Recently in Computer matters Category

HeartBleed OpenSSL vulnerability

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The following message was sent from the University's Chief Information Security Officer Brian Dahlin:

You have likely heard about the global HeartBleed OpenSSL vulnerability. The University has been actively involved in mitigation and response to this threat. You can learn more at

It's also a good idea to be aware of phishing by not clicking on links provided to you in any notification emails to change your password; there is potential for an increase in phishing scams based on this event. We recommend directly typing the URL (or using a bookmark you've previously saved), to help avoid potential phishing attacks.
For questions about Heartbleed, contact University Information Security at

Beware of malware

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What do the terms "virus" or "worm" mean in terms of cyber security? The February issue of OUCH! explains what exactly malware is and how to protect yourself against it. Tip #1: educate yourself and be sure to invest in good anti-virus software.

New Google feature

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Google's on the move again. Within the next few weeks, they will release a new feature that will automatically update University Calendar events when changes are made in associated Google Groups. For more information, check out Google Group changes.

IT@UMN Google group

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Join the IT@UMN Google group to get updates on IT services (e.g., product rollouts, disruption notifications), information on current and emerging technologies, IT events, and more. IT@UMN is a system wide movement to build community among staff who work in IT and others who have an interest in IT at the U. The Google group is its established means of communication. To join, visit and click Join the Google Group.

January data center outage

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The annual primary data center maintenance and related service interruption is scheduled for Jan. 4-5, 2014. The outage is set for 6 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, with restoration beginning at 6 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 5. It is expected that all affected services will be restored by noon Sunday. For more information, see data center.

Beware of phishing

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Phishing is a serious security problem that you should be aware of. If you're not already familiar, phishing is the practice of using fraudulent emails and copies of legitimate websites to obtain financial data from computer users for purposes of identity theft. U of M Information Security has established a phishing examples blog listing examples of phishing targeting the University community. Of particular importance are phishing schemes that exist to compromise accounts in order to target individual PeopleSoft self-service options.

Checking Gmail space

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If you're wondering how much Gmail storage you have left in your account, take a look at the bottom left corner of your inbox screen. Google provides information on how much data storage you're using. For University accounts, it's typically noted as xx GB (xx%) of 30 GB used. You can use this to determine whether you need to free up some space in your account. Click here for more information about storage limits. (Thanks to Jeremy Todd in OCM for sharing this helpful tip.)

iPad training

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Got an iPad but not quite sure of all the ins and outs? Technology Training and Usability Services offers iPad Learning Bytes. They're short, 30-minute sessions that show you how to use an iPad more effectively for taking notes, drawing sketches, making presentations, and more. Click here for more information.

Hangout from afar

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Google came out with a new feature called Hangouts Remote Desktop. It lets you help others by controlling their computer remotely (with their permission, of course). And because you're both in a hangout, you can talk with and see each other during the session. To get started, just start a hangout, and click "View More Apps" and then "Add Apps" and "Hangouts Remote Desktop." (Thanks again to Jeremy Todd for letting us know about this cool new feature.)

New Google gadget

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Post-it notes are great... until you realize you stuck them somewhere that you can't easily access while at work (uh, the refrigerator or the magazine lying on your coffee table). But, now, so long as you have an Android device or tablet, you can all but eliminate this pesky problem. Google recently created Google Keep, which stores notes and reminders in Google drive and syncs with all of your devices. (Thanks to Jeremy in OCM for sharing this cool new tool.)

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