Monday, October 28, 2019

Terms of Service...hmm what did I just agree to?

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We all sacrifice some privacy in order to use free services.

How many free online services do you use on a daily basis? Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Google to name a few? Ever wonder how these companies actually make money? Remember that “terms of service” you thoroughly read and agreed to when signing up for that free service? Yeah, me neither. No one reads the terms of service, but it clearly states how your data is going to be used. Usually, the terms of service states that the company can use your personal data for whatever purpose they see fit. Typically they use your data to sell targeted ads or sell your data to other companies.

Here are 7 ways to protect your privacy!


  1. Don’t overshare personal information on social media.
  2. Set all online profiles to private.
    Most platforms default to share your profile publicly.
    Why does everyone need to know about your Venmo transactions?
  3. Use fake answers for security questions.
    Yes, everyone knows your favorite sports team or where you were born.
  4. Don’t provide your everyday email address or phone number unless you like spam and robocalls.
  5. Review application permissions on your smartphone. Most apps probably don’t need access to your camera, microphone, and all of your pictures.
    Anyone use FaceApp? Then you should read FaceApp is back and so are privacy concerns.
  6. Don’t be afraid to push back and ask why they need information such as SSN.
  7. Delete accounts you no longer use.

If you take these steps, in addition to taking action on posts made throughout October for National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, you will be in a much better place than you are today—privacy-wise. There is no federal privacy law today, but California has passed the first consumer privacy legislation. Reference this Californians for Consumer Privacy site for additional information.

October is National Cybersecurity Month!

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Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT. Keep IT up! - October 31 2019

Today is the last day of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Don’t be sad. Instead, have fun and learn more! Check IT out:

Terms of Service...hmm what did I just agree to? - October 29 2019

How many free online services do you use on a daily basis? Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Google to name a few? Ever wonder how these companies actually make money? Remember that “terms of service” you thoroughly read and agreed to when signing up for that free service? Yeah, me neither. No one reads the terms of service, but it clearly states how your data is going to be used. Usually, the terms of service states that the company can use your personal data for whatever purpose they see fit. Typically they use your data to sell targeted ads or sell your data to other companies. Learn how to protect your privacy.

VPN 101 - October 25 2019

Use Macalester’s virtual private network (VPN) to improve your security when you connect to public wifi at the airport, coffee shop, hotel or wherever. Our VPN can provide a secure internet connection to keep your data, and the data you have access to, safe. VPN is available for all faculty, staff, and students. Learn more about VPN.

Automatically Backup Your Smartphone and Computer - October 23 2019

If your hard drive dies, your device is lost or hacked, you won’t have any way to get your personal data back. A little planning and preparation will save you time and frustration down the road. Backups provide a safety net in case something happens to your personal device. More about backups.

Encryption. What’s All the Fuss About? - October 17 2019

Encryption is one of the most important security measures in use today. It is used to securely log in to websites, shop online, and protect your devices if they get lost or stolen by encoding the data so it is not readable without a decryption key. There’s more to learn about encryption.

How to Spot an Email Phishing Scam - October 14 2019

Phishing is an attempt to gain personal information by tricking you into thinking that the email came from someone you know. Because most of the email you receive is legitimate, it’s easy to get phished. It’s so common that if you haven’t already been phished, you probably will be at some point. Knowing how to spot a phishing email will help keep your data—and the data you have access to—safe. Main characteristics of a phishing email:
  • Request for immediate response
  • Attachment to download
  • Link to login screen
  • Ask to provide personal info
If you think you were phished, mark the message as spam and contact the ITS Help Desk. Check out How to Spot an Email Phishing Scam for more useful tips.

Run Software Updates - October 10 2019

When your device prompts you to update an application or its operating system, make time to do this ASAP. Failure to act can leave your device and its data vulnerable to hackers. 

Help secure your digital life by regularly installing software updates on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. System vulnerabilities are found on a daily basis and patches are routinely released by developers. Regularly running updates significantly improves your computer's security and lowers your chances of having your system hacked.

Better yet, set your devices to automatically run updates, so you won’t forget.

