Ag IT Matters is an electronic newsletter from the Ag Information Technologies unit. The purpose of this newsletter is to communicate relevant IT issues and projects, keeping our customers engaged and informed.

IT considerations for semester end

May 3, 2022

With the semester coming to an end, Ag IT would like to offer several IT-related reminders and considerations before diving into summer vacation season.

Computer Setup Request form now available

April 25, 2022

Ag IT has launched a new Computer Setup Request form on our website.

Understanding Ransomware

March 30, 2022

Over the upcoming weeks, Ag IT's Cyber Hygiene journey will focus on Ransomware.

Spotlight on Ag IT's Roger Tharp

March 9, 2022

Ag IT's Systems and Infrastructure Team Lead Roger Tharp is known throughout the Ag Community for his talent, dedication and hard work 'keeping the lights on' for our College, Extension offices and research centers. What the Ag Community may not know is that Roger similarly devotes dedication, time and talent to THON - the largest student-run philanthropy in the world.

Increasing our cyber security posture

March 4, 2022

Through our partnership with Penn State’s Office of Information Security (OIS), Ag IT would like to remind the Ag Community to continue practicing good cyber hygiene to keep our accounts and technology safe and secure. Recent history has demonstrated that cyber-attacks are more likely to occur when global conflict exists and maintaining a heightened level of awareness is more important now than ever.

Computer restart reminders to begin week of February 21

February 17, 2022

As part of our Cyber Hygiene journey, Ag IT will begin deploying restart reminder pop-ups through BigFix, our computer management software, the week of February 21, 2022.

Ag IT to offer Automatic Restart Program

February 4, 2022

Regularly restarting our computers is a foundational component of good cyber hygiene. However, restarting is something that is often an “I’ll do that later” task. Ag IT recommends restarting your computers at the end of every work week and we want to help make remembering to do it as easy as possible.

Ag IT introduces a Cyber Hygiene journey

February 1, 2022

Ag IT is embarking on a Cyber Hygiene journey, and we ask that you join us! Through this partnership, we will create and sustain a more secure computing environment within our College. Following is a high-level overview of our campaign to improve cyber hygiene in 2022.

Spotlight on Ag IT's Jill Paige and Travis Waltz

October 11, 2021

Ag IT staff often have opportunities to work innovative technology with faculty, researchers, educators and staff in our College. Today we highlight the work IT Consultant Jill Paige and Systems Administrator Travis Waltz are undertaking to assist researchers store and share photos taken on Raspberry Pis.

Box data migration project is complete

October 1, 2021

It is with delight that Ag IT announces the conclusion to our Box data migration project. According to our records, we believe all accounts owned by College faculty and staff, including Box Non-person Accounts (NPAs), have migrated to OneDrive and/or SharePoint.

Upcoming changes to Zoom cloud recordings

July 26, 2021

Data storage has been a frequent topic of conversation within the College and Penn State. This conversation recently expanded with an announcement that Penn State IT will begin phasing out the storage of recordings in Zoom Cloud beginning August 16, 2021. Instead, we will navigate to Kaltura to access recordings initiated through Zoom.

Spotlight on Ag IT's Darren Clapper

June 4, 2021

Darren Clapper, Ag IT Systems Administrator, put pen to paper recently to provide a personal account of technological improvements and advancements made in recent years at the Ag Progress Days site.

Please begin using GlobalProtect today

May 21, 2021

The College-wide rollout of GlobalProtect is complete and faculty and staff should use it instead of Cisco AnyConnect as your virtual private network (VPN).

Get ready for your seasonal Extension employees

April 19, 2021

Spring is in the air (mostly) and your summer helpers/ interns will soon be arriving to your County offices. With advanced planning, you can best be assured that your interns and program assistants will be able to use the computers and other IT resources on their start date or soon after.

GlobalProtect rollout to begin in College on March 30, 2021

March 24, 2021

In November 2020, the University announced that our current virtual private network (VPN) software, Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility VPN client, would be replaced with a new VPN client called GlobalProtect. This change will affect both University-owned and personal computers that remotely connect to secure Penn State resources (examples include the VoIP portal, SIMBA, LIAS - Library Access and security Enclaves).

