Stop using Internet Explorer [and other InfoTech updates]

Hello Faculty and Staff:

There are several things we wanted to share from the Info Tech office. Just to warn you that this email (and blog post) will likely be even longer than my normally long messages! To that end, here are some things this message will cover:

  • Don’t use Internet Explorer, your passwords, credit cards, and identity are not safe
  • May training (the next three weeks!)
  • Leadercast (May 9)
  • IT Summer Projects between now and June 30

Do NOT use Internet Explorer

This is EXTREMELY important if you are using the Internet for your own personal data or Malone student data. Please stop using ALL versions of Internet Explorer until we let you know otherwise; we await a software patch from Microsoft.

There is a widely publicized bug that allows attackers to steal your usernames, passwords, and other non-public personal information (bank accounts, etc.). You should use an alternative web browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Contact the Help Desk if you need either of these browsers installed or updated. The latest version of Firefox is 29.x and the latest version of Chrome is 34.x

If your computer is still running Windows XP, Microsoft will no longer be patching it. More on that below.

May Training

May training sign ups began earlier this week. Be sure to review the sessions and sign up for those sessions that will benefit you. The sign up form is here. Please note that while some workshops are designated for Faculty or Staff, each session is open to all clients. Weeks one and two are our traditional staff and faculty driven courses. Week 3 (May 19-23) will have training for budget officers, GL lookup users, and Event Schedulers on campus.

Leadercast

Not necessarily an IT thing, but I attended last year’s Leadercast and found it to be well worth my time. I encourage you to participate in this extremely useful professional development opportunity. Leadercast is next Friday, May 9. You can sign up using this link.

IT Summer Projects between now and June 30

I joke that summer is when we tear everything apart and change it so that when students and others return in the fall they have to relearn everything. I suppose I only half joke because sometimes that is not too far from the truth! The following projects are slated for start and in most cases completion prior to the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1. While this is not nearly a complete list, these are the major projects that will have significant impact to the Malone learning community.

Windows XP Elimination Project

Our Technical Support Specialists, Michael and Kenny, have been working extremely hard to eliminate the Windows XP Operating System from campus. Of the over 600 workstations on campus, we have just under 200 remaining. We will be replacing 100 machines (after July 1) with new computers, the other 100 or so will be augmented (many between now and June 30) with additional memory and then have their Operating Systems upgraded to Windows 7. All this summer. This is a huge project so thank you for your cooperation as we work with you to keep our students’ data safe and your computers in good working order. The best way to help is to respond to questions and calls that we place to you and your offices promptly.

Network Switching Upgrades in Founders Hall North and Randall Campus Center (aka the Barn)

Next week, Wednesday, May 7, we will be replacing the network switches that provide wired and wireless Internet and network connectivity. This is replacing equipment that is about eight years old. We will begin the switchout after 5pm. Be sure to say hi if you see Jim Shaffer or Shawn Campbell in the hall next week, this is what they are working on.

At the end of May or in the first few weeks in June, we will be doing the same project in the barn. We will be in contact with departments in that building with a better schedule and information closer to the change.

Computer Labs for Fall

We are preparing to upgrade the hardware for both Apple computer labs, JC218 and CL46, for fall. Technical Support Specialists, Michael and Kenny, will work with faculty who do a lot in these spaces to make sure that we have a good hardware and software set ready to go!

Windows labs will also be reviewed and updated though no new hardware will be installed. Let us know if you plan to use any special software this fall so that we can test and load it prior to fall semester’s beginning. Ideally we would want to have this information now so that we can take the summer to plan and vet each package.

Classroom and Residence Hall Checks

Each summer in May and June we thoroughly check all residence hall rooms and classrooms to make sure they are in good working order technologically. Be sure to email helpdesk@malone.edu if you are aware of an issue in any classroom, venue, or room on campus so we can give that space especial attention. Michael Garwood, our Instructional Technology Specialist and his student staff will be completing classroom checks. Ryan Laux and his staff will be checking meeting and performance venues on campus. Jim Shaffer and Michael Felcyn and student staff will be checking residence hall rooms.

Wireless Internet Checks and Prep for upgrades

Networking staff, Jim Shaffer and Shawn Campbell and student assistants, will be evaluating, preparing, and planning for wireless Internet upgrades in several buildings. Look for random student workers with a laptop and a funny looking antenna roaming hallways. Our learning community is growing more and more dependent upon ultra-reliable wireless connectivity. Thank you for you help as we continue to meet the increasing demand for wireless connectivity. You can help by letting us know where there are ‘dead’ spots in wireless connectivity. Email helpdesk@malone.edu to report where you have had trouble connecting to the ‘Malone’ wireless network.

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