Ag IT Matters
We realize that not all county offices follow the University Park calendar and so many of you will be working while the staff of Ag IT is sipping eggnog and eating fruitcake…but we will rouse up from our long winter’s nap if your office has an IT emergency!
You may have already heard of Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), or it may be a new term and practice for you. Day by day the use of 2FA is growing at Penn State, but what is it? What value is it to you and to Penn State? How does it work?
Gift-giving and December go together like milk and cookies. If you get a new mobile electronic device and want to immediately start sending and receiving your work email messages through the college’s exchange server there is no need to wait for IT staff to return from holiday break for help setting it up!
We realize that although the university is officially closed for the holiday break, many of you will be working while the staff of Ag IT is sipping eggnog and eating fruitcake…but we will rouse up from our long winter’s nap if your office has an IT emergency!
Let’s play Jeopardy! Ag IT for $1,000, please Alex. Tens of thousands of dollars; thousands of meetings; hundreds of hours of planning; fifties of administrative approvals; tens of Ag IT staff members and ones of big bottles of aspirin. What is…..the completion of the county wireless project!
It is time! It is time to add complexity to your passwords and to simplify your password management! It is time to make bizarre passwords of absurd lengths – and it is time to give up memorizing bizarre passwords of absurd lengths!
"I like what I have and I’m keeping it!" or "Out with the old and in with the new!" – the choice is yours. Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013 are available to you for use on your Penn State owned computer – the version you choose to use is up to you!
Where do we keep our stuff? All of us have an abundance of stuff – they even make television shows about us. If your house fills up with stuff, you rent a storage unit instead of boxing up the extras and storing them in your office, right? Just as you would not start carrying boxes of things into the office from home, we would ask that you not store your personal items on your Penn State computer!
Almost anyone with a chest freezer will admit that there are items lost at the bottom from several years ago that should be found and thrown out before they cause problems. The same is true with the dead batteries at the back of the kitchen junk drawer. And, not surprisingly since this is an IT newsletter, there is a good chance that Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is lost and forgotten inside your computer files and it is time to go digging to find it and throw it out before it causes us problems.
Worst. Passwords. Ever. Or at least in 2014. Splash Data, a leading provider of security applications and services compiles an annual list of worst passwords. While Penn State password security policies would forbid these worst passwords maybe it is time to review and maybe reset your password.
In the simple children’s card game one opponent asks, “Got any threes,” and the reply when having no threes is, “Go Fish!” In the complex adult cybercrime world the opponent asks, “Got any Security Information?” and the reply is “Go Phish!”
On May 15th officials at Penn State revealed that the College of Engineering has been the target of two sophisticated cyberattacks. These intrusions were not the work of the stereotypical TV and movie hackers in dark basements but rather by “well-funded and highly skilled cybercriminals” based in China. The lessons learned by our colleagues across campus will help the College of Ag Sciences, as well as the rest of the University, to better protect our data, our research, our clientele and our employees from a similar event.
If you are using the College’s Exchange email system then you are benefiting from the College’s Barracuda system. Like a barracuda fish patrolling the harbor looking for its next meal, the Barracuda Firewall constantly patrols incoming e-mail looking for spam and phishing attempts.
One of the many choices you will need to make when purchasing a new computer is which warranty option is best for you. In addition to warranty duration (3 vs. 5 years) you need to also consider how problems are diagnosed and when and how replacement parts are installed.
Scanning for personally identifiable information (PII) and removing it when found avoids embarrassment and expense and it also happens to keep you within university policy and guidelines!
As technology becomes more and more crucial to our program delivery – for both faculty at University Park or Educators in county locations – the loss of crucial services can be crippling. While AgIT is ready to help with service loss on weekdays from 8 until 5, what can you do after 5:00 or on weekends?
The long-time President of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Horst Schultz, advises us, "Unless you have 100% customer satisfaction…you must improve." The AgIT Support Team has been asking you how we can improve, and we’re listening to you.
After tearing down the old calendar it is time to start a new one, and take a fresh look at some of the projects on the horizon.
As we tore off the last page of the 2014 calendar we thought back on some of the many projects that we’ve been working on. Like a To-Do list is it nice to look back and put checkmarks next to projects. Here are a few that impacted you.
Butterball offers a turkey emergency hotline for the holidays, though you may have to go through many Google Screens to find a hotline for fruitcake or eggnog emergencies. No need to use Google to find help for network and server emergencies in the College of Ag Sciences, though – that information is right here!