Announcements

4 Mar, '14—3:16 pm

On Monday March 3rd the old voicemail system will be completely decommissioned. All old messages left on the system will be lostforever. If you need final access to the old system prior to March 3rd please contract the Telecommunications office at 863-2007 for instructions.

4 Mar, '14—3:16 pm

The Brown Linux User Group hosts a Linux Installfest once a semester. This Saturday, March 1st, you can join them in the CIT Motorola Room - Room 165 at 115 Waterman St - from 10AM to 3PM. They will provide install CDs, power cables, monitors, keyboards, mice, and, most importantly, pizza.

They note "If you don't have Linux installed but have always been tempted to install it, now is the time! Stop by, and we'll get you up and running. If you have Linux installed but there's some bugs or configuration errors, stop by and we'll fix your system." 

For more information, see their event website at  http://blug.brown.edu/installfest.

24 Feb, '14—4:45 pm

Privacy is important year-round, but January 28 - February 28 is a time specifically set aside to highlight the issue of privacy. ISG recommends three ways to get involved:

  1. 1/30 1-2 PM: Web event "Location, Location, Location" with privacy expert Robert Ellis Smith.  brown.edu/go/privacy
  2. 2/11 6:30-8 PM: Free screening of award-winning documentary "Terms and Conditions May Apply", "mandatory viewing for everyone who uses the Internet." Q&A session follows. Light refreshments + door prizes.  brown.edu/go/tacma
  3. 2/24 Noon: "Your Life Online" Brown Bag.  brown.edu/go/YourLifeOnline 
10 Feb, '14—2:05 pm

We want to make it easier for you to get technology help at the IT Service Center. We’ve extended our hours to 8pm on weekdays for phone, email, and walk-in service. Services Supported include technology troubleshooting, repair of Brown-owned equipment, password resets, and laptop and camera rentals.   

Please note that the Service Center will be closed on Monday, 1/21 for the holiday.

7 Feb, '14—9:04 am

Starting next week, the http://gmail.brown.edu login page will look and function like a consumer (non-Brown) Google login page. What does this mean for us? Instead of logging in with just the beginning of our Brown email address (e.g., josiah_carberry), we will have to type the whole email address (e.g., josiah_carberry@brown.edu). The login page will no longer display the words "Brown University."

Tips:

  • Instead of logging in at http://gmail.brown.edu, you could also log in at http://gmail.com or directly to any Google product that you are able to access with your Brown account.

  • Choosing “stay signed in” can be a convenient way to avoid retyping your username and password. However, if you do so, make sure your computer is password protected. If you need help setting up password protection, speak with your department’s computing representative, the IT Service Center, or the Information Security Group.

  • You can set up 2-step authentication on your Google account to prevent someone from accessing your account even if they have your password. 

  • This new login screen will be more resistant to security attacks and will allow you to more easily switch between accounts.

Compare the old and new login screens in the image below:

7 Feb, '14—9:04 am

Due to a change in the Google login page for Brown, we've received a lot of questions about being prompted to resolve a "conflict account" after logging in. This is normal, and simply means you once accessed a Google product with your Brown email address before we started using Google at Brown.  

For your privacy, Google does not automatically move any personal content into your Brown account. For that reason, you are prompted either to move content to your Brown account, or associate it with a new Gmail account or a non-Gmail personal email address. The decision you make is personal and depends on the type of content and what you intend to do with it.

For detailed information and instructions, see our page on resolving conflicting accounts.

7 Feb, '14—9:04 am

Update: Please note that the Wednesday 2/5 clinic has been cancelled due to the weather.

Can't make it to the IT Service Center? Get tech help in the following locations. We'll be keeping this list updated as we schedule more clinics.

