follow the instructions, you will lose access to all of your files and be forced to pay a ransom to regain access to your files.

What You Should Do:

If you receive a mysterious message with a Word or Excel attachment, do not enable macros. Mark the message as spam and delete it.  If you are suspicious but unsure, call the ITS Help Desk for assistance at (651) 696-6525 or email helpdesk@macalester.edu. If you were fooled into opening a suspicious email, please call the Help Desk immediately.

As always, be skeptical of emails that:
  • come from unknown users
  • contain attached files that you were not expecting
  • threaten adverse consequences unless you take action, such as:
    • “Your email account will be closed unless you…”
    • “Your bill is overdue and will be turned over to a collection agency if you don’t…”
  • offer something that is too good to be true, such as:
    • “You’ve won a new iPhone! Click here for more details…”
    • “The first 500 to respond will win a vacation to Las Vegas…”

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Network Maintenance Day, Saturday March 19

ITS staff will conduct a regular system maintenance period on Saturday March 19, 2016, from 6:00 AM until 12:00 noon.  We will perform upgrades, test connections, apply patches and do other tasks to keep our critical campus information systems running efficiently.

Please expect that most networked services - including Banner, 1600grand, DegreeWorks and PaperCut-based printing - will be down, completely or intermittently, during the maintenance period.  However, Internet access and Google Apps will NOT be affected, and should remain available while we perform the maintenance.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ramón Rentas via email (rentas@macalester.edu) or by phone at 651-696-6633.