Box to OneDrive Migration Information Sessions

March 23, 2021

Ag IT is hosting Box Migration Information Sessions via Zoom in March and April. Details for each session are provided below. Please reach out to Ag IT for the Zoom link. We hope you can join!

Zoom-bombing prevention and mitigation tips

March 8, 2021

In response to recent security breaches in Zoom meetings, the Penn State Zoom team has prepared specific guidance on what we can do before and during meetings to prevent unwanted guests from joining and mitigate disruptions if they occur. Zoom security is critical and it will take our collective actions to protect ourselves from these unwarranted attacks on members of our University Community.

Box to OneDrive migrations to resume in April for College

March 5, 2021

After January's pause in Box to OneDrive migrations, the work is scheduled to restart in April

Required changes to your Penn State account password

February 15, 2021

Penn State's Office of Information Security introduces Lifetime Passwords for Penn State Accounts

Temporary pause in the College's Box to OneDrive migrations

January 27, 2021

College-wide Box to OneDrive migrations have been temporarily paused until April 2021.

County Help Desk Support During the 2020-2021 Winter Break

December 16, 2020

Although Penn State is officially closed for the Winter Break December 24, 2020 through January 4, 2021, we know that many of your offices will be open and many of you will still be working during that time. If you have a service outage in your office, Ag IT staff will be there to get you back into service!

University Park Help Desk Support During the 2020-2021 Winter Break

December 16, 2020

Although Penn State is officially closed for the Winter Break beginning on December 24, 2020 and reopens on January 4, 2021, we know that many of you will still be working during that time. If you have a service outage in your office, Ag IT staff will be there to get you back into service!

December: A time of Family, Friendship, Fellowship… and Fraud! Beware!

December 4, 2019

These new video doorbells allow you to have a little extra assurance about who is on the other side of your interaction. When the doorbell rings and your video doorbell shows you a guy dressed as a 1940’s gangster, you know something is fishy even if he is telling you that he is the UPS delivery man. But we don’t have that yet in email, so when you get the ring from the email box from somebody claiming to be the UPS delivery staff, you can’t see the familiar uniform or the classic thief costume. Whether at the door or at the email box, don’t let the thief in!

Keep in Touch!

December 4, 2019

If you get a new smartphone over the holidays you may not want to wait for the new year to talk to your colleagues in Ag IT to get the phone set up to send/receive Penn State email. Even though it would give you plausible deniability..."Huh? I didn't see your December 23 message until January 2!!"…you would also be out of the loop for messages that you may want to see. Never fear – configuring email is easy on a new phone!

Enterprise Active Directory

December 4, 2019

Ag IT has just about completed the project we began in early September to migrate the backup/sync of user My Documents from county servers to OneDrive. Thanks to each of you who took the time to work with us to get this project completed. It is rare for us to complete an IT project ahead of schedule, but with your cooperation, we have done just that.

Ag IT Retirement Party!

September 20, 2019

Ag IT is planning a retirement party…not for any individual on our team, but for the Windows 7 Operating System. As with any retirement party, relatives are often invited. In this case we’re inviting Windows 7’s ancestors; Windows Vista, XP, ME, 2000, 98, and NT 4! Windows 95, 3, 2, 1 and DOS don't get around much anymore.

Computer Repairs Available in Ag IT

September 20, 2019

You know that we have software expertise and access to tools and services to keep your computer humming along, but what if it’s flat-out busted? A little smoke from the side of a laptop? Buzzing noise in the desktop? You can call us for that, too!

Office 365 Access after Separation

September 20, 2019

An old country music classic by Jim Stafford includes the phrase, “All good things gotta come to an end…” It is good to have personal and professional use of Microsoft Office 365, but remember that this ‘good thing’ comes to an end when you are no longer a Penn State employee – and it comes to an end startlingly fast!

Remote My Documents to OneDrive

September 20, 2019

Moving up is usually a good thing – moving up in the organizational chart, moving up in housing, moving up in the tax brackets (well, not that one). Now your My Documents Folder is moving up – moving up to the cloud – and it’s a good thing!

Windows 7 Operating System Set to Retire

June 4, 2019

Microsoft introduced the Windows 7 operating system in 2009. After ten years of dedicated service, Microsoft has announced its retirement date of December 31, 2019. Those of us who toil for Penn State usually need more than ten years before retirement – it must be nice to be a part of Microsoft!

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