  • Wednesday 1/22/14, 9am-5pm, atrium of the CIT Building 
  • Thursday 1/23/14, 9am - 5pm, atrium of the CIT Building
  • Friday 1/24/2014, 11:30am - 1pm, Sharpe Refectory
  • Monday 1/27/2014, 11:30am-1pm Verney-Woolley
  • Tuesday 1/28/14, 3pm - 5pm, Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library
  • Wednesday 1/29/14, 3:30pm - 5pm, Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center
  • Thursday 1/30/14, 3pm - 5pm, Hecker Center, Rockefeller Library
  • Friday 1/31/2014, 2pm - 4pm Arnold Lounge - Keeney Quad 
  • Monday 2/3/2014, 2pm - 4pm, Barbour Hall - 1st Floor Lounge
  • Tuesday 2/4/2014, 11:30am - 1pm, Emery Hall - Entrance near gym 
  • Wednesday 2/5/2014, 2pm - 4pm, Vartan Gregorian Quand - Entry to Josiah's - Cancelled due to weather
28 Jan, '14—2:58 pm

The 24-hour hackathon Hack@Brown starts at 4:30pm today (January 24th) with about 300 student participants. For more information, see the press release or the event's website.

23 Jan, '14—1:38 pm

Brown is participating in National Data Privacy Month from January 28th-February 28th, 2014. While not as an intensive campaign as we do each October for Cyber Security Month, there are still opportunities to hear from experts, learn how to protect your individual privacy online, and view an intriguing documentary. More on that later.

Privacy is a large concern to many people, and with so much of our lives and actions online, protecting one’s privacy is becoming increasingly more difficult. I'm sure that you are all aware of the breach of credit cards and personal information from Target, and maybe even have been directly impacted by it. With more and more information being made available by the company, it is now considered the largest breach in the history of personal data. While we laugh that it is no surprise given the name "target", it is no laughing matter. Many of the victims have had their finances, credit and personal lives negatively impacted. Sadly, attacks such as this will continue, as the value of the data continues to increase.

Maintaining your privacy takes effort, and the ISG is here to help. With webpages offering advice, a national webcast on January 30th by Robert Ellis Smith (the nation’s leading privacy advocate), and an ISG brown bag lunch February 24 on "Your Life Online", you have opportunities over the next few weeks to gain insight and knowledge on not only protecting your privacy, but what to do if your information is leaked.

We will also be providing a screening of an intriguing documentary called Terms and Conditions May Apply. Including a Q&A session afterwards with leading members of the Brown community in this area, it will be both an eye-opening and valuable night. I hope that you can attend. Details at brown.edu/go/TACMA.

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at david_sherry@brown.edu, 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, privacy or personal computing security. And remember, sec_rity is not complete without U!

23 Jan, '14—1:38 pm

Think you may have been part of a security breach affecting Target or other retailers? ISG recommends that, whether or not you might have been a victim, there are a few things you can do to protect your identity as well as financial reputation.

Keep an eye on your bank account statements

Most banking institutions allow you to set alerts for unusual activity, so that information is pushed to you rather than your needing to remember to log into your account everyday. Jay Gatten of The Human Defense suggests having a text sent to you for any transaction (including cash withdrawals) over $100 (or whatever amount you are most comfortable with).

Debit or Credit?

Gatten as well as others also recommend not using your debit card as a debit card, since its PIN could be captured when slid or inserted in a rogue POS (point of sale) device. Instead, use credit cards whenever possible, which allow you to use the bank's money until you pay it back. This is the reason they will take immediate action if there is a chance of credit card fraud. (Watch this recent news story for more on debit versus credit.) Another alternative: use cash whenever possible, such as at gas stations.

Order free credit reports

An amendment to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act requires each of the three major nationwide consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and Trans Union) to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. This means you can track request a report every four months. You can order reports at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.

FTC & Identity Theft

Contact the FTC (www.consumer.gov/idtheft) if you see and suspicious activity. More about identity theft at http://brown.edu/go/identitytheft.

Beware phishing attempts

Some of the expected fallout from the recent breaches is phishy emails, text or even phone calls to those whose personal information was stolen. Because of this, be extra vigilant for anything that doesn't quite seem right. Learn how to spot a phish at www.brown.edu/go/phishing. Unfortunately, the "Important message from Target to our guests" email that was sent mid-January looks a bit phishy. What do you think they could have done better? On the plus side, the letters did contain helpful recommendations, much like what was contained here. But it also included an offer for a free credit report that some have found confusing or are unable to act upon since they don't have email and access to the Internet.