When you are reading e-mail or browsing online, be on the lookout for suspicious links and deceptive web pages, which are major sources of malware. Also be careful of downloadable files since they can introduce malware. And remember that additional browser plugins and unused applications require additional patching to remain secure. Here are some suggestions to make your day-to-day computing more productive, safe, and secure.
- Keep your software up-to-date. Be sure to install antivirus updates and regularly check for and install updates for any applications or browser plugins you may run on your computer. (e.g., Adobe Flash and Java)
- Be more secure! Don’t enter sensitive or personal information into a URL unless you have verified the address and you have ensured its security by checking that it includes HTTPS.
- When in doubt, ignore. Don’t click on pop-up windows or extraneous ads. And, don’t click on links in emails or web sites until you have verified their destinations by hovering your mouse over the link.
- Keep your private information safe. Use a strong, unique password or passphrase for each account, and avoid storing account information on a website. And consider using a digital password wallet such as 1Password or LastPass to secure your passwords.
- Segregate your browsing activities. Consider using separate browsers for sensitive logins and general web browsing.
- Use private networks for sensitive transactions. Avoid checking your bank account, making purchases, or logging in to other websites that include sensitive information when using public Wi-Fi.
Go stealth when browsing. Your browser can store quite a bit of information about your online activities, including cookies, cached pages, and history. To ensure the privacy of personal information online, limit access by going “incognito” and using the browser’s private mode.
We have added the Primary Categories plugin to our WordPress sites, which can be used to identify a category as being the “primary” one for a post or page. We also created a custom plugin to enable embeds from the Skedda online booking service.
Fixes and Tweaks
- All 404 pages on the MIIS Drupal site now use the main MIIS theme.
- If you edited and saved a banner image on the Middlebury Drupal site, it would disappear. We have updated the code that checks if a page region is empty to correctly identify the field with the image, which changes its name from “body” to “multimedia” after you edit it the first time.
- We changed the settings of the Dining Menus site to allow editors access to the Drupal pages necessary to add new menu items. This had been removed in a recent server upgrade.
- Deleting a Moodle or Canvas resource from the Course Hub will now correctly delete the site, even if it has been used in past semesters. Previously, a check to determine whether the resource was used elsewhere prevented this removal.
- New Canvas users created by the MIIS Course Hub will have their default timezone set to Pacific. Those created by the Middlebury Course Hub will continue to have it set to Eastern. This does not affect any existing Canvas accounts and will not override any preference set by the individual in their Canvas account after it is created.
- Editors on the Davis Projects for Peace and Davis UWC Scholars sites can now edit any page.
The Library is canceling its subscription to RefWorks citation software (Legacy RefWorks and RefWorks 3) next year, effective June 30, 2017. After that date, students, faculty, staff and alumni will not be able to use RefWorks through Middlebury’s subscription.
Why is the library canceling its subscription to RefWorks?
When we began offering RefWorks ten years ago, there were only a few options for citation management software. RefWorks was one of the most reliable and inexpensive options, and it included most of the citation styles that our students and faculty needed. There are many more options now, and some of these options are more user-friendly, more powerful and less expensive. Specifically, the Library recommends Zotero. As the number of Zotero users at Middlebury has grown, the number of RefWorks users has decreased. Zotero is free to use, open source and portable, and it includes hundreds of citation styles. Our Zotero guide has advice on how to get started.
How can I save my RefWorks citations?
We have begun contacting all RefWorks account holders via email. lf you have a RefWorks account and would like to keep the citations you have stored there, you will need to export them before next summer. We have instructions on how to do that here:
Questions? Ask a librarian! http://go.middlebury.edu/askus
Several issues contributed to cause our Middlebury WordPress site to run slower than normal early last week. We believe we have mitigated most of these issues, but are still investigating a few. If some operation in WordPress is taking more than ten seconds to respond, please let us know by opening a ticket and telling us the site URL, what action was slow, and the time it happened, as precisely as possible. Thanks for your help and patience.
Separately, there was a Google Calendar outage for much of last Thursday and some of the features of our site, such as Library hours, had to be temporarily removed.
We have added the Instagram Feed plugin to the Middlebury and MIIS WordPress sites. You can activate and configure this plugin on your site to display a grid of images from Instagram. This replaces the Simple Instagram plugin, which stopped working after a recent Instagram API update.
We’ve created a separate, dedicated site for use in Drupal training workshops.
Fixes and Tweaks
- Recent updates to the MIIS global navigation were applied to the Directory, forms, Course Catalog, and GO sites.
- Fixed a hidden image gallery on the Middlebury Library site.
- Resolved an issue creating WordPress sites through the Course Hub caused by a change in our production Drupal environment.
- Resolved an issue in the Course Hub where class-groups were not getting updated regularly.
- Applied some style changes to the accordion menu in the Omeka NeatLine module.
- Added new menu and style settings for the Envisioning Middlebury site to its contact form and fixed its menu for mobile devices.
- Corrected an issue with shortcodes in the NextGEN Gallery WordPress plugin that would sometimes crash a site.
Our team spent much of last week finding and fixing a number of errors related to the Drupal production environment migration to Chef. If any additional errors pop up that we might not have caught, please let us know via the Helpdesk.
Fixes and Tweaks
- A “More Link” field has been added to the rss_page content type on www.middlebury.edu.
- We copied over some missing rewrite rules for www.miis.edu from our old Drupal cluster.
- The URL fragment has changed from “studentlife” to “student-life” on forms.middlebury.edu.
- The case in FetchProxy where multiple entries existed for the same header is now being properly handled.
- After our production environment switch, Course Hub roster photos were failing to sync. This has now been fixed.
- Fixed an issue in the Course Hub that prevented instructors from being able to create spaces for lab/discussion sections.
- An Runtime Error has been resolved on directory.middlebury.edu, when attempting to view a list of results in which one row did not contain an email field.
- The WordPress language files have been updated.
On Sunday we worked with our colleagues in CSNS to migrate our Drupal sites to an updated cluster of web-hosts managed using the Chef configuration management system. This migration represents an exciting shift as we strive for more consistency and recoverability of our infrastructure. While the primary functions of all Drupal sites have been tested and validated prior to and after the migration, please submit a Web Helpdesk ticket if you notice anything newly broken in a Drupal site.
We have removed the wp-jquery-timelinr plugin from our WordPress sites. When it was enabled, editors were unable to use the WordPress editing interface. The plugin had not been updated in some time.
Fixes and Tweaks
- We fixed some accessibility issues present in our Drupal site templates including an empty header on the BLSE site, a duplicate element in some of the branding blocks, lack of alt tags on the Sustainability site tag icons and MIIS site arrow images.
- Applied a fix to improve the speed of cascading permissions in Drupal.
- The “Middlebury in the News” feature of the Newsroom sidebar will no longer load its templates from the Sustainability site theme.
- A fix was made to the directory to solve an error that occurred when returning results that didn’t have an email address value.
When editing a Drupal “RSS Page” node, you may now select to sort the results by date with the newest items shown first (the default option) or with the oldest items shown first.
Fixes and Tweaks
- Due to a change in the terms of service for the Instagram API, we have had to remove the Instagram module from our Drupal sites. The one instance of this module being used on a live site was replaced with a static image linking to the Instagram account.
- We have removed the Flickr plugin from our MediaWiki installation. The plugin was not being used and no longer recommended for use by its developer.