IT Matters

Safeguarding Your Credentials

My.Scranton is a web-based portal that provides students, faculty and staff an entry point to key functionality, such as Outlook, SharePoint, Desire2Learn, and Ellucian Banner Self-Service and Administrative applications. Over the Fall semester, a new version of the portal was released that provides a cleaner, simpler, better-organized and responsive design.

Many integrations within the my.scranton portal make use of single sign-on technology, allowing a user to provide their credentials once and be logged in seamlessly to other applications. This technology makes use of “cookies” stored in the browser, which are set to expire at the end of the browser’s session.

To safeguard your credentials, especially on a public computer or device, it is best practice to close your browser to destroy any “cookies” that were set for your single sign-on sessions to work. This is true for not only my.scranton, but for any web session where you enter credentials. Be safe and close your browser!

Classroom Database Update: Application Search Available on the Instructor PC

Peruse the online Classroom Database to find the smart room you need for your next lecture or meeting. The database search reveals specific room equipment as well as room availability, and provides supporting materials and guides for specific technologies.

Instructor PC Update

The Academic Technology Advisory Council, whose members provide guidance and advice on academic technology at the University, requested last Fall that IT include the installed Instructor PC applications (or software) to the current database to help in the preparation and assignment of classrooms.

As such, we are happy to announce that the database has been upgraded to reflect this change. To review the Instructor PC software:

  • Go to https://webnet.scranton.edu/classroomdb/ and log in
  • Select Building
  • Select the room by clicking View
  • Scroll down to Equipment and select Instructor PC
  • This will show you a list of the Installed Applications

Use the Search feature

You may notice that the list of Installed Applications can be quite lengthy. To limit the number of results, type the application you are looking for in the Search box.

Please note that if there are student machines in the room, they will have the same software as the Instructor PC.

 

 

Security Spotlight: Restricted Data

Restricted data is the University’s most sensitive data and requires the highest level of safeguarding. Restricted data includes, but is not limited to, social security numbers, credit and debit card numbers, bank account numbers, driver’s license numbers, PINs and passwords.  Here are some tips for securing restricted data:

  • Know what restricted data you have in your files and computer.
  • Don’t keep restricted data you do not need.
  • Refrain from storing restricted data on your local hard drive. Store restricted data on secure locations like departmental Groups drive (G:), your (H:) drive, or One Drive/SharePoint.
  • Properly dispose of what you no longer need, such as deleting files from your computer, clearing the files in the Downloads folder and emptying your computer Recycle Bin.
  • Do not email restricted data unless it is encrypted.
  • Do not store credit card numbers under any circumstances.

Remember, if restricted data isn’t absolutely necessary, don’t use it.

Computer Budget Forms for FY20/21

Computer budget forms for academic and administrative computer requests for FY20/21 will be sent to department heads this Spring. In light of limited budgetary resources, the evaluation and prioritization of these technology requests will focus on providing efficiencies in the administrative and academic areas.

As a reminder, each employee should have only one system. If your current computer equipment does not meet your needs in performing your job, please make sure to contact your supervisor before the forms are submitted. Full-time faculty are on an automatic four-year renewal cycle and do not need to be requested. IT staff members will meet with departments who have computer labs to determine what’s needed and are available to meet with all departments to assist in this process.

As in years past, lab computers will be deployed during the Summer, faculty computers during the Fall and staff computers during the Spring.

If you have any questions, please email deanna.beyrent@scranton.edu.

Zoom Provides Improved Communications through Video and Audio Web Conferencing

Are you trying to schedule a visiting class speaker? Do you find it difficult to interview a candidate living at a distance? If so, Zoom may be your solution! Zoom provides video and voice communication, along with screen sharing and many other features.

Sign up, it’s FREE

If you are looking to schedule a short meeting or webinar – you can open up a Zoom account on your own. Visit https://zoom.us/ to set up your account.

Free accounts consist of the following:

  • 40-minute time limit on meetings with 3 or more participants
  • Unlimited number of meetings
  • 100 participants maximum

Will your meeting exceed 40 minutes?

The University has an agreement with Zoom allowing licensed users to conduct web conferences. Our agreement provides users with the ability to have meetings with up to 300 users for unlimited minutes.

The Division of Information Technology has an account that can be used pending availability. To request the use of this account, please enter an Event Technology Request (log into My.Scranton, on the HOME tab select Royal IT Support. The Event Technology Request form is on the bottom left). Please make sure to include meeting details in the request.

Find out more about Zoom at https://zoom.us/ or contact the Technology Support Center.

Getting a new cellphone during the holidays? Register a second device with Duo to maintain your My.Scranton access.

If you plan to purchase a new cellphone during the holidays, you will need to re-enroll your account and reconfigure your device. Since our offices close during the holidays, we recommend that users that are planning to replace their cellphones enroll a second device in Two Step today.

Registering a second device prior to getting a new phone, will allow users to continue to log into the My.Scranton portal until IT support resumes on Thursday, January 2.

Register a Secondary Device

Device options include a smartphone, tablet and a hardware token (tokens can only be obtained by visiting the Technology Support).

