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Required changes to your Penn State account password

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

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

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!

Ag IT Retirement Party!

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.

Windows 7 Operating System Set to Retire

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!

Go Fishing, But Don’t get Caught in the Net!

Pennsylvania is a great state for fishing! There is fishing for steelhead in Erie, and fishing for compliments and votes in Harrisburg. Muskie are found in Raystown Lake, and tuna can be found even in small communities. The other activity – phishing – is also prevalent in Pennsylvania, especially at Penn State – and it has hazards all its own!

So Long Windows 7; Hello Windows 10!

Ag IT, just like all of you, has routine work to do every day, every week, and every year. And, just like you, we also tackle bigger projects. Some are year-long, and others are multi-year. We just finished the Office 365 migration project, and we’ve been casting about for our next big project since we know that idle hands are the Devil’s playground, and we don’t want to draw the Devil’s attention to us!

Click Ye Not!

I need advice! I have this email that wants me to ‘Click here to…..’ and it says it is URGENT!! “Ix-nay!” - Curly Howard, 1936 “Just Say No.” – Nancy Reagan, 1986 "No, no, no. Just....No." - Ag IT Staff, 2018

Beloved WebAccess Page Design to be Retired

If you wander around the halls of Ag IT, you will often hear our staff talking on the phone referring to the Thumbprint Page. “Use this password anytime the thumbprint page pops up,” or “Use the same password that you would for the thumbprint page!” Next month, Penn State will launch a redesign of the Thumbprint page, more correctly known as the WebAccess page.

Messages Popping Up!

Everybody likes “Pop” things … PopTarts; pop (a beverage found in western PA only); popcorn; Pop-Pop (the Grandfather); Snap, Crackle, Pop, and, as we approach New Year’s Eve, some might enjoy the pop of the Champagne bottle. We hope that you will also like the new way we’ll be sending some important messages….a ‘pop up’ window, front and center on your screen.

Best Practices: Restarting your Computer

You work hard all week. We see it, we know it. We read about how hard you work on Facebook. You catch a rest and a recharge overnight, and a better recovery period over the weekend. We see that on Facebook, too. And then, after the rest and recharge, you are back at it… Your computer would benefit from this same routine that works for you!

Leave them on the Front Porch!

Some visitors to the front door do not earn enough of your confidence to open the door and let them sit at your kitchen table. There are other circumstances when this same caution is a good idea, too.

Identity Finder is Now Spirion!

A new look and a new name – with the same purpose and the same function. You may have called it Identity Finder, or you may have called it the Blue Dog software – we’re told that some people have called it other things, too. Now it is known as Spirion!

Barracuda Update

The Barracuda fish is a fearsome and ferocious fish, patrolling the seas in search of prey <confirmed by Wikipedia and not disputed by Snopes>. The Barracuda spam filter is a fearsome and ferocious service that patrols the College of Ag email system in search of spam messages. A recent upgrade has changed what you see in your spam reports!

Information Technologies


401 Ag Administration Building
State College, PA 16802