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New Survey Tool: Qualtrics

Categories: key survey, keysurvey, LIS Staff Interest, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints, qualtrics, software, survey

As of July 2015, Middlebury has adopted Qualtrics as its on-line survey platform for faculty, students and staff.

  • Qualtrics is currently considered the industry-leading provider of online survey software.

  • It is already being used by members of Middlebury as well as in other educational institutions for administrative, academic and research purposes. For example, Amherst, Bowdoin, Colby, Hamilton, Pomona, and Wesleyan are among peer institutions that offer site wide access to Qualtrics.

  • It offers powerful features, such as 90 different question types, the ability to add multimedia to surveys and panel management that set it apart from KeySurvey, our current software.

  • Finally, the switch resulted in significant savings for the College.

Our previous survey platform, KeySurvey, will be available until the end of September and users are strongly encouraged to export their surveys and data before September 30th.

To create a Qualtrics account and learn how to transition from KeySurvey to Qualtrics, go to http://mediawiki.middlebury.edu/wiki/LIS/Qualtrics or contact Bill Koulopoulos (bkoul@middlebury.edu).

Security Notification: Ransomware Delivered Through Phishing Attacks

Categories: Helpdesk Alerts, ITS, LIS Staff Interest, Middlebury Community Interest, middpoints, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

A year ago the Internet saw a rash of malware known as ransomware. This malicious form of cyber attack is known for infecting a computer and encrypting a drive. The victim is then unable to recover their data until paying a ransom to the attacker. Middlebury, like many other institutions was not immune to this form of attack.

A week ago the FBI announced a new variant on a common form of these attacks known as CryptoWall. This form of ransomware is known to have four methods of infecting a computer.

  • Phishing: the attacker may lure a victim into downloading an infected attachment through a phishing campaign and thereby compromising the drive on their system.
  • Phishing: the attacker lures the victim into clicking on a link to a malicious web site where the victim unknowingly downloads the malicious software onto their system and compromises their drive.
  • Infected ad: the attacker posts and infected ad on a website which a user might click thereby causing the download of malicious software.
  • Compromised website: the attacker compromises a website so when a user visits the website they unknowingly download malicious software and compromise their system.

According to the FBI, by far the most common method of attack is phishing, particularly with attachments in the message.

What you can do to protect yourself:

  • Never open attachments or click links in emails that you do not recognize or trust.
  • Know what a phishing attack is and how to spot one. visit http://go.middlebury.edu/phish or http://phishing.org
  • If you think you have fallen for a phish change your password. then call x2200
  • If you believe you system is compromised, unplug it from the power and the network. Shut it down immediately. Do not worry about saving your work. then call x2200.
  • Backup your data routinely. If you save your data to Middfiles or your home directory it will be backed up automatically.
  • Never disable your antivirus software.
  • Send any suspect emails to phishing@middlebury.edu
  • Only download software from known vendor sites.
  • Don’t click on ads in web sites. Visit vendor websites directly.

Sources:

Moodle Maintenance on Friday, June 5th

Categories: Helpdesk Alert, Helpdesk Alerts, Middlebury Community Interest, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

From Remote-Learner, our Moodle Host:

http://moodle.middlebury.edu has been scheduled for Production Upgrade at 01:00 EDT on 5-JUN-2015.

Your site may be unavailable for up to 120 minutes while this action occurs.

Thank you,
RemoteLearner

You CAN search library databases from off campus!

Categories: libspotlight, LIS Staff Interest, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

You can search library databases from off campus! Just start at the library site: http://go.middlebury.edu/lib.  JSTOR, ebooks, audiobooks, Summon and all of our online journals, magazines and newspapers are there for you…no matter where you are!

When you’re off campus, links that are on library web pages (for example, Research Guides, Summon and the Journals list) will ask you to log in with Midd credentials. It’s as easy as that!

Seniors: Ask a librarian about alumni access to library databases!

Enjoy the summer!

offcampus

Scrivener: Software for Writers Workshop

Categories: library, Library Spotlight, libspotlight, middpoints, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints, scholarship, software

Write Your Thesis with Scrivener
Library Workshop
Wednesday, April 29th
4:30-5:30pm
Register

library workshopAre you working on a large writing project? Scrivener can help! Scrivener is a software program that breaks down your writing into manageable “chunks,” and brings your research and writing together into a single conceptual workspace.

The library will offer a Scrivener workshop on April 29th at 4:30p.m. Participants will learn how to create a new writing project, how to import existing work, and how to outline, research, and write with Scrivener’s unique features. This workshop is aimed at thesis writers but is open to all members of the College community. For more information on Scrivener and to sign up for the workshop, visit go.middlebury.edu/scrivener.