Keep Your Smartphone Secure - October 8 2019

Smartphones allow you to stay connected no matter where you are. Your whole digital personal and work life may be stored on your phone, so protecting it and your privacy is critical. Smartphones are high value targets for both thieves and cyber criminals. If your mobile device is not running iOS or Android, it is most likely end of life and no longer secure. Check out the FCC’s Ten Steps to Smartphone Security for Apple iOS and Ten Steps to Smartphone Security for Android.

Who Else Knows Your Password? - October 3 2019

Ever wonder if any of your online accounts have been compromised or if your credentials are no longer secure? Well, chances are that one of your accounts has been exposed and its information is on the internet. Using the same password across multiple services only compounds the issue. Check if your account has been compromised.

Passwords Are the Bane of Online Existence - October 1 2019

Welcome to Cybersecurity Awareness Month! Every site or service needs a password and it has to meet what seems like an obtuse level of requirements. On top of that, you need to remember it at a moments notice in order to get your personal or professional work done. This leads to password reuse and endless "I forgot my password" loops. If your social media password is the same as your bank, or your Macalester account, you are at risk of exposing your own data and are putting Macalester at risk. Learn how to simplify your digital life by using a password manager.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

VPN 101


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Use Macalester’s virtual private network (VPN) to improve your security when you connect to public wifi at the airport, coffee shop, hotel or at home. Our VPN can provide a secure internet connection to keep your data, and the data you have access to, safe.

Public wifi is not secure.

Public wireless networks are available in all sorts of locations in most metropolitan cities. These wireless networks, while convenient, don’t provide any level of encryption between your device and the company providing the open network. Without encryption, any website or application you visit can be easily deciphered by the network provider or other users on the same network. They may not be able to see specifically what you are doing, but, for example, they can find out you were on Instagram and for how long. Anytime you are not on a trusted network, turn on VPN to protect your privacy and personal information. When using your smartphone, consider using your mobile service provider’s network if you have unlimited data.

VPN is available for all faculty, staff and students.
VPN is simple to use and can be setup on Android, iOS, ChromeOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows devices. Follow the VPN Setup Guide to get started.



Requires VPN Does not require VPN
Advance/Matrix
Argos
Banner
Citrix
Student 360
G & H Drives
iLLiad
OnBase
Web Print
Gmail
Google Calendar
Google Drive
Moodle
WordPress editor
Zoom


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Automatically backup your smartphone and computer

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If your hard drive dies, your device is lost or hacked, you won’t have anyway to get your personal data back. A little planning and preparation will save you time and frustration down the road. Backups provide a safety net in case something happens to your personal device.

Backup options for your smartphone and laptop.


Get help finding, locking or erasing a lost or stolen device.

In addition to enabling backup service for your smartphone, why not consider the feature that helps you find, lock, or erase a lost or stolen device?


Macalester faculty and staff computers use a centrally managed backup service called CrashPlan. This backup service is being rolled out over the next year and those who are eligible will be contacted. In the meantime, Google Drive Backup and Sync provides a way to automatically backup your data to the cloud.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Encryption. What’s all the fuss about?

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Encrypted data looks like gibberish to anyone who intercepts it — it is impossible to read.


Encryption is one of the most important security measures in use today. It is used to securely login to websites, shop online, and protect your devices if they get lost or stolen by encoding the data so it is not readable without a decryption key.

Look for SSL’s lock icon in the address bar.
Make sure you only enter your credentials on known websites that use SSL. Look for the lock icon in your web browser. If you get a warning about an invalid certificate don’t proceed. It may be a sign of an insecure or compromised site.

Your smartphone needs a password.
When you set up a password or PIN for your iOS or Android smartphone, it will automatically encrypt your entire device. Here’s 2 good reasons why you want to set up a PIN:
your device will be locked when not in use,
the data on your device won’t be accessible if it is lost or stolen.

Encryption is built into operating systems.
Windows and macOS have encryption built into their operating systems. All you need to do is enable it. Once your computer is encrypted it won’t be accessible without your password or decryption key. Ensure you have a backup before you proceed.
Macalester computers are encrypted at setup to ensure data is secure for the lifecycle of the device.