Adding a Secondary Device

  • Go to https://duo.scranton.edu/
  • Choose an existing authentication method to log into your account
  • Select + Add another device
  • Choose Mobile phone or Tablet (iPad, Nexus 7, etc.)
  • Follow the prompts to add the new device

Upon completion of the onscreen prompts, you will have enrolled a secondary device which can be used to authenticate with. The next time you log into my.scranton, you will be able to select your device and authentication method.

Enroll Your New Phone

If the new device has the same phone number as the older device, then you will need to reactivate the new device.

  • Go to https://duo.scranton.edu/
  • Choose an authentication method to log into your account
  • Next to your cell phone device, select Device Options
  • Click Reactivate Duo Mobile
  • Verify the type of phone
  • Install and open the Duo App
  • Tap the “+” button.
  • Scan the barcode on the screen
  • Click Continue

If the new device has a different phone number as the older device, you need to add it as a new device.
Go to https://duo.scranton.edu/

  • Choose an authentication method to log into your account
  • Select + Add another device
  • Choose Mobile phone
  • Follow the prompts to add the new mobile phone

Technology Support Center

The Technology Support Center is located on the first floor of AMH. Please contact us for questions at 570-941-4357 or techsupport@scranton.edu.

We will be closed or operating on an alternate schedule during the following times:

– Thursday, Nov. 28 – Saturday, Nov. 30: Closed (Thanksgiving Break)
– Saturday, Dec. 14: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Finals Week)
– Sunday, Dec. 15: Closed (Finals Week)
– Monday, Dec. 16 – Friday, Dec. 20: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
– Saturday, Dec. 21 – Tuesday, Jan.1: Closed (Holiday Break)

Mac Computer Upgrades: Legacy Software and Catalina

Since macOS Catalina is the first Apple operating system that will no longer support 32-bit applications; Apple has provided a way to identify the software that will no longer run when upgrades.

In order to find these applications follow these steps:

  • Click on the Apple logo on the top left of the screen
  • Select About This Mac
  • Click on the System Report button
  • Scroll down the left pane to the Software section and select Legacy Software

Only 32-bit software that is no longer supported by Catalina will show up in this section. If the software that shows up here is important to you, you might consider postponing your upgrade.

If you have software you know to be 64-bit but shows up on this list it means that the software has 32-bit components that cannot be guaranteed to work or work properly under Catalina.

If you have legacy software that is essential to you, you might consider contacting the vendor to find out if or when they will have a Catalina compatible version and what you should do in order to obtain it.

Security Spotlight: Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection

Information Technology has begun testing a new product that will help protect the University from unknown email-based malware and viruses. Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) is an email filtering service that provides the following protections:

  • ATP Safe Attachments analyzes all messages and attachments that don’t have a known virus/malware signature and routes them to a special environment where ATP uses a variety of machine learning and analysis techniques to detect malicious intent. If no suspicious activity is detected, the message is released for delivery to the mailbox.
  • The ATP Safe Links feature proactively protects your users from malicious URLs by dynamically blocking suspected unsafe links while good links can be accessed.
  • ATP Anti-Phishing checks incoming messages for indicators that a message might be a phishing attempt. Incoming messages are evaluated by multiple machine learning models that analyze messages and take appropriate action based on the configured policies.

Stay tuned for more information as ATP gets closer to roll out.

AWS Educate in the Classroom

AWS Educate, Amazon’s cloud-based web services platform geared specifically towards educational institutions, has made its debut at the University of Scranton as part of a pilot for the new Data Science Concentration.

The service, which grants access to virtually the entire suite of services offered through Amazon AWS, enables faculty and students to create and manage their own dedicated virtual environment free of charge from anywhere they have internet access. Through the classroom interface, a Professor can configure which services are available to their students and can connect to and manage each student’s computing environment. Virtual classrooms give students the freedom to operate on their own while still allowing the professor to effectively manage the course curriculum.

In the pilot, Dr. Jason Graham of the Mathematics Department is introducing his students to the R programming language and its IDE, RStudio. With AWS Educate, his students are able to deploy their own dedicated EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) virtual machine with all of the required software pre-configured for its immediate use all in a matter of minutes. Not only does this save the students from having to install complex software on their personal machines, it also saves Dr. Graham from having to devote precious class time to troubleshooting issues caused by disparities in student hardware.

Cloud-based services are becoming more and more common as user and organizational needs change. By having services like AWS Educate available for students, we’re giving them the opportunity to learn valuable skills which will serve them well when it comes time for them to leave the University. After all, the future of IT is in the cloud!

Get Started with AWS Educate

Faculty members can register as an educator using their University email address at https://aws.amazon.com/education/awseducate/. This will associate their email address with the University of Scranton’s AWS Educate institutional account and allow them to create and manage virtual classrooms.

Please note that as you enter the required information, you will be prompted to either enter an existing AWS account or sign up for a “free” Amazon Educate account. If you sign up for the free account, it’s good for a year but doesn’t require any credit card information. We recommend the alternate option where you associate your AWS Educate account with an AWS account, which requires a credit card. This option is permanent and doesn’t cost anything as long as you stay within the credits allocated through AWS Educate.

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