October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a time set aside to heighten awareness of online threats and how to protect yourself, your computer or device, personal information, identity, bank account and/or reputation.
Each October the Information Security Group ratchets up their efforts to bring their message of computing safety to the Brown community. As part of this year's theme of Don't Get Caught, Get Cautious, ISG has planned special Brown Bags, prepared online materials that includes weekly quizzes, and is once again holding a raffle, with prizes that include an iPad mini and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.
Visit brown.edu/go/cybersecurity for full details on how to sign up for classes and enter the contest.
Apple has just made its new operating system, Mavericks, available as a free download. If you're eager to upgrade your Mac laptop or desktop, we recommend waiting for about a week so CIS can test compatibility with Brown's services. Mavericks is not yet supported by CIS. Next week, we will send another Morning Mail listing Brown services and their compatibility with Mavericks.
The latest issue of Secure IT! has been released, now located on the new Information Technology site. While this brings a slightly different look to the newsletter, it continues to offer timely tips to keep you safe online.
We invite you to peruse this issue, view back issues (to 2010) and send us ideas for future ones. Enjoy!
- CISO Memo: Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam :: A nuisance that can also be malicious.
- October means National Cyber Security Awareness Month :: And lots of chances to "Don't Get Caught, Get Cautious" and enter a contest to win an iPad mini or Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.
- Identity Finder Reminder :: Not running Identity Finder regularly? Find out how and why.
- Android Malware :: Being popular makes you a desirable target.
- ISG Moves to Main Campus :: Now conveniently located at the intersection of Angell & Thayer.
- Two-Step Verification :: When passwords aren't enough.
- Protecting Brown's Information :: Never taken the class? Like a refresher?
Please join us as Art Salomon shares his award winning Biology course in the first of the Academic Technology Showcase series luncheons. His latest string of technology usages includes: monitoring the test taking environment, Lecture Capture, a YouTube Channel, an in class discussion channel, a facebook group, and to top it off, an amazing exam turn around time.
On October 15th, Ada Lovelace day, Brown is hosting a wiki edit-a-thon to increase the amount of information about women in science on Wikipedia. Find out more, including how to get involved, at the links below. The event is co-sponsored by Wikimedia New England, Brown's Program in Science and Technology Studies, the Pembroke Center, and the Brown Science Center.
Brown faculty, staff, and graduate students can now install the latest version of Endnote, which no longer requires KeyAccess or a VPN connection when off-campus. Download EndNote X7 from the Software Catalog
A few people have noticed the RSS links on the top of our Announcements and Alerts pages and asked what RSS is and how to subscribe to it. RSS (which stands for "Really Simple Syndication") is a standard way to format dated content such as blog posts or newspaper articles. It's helpful to format these in a standard way so they can be understood by other applications such as a news reader phone app.
For example, let's say you are really interested in learning how to cook, and you find 20 fantastic food blogs and 5 newspaper recipe pages. You could bookmark all 25 of these websites and visit them every day to see if something's new, but that would be a lot of work! Instead, you could use a feed reader to display all the new content in one place. You can open a single app or website and see what's new.
If this sounds exciting, you might be wondering what feed reader to use. That's a matter of preference, and we don't recommend or support a specific product at Brown. It depends whether you want to read on a computer or a smartphone, and if there are other features you're looking for like social networking integration or slick design. Here are a few favorites:
- Feedly (computer / mobile)
- Digg Reader (computer / mobile)
- NewsBlur (computer / mobile)
- Pulse (mobile only)
For example, if you wanted to subscribe to our IT at Brown alerts, you would right-click (PC) or control-click (Mac) on the RSS link at the top of the Alerts page and copy the link address.
Next, you would open your preferred RSS reader and paste the link wherever you are able to add feeds. Here's what it looks like in Feedly:
New Requirements for Access to E-reserves on OCRA
Due to a change in the Library’s OCRA (Online Course Reserves) system on September 10th, the way instructors and their delegates manage reserves has changed. After logging in with their own Brown username:
- Instructors will see a link to "Manage My Reserves" at which they can add delegates.