Chat securely.
Most chat, messaging and SMS services are not encrypted. Use Signal - Private Messenger to secure your personal communications.

Questions
ITS Help Desk
Neill 314
651-696-6525
helpdesk@macalester.edu

Thursday, October 3, 2019

macOS Catalina Upgrade Checklist

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✓ macOS Catalina install restriction lifted on October 22 2019 for college-owned computers.

ITS has been testing macOS Catalina beta version since its release on September 2019. Catalina is the first version of macOS to exclusively support 64-bit applications which means that some of your critical and favorite programs may no longer work with this new version.

We recommend that you only upgrade if your computer has at least 18.5 GB of available storage space and a minimum of 8 GB of RAM. Before upgrading, make sure you have a backup plan and set aside plenty of time for the installation to complete.

If your Mac is currently running macOS Mojave, and you have not installed specialty software, it most likely meets all of these requirements and you are safe to upgrade. Upgrading to macOS Catalina is not required.

✓ Have a backup.

ITS strongly recommends backing up your data. Once you upgrade, there's no going back to retrieve any lost data. Back up your data to your Google Drive Backup & Sync, H Drive, Time Machine, or CrashPlan.

✓ Check software compatibility.

What are the most important software programs you use every day? The latest versions of programs such as Microsoft Office and Google File Stream are known to work great with macOS Catalina, but some specialized software may need patches or paid upgrades before they work. If you aren’t sure, contact the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@macalester.edu. Faculty members may contact their Academic Information Associate. RoaringApps compatibility checker may have more information.

The following applications have been tested and launch successfully. ITS cannot test every function in these programs: ATLAS.ti, Citrix, Google Drive File Stream, Mathematica, ChemDraw, CrashPlan, GlobalProtect.

✓ Review the list of 32-bit applications installed on your Mac.

  1. Go to Apple menu and choose About this Mac
  2. From the Overview tab, select System Report…
  3. Locate Software and click Applications. Wait a moment and a list of all the applications installed on your computer appears, including the Application Name, Version, Obtained from, Last Modified, and 64-Bit (Intel).
  4. Look closely at the 64-Bit (Intel) column for applications with No. These applications will no longer work when upgraded to Catalina.
  5. Read this in depth article for more info: How to check which Mac apps are 32-bit and won't work in macOS Catalina 

✓ Make sure to have enough storage space.

You need 15 GB of available storage capacity. To find the available storage go to the Apple menu and choose About This Mac then Storage.

✓ Make sure to have enough memory (RAM).

ITS recommends at least 8 GB of RAM, otherwise your computer may run very slowly. To find the memory (RAM) go to the Apple menu and choose About This Mac then Overview, look for Memory.

✓ Make sure your hardware is compatible if you want to use Catalina's new features.

We only recommend the upgrade for the following computer models. To find your model, go to the Apple menu and choose About This Mac.
  • iMac: Late 2012 or newer
  • iMac Pro
  • Mac Pro: Late 2013 or newer
  • Mac Mini: Late 2012 or newer
  • MacBook: Early 2015 or newer
  • MacBook Air: Mid-2012 or newer
  • MacBook Pro: Mid-2012 or newer, including non-Retina

✓ Make sure your operating system (OS) is compatible.

Your Mac must be running OS X 10.8 or later to receive the upgrade. To find the version of OS X, go to the Apple menu and choose About This Mac, look for Version.
  • macOS Mojave v10.14
  • macOS High Sierra v10.13
  • macOS Sierra v10.12
  • OS X El Capitan v10.11
  • OS X Yosemite v10.10
  • OS X Mavericks v10.9
  • OS X Mountain Lion v10.8

✓ Clear your schedule.

Upgrading your device to macOS Mojave may take hours.

✓ Install macOS Catalina.

Use this link to open the macOS Catalina page on the App Store: Get macOS Catalina. Then click the Get button or iCloud download icon.

✓ Upgrade or remove 32-bit applications that no longer work with Catalina

Contact the software manufacturer for the latest upgrade.

Additional Resources

Questions?

ITS Help Desk
helpdesk@macalester.edu
651-696-6525