Moodle Maintenance on Friday, March 27th, 2015

Categories: ITS, library, LIS Staff Interest, Middlebury Community Interest, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

In order to increase the resilience and reliability of our cloud platform we will be conducting network maintenance on 3/27/2015 between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m., EST. During this time sites will be unavailable for extended periods of time.

Sincerely,
Remote-Learner Technical Support

Wireless Update

Categories: Helpdesk Alert, LIS Staff Interest, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

You may have noticed that no changes to our wireless networks took place yesterday (3/16).  We are giving people more time to switch from Midd-standard to the new MiddleburyCollege network.  If you haven’t already done so, please take this opportunity to connect your wireless devices to MiddleburyCollege.  If you encounter any difficulties, contact the Technology HelpDesk for assistance.

The following wireless networks are currently available:
* MiddleburyCollege is the new, fast, and secure wireless network.  A Middlebury username and password or guest account is required.
* MCPSK is the new wireless network for the limited devices that cannot connect to the MiddleburyCollege network, including the following:  PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo DS, Kindle, and Nook.
* Midd-standard continues to be available to provide wireless access to campus visitors.
* The eduroam network is available for guests from participating institutions who don’t have Middlebury credentials.

Reduced Library Hours for Spring Recess

Categories: borrowing, circulation, Circulation Services, hours, hours of service, library, library hours, Library News, libspotlight, LIS Staff Interest, lisblog, Middlebury Community Interest, middpoints, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints, recess hours

The libraries will have reduced hours for the Spring recess starting Friday, March 20th. Regular hours will resume Monday, March 30th. A full listing of the hours can be found here, or at go/hours.

Please note the libraries will be closed on Thursday, March 26th for in-service.

Moodle Maintenance on Friday, March 6th, 2015

Categories: ITS, Middlebury Community Interest, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

From Remote-Learner:

In order to increase the resilience and reliability of our cloud platform we will be conducting network maintenance on 3/06/2015 between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., EST. During this time sites will be unavailable for extended periods of time.

Thank you for your patience as we continue to improve your experience.

Sincerely,

Remote-Learner Technical Support

Electronics and cold: A dangerous mix

Categories: Helpdesk Alerts, ITS, LIS Staff Interest, Middlebury Community Interest, middpoints, Post for MiddNotes, Post for MiddPoints

As we all endure these cold temperatures, it can be easy to forget that some of the stuff we carry with us is isn’t quite as hearty. Notably, electronics can be damaged quite easily and seriously in this weather. It’s not the cold itself that is always a problem (although it can be), but instead it’s the temperature change from cold to warm which triggers condensation inside the device.

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That fogging of your glasses when you come in from outside is water condensing onto the cold glass surfaces. This same thing takes place unseen inside your phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, and other electronics. Because we all know that water and electronics do not play well together, this puts your data as well as the device itself at risk.

Screen-Shot-2013-07-10-at-8.23.52-PM1

We would never try and use our device after it had fallen into water, but just coming in from the outside can result in enough water inside the device to cause the same damage. To the right you’ll see the result of actual water damage inside a MacBook… an extremely expensive repair (click the photo for a better view).

 

Condensation/water isn’t the only killer here. Cold batteries will die faster, cold hard drives can have trouble spinning and can damage your valuable data, cold LCD displays won’t look or function right, and the sudden change from cold to hot as internal components heat up when powered on can cause permanent damage. While too much heat can hurt electronics, too much cold has plenty of negative effects as well.

So… what to do to keep your device and data safe? Here are the best practices:

  • If at all possible, don’t let your electronic devices get cold in the first place. This means not leaving them outside, or in your car. If you have to carry your electronics for an extended distance from one building to another, bundle them up inside a bag as well as you can to insulate them from the cold. Wrapping them in a towel, shirt or blanket isn’t unreasonable given the bitter cold temperatures lately.
  • If it’s too late and your electronic device has already gotten cold, don’t turn it on. If possible, remove the battery since these days “off” isn’t really powered off. If you’ve gotten lucky and condensation hasn’t damaged it yet, the moment of powering it up and sending electricity through the entire device is the most-likely moment of death. The safest thing to do is let it sit in a dry, room-temperature environment as long as you possibly can. Just because it has reached room temperature and is dry outside does not mean there has been time for all the condensation to evaporate inside. This can take hours. Obviously, prevention is more-convenient and a much better option.
  • As always: make sure you’re keeping your data on Middfiles instead of storing your files locally on the device. That way if the worst happens and your device fails, at least your data is still safe. Just backing up once a week/month is still living dangerously: make Middfiles your default location for storing and opening your files and you’ll be protected in the event of this and many other things that can go wrong. More information at http://go/middfiles/ or http://go.middlebury.edu/middfiles/

Stay warm and safe computing!

-Scott Remick, ITS Senior Technology Specialist