- Delegates will see a link or multiple links to "Manage Reserves for [instructor's name]".
Requirements for Accessing OCRA Online Movies
In order to access OCRA Online Movies, your computer must meet the following requirements. This applies whether you are accessing your OCRA course reserves through Canvas or through the Library Reserves site.
- Network Connection: Online Movies are available only on the campus network, either over Brown-Secure, Ethernet, or from a computing lab. To watch movies from off campus, you will need to connect using VPN.
- Java: Make sure your Java is up to date. You can run the test by visiting: http://java.com/en/download/installed.jsp.
- On a Mac: Use Firefox or Safari - your movies will not play in Chrome.
- On a PC: Use Windows 7 or earlier with Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Firefox. Windows 8 does not work with this service, so if you have Windows 8 you will need to view the movie in a computing lab.
For issues viewing Online Movies, contact the IT Service Center.
Do you like spam? Of course I’m talking about unsolicited bulk mail, and not the canned food. That could be a whole other message, which perhaps I’ll address in a future memo. I have a feeling that no one answered yes to my question. No one likes electronic spam, and yet we need to learn to live with it, as it will continue to direct itself to our in-boxes.
Did you know that most of the email around the world is actually spam? While there have been periods where the percentage was consistently over 90%, recent years have the numbers between 85-90%, thanks to the more rapid shutting down of botnets, which are responsible for most of the spam traffic. Brown is not immune to this phenomenon, as these same percentages are seen in messages coming to the Brown domain.
The good news is that a high percentage of them never reach your email box, and many of those that do are stilled identified as spam and sent to the spam folder. I’m sure we all agree that we would not want to sift through that many messages to find the real mail in our box. Compare yourself to Bill Gates, who receives approximately four million messages per year. Imagine going through all those messages each day to find the 1,000 legitimate ones if spam filters did not work!
Spam is not only a nuisance, but it can be malicious in nature, especially if it is also a phishing email. Brown has recently been the victim a several phishing attacks, through which some of our community have fallen victim. Not only does this place the victim’s personal information at risk, but it also propogates the phishing scam deeper throughout our community via the person’s contact list. The Information Security Group and the CIS Help Desk work quickly in indentifying the compromised account, and aid the victim in stopping the attack. This is all part of our mission here at Brown. Still, we wish to get to the point where no one in the Brown community falls for a phishing scam. You can learn tips to help you spot a phish by visiting the ISG Phishing Primer here.
As this is October, and once again Brown is participating in National Cyber Security Awareness Month, we will also be hosting a brown bag on 10/10/13 entitled “Don’t Get Caught…by a Phishing Phony”. Learn about this, and all of the activities of the month at www.brown.edu/go/cybersecurity.
As always, I welcome your comments and feedback. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the group at ISG@brown.edu. Let me know how we are doing, areas of concern you may have, or questions on protecting your identity or personal computing security. And remember, sec_rity is not complete without U!
If you are new to Brown or missed ISG's earlier announcements, we recommend that you install and run Identity Finder, a useful addition to anyone's security toolkit. It allows you to scan your computer for any sensitive information that might be stored on it -- such as social security numbers or passwords -- and then take appropriate measures to either secure or remove it.
The enterprise version is available to all active faculty and staff from CIS's software download pages. In addition, students and home users can install a free version available on the Identity Finder website on their personal computers to perform basic search and remediation. More robust personal versions are also available.
ISG recommends that you install and periodically run Identity Finder to detect and secure sensitive data on your computer, which will help protect you from identity theft. More information is available in the Identity Finder FAQ.
Please note: If you already have Identity Finder installed but haven't used it since last summer, you will be asked to update to version 6.2, which is available for download from CIS' Software Distribution site (click OS and search for Identity Finder). Note you will need your current client before installing the new version.