16 Nov / 2017
The holiday season is here and we will be searching for the perfect gifts for many people in our lives. Shopping from the convenience of our own home is one of the greatest benefits of the internet. You don’t have to wait in line, stand in crowds, or even take off your pajamas. With this convenience, comes many cyber criminals creating fake shopping websites, sending phishing emails, and trying to steal from others.
Spot Fake Online Stores
Criminals can create fake websites that replicate the look of real sites or using the names or well-known stores or brands. When you are searching online for the lowest prices, you may find yourself directed to one of these websites. Below are ways to help identify fake websites:
- Shop with reputable merchants.
- Research the website. There are many independent sources that will give grades to websites. Places like Reseller Rating or Better Business Bureau can be very informative. Even entering the the URL into a search engine and looking at results can be informative.
- Check the merchant’s customer information and return policies. Do not provide a vendor with personal information or bank account numbers. Make sure that they will support you if you package is stolen or missing.
Your Computer and Mobile Device
Protecting your device is just as important as shopping at legitimate websites. Make sure to always install the latest updates and run up-to-date anti-virus software. This makes it much harder for a cyber criminal to infect your device. On top of that, if you have children, let them use a secure device. Not one where your credit card or bank information is stored.
Be Sure the Transaction is Secure
When you are in the checkout process, the web site should be using encryption called SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL ensures secure transmission of your credit card information across the internet. You can tell if the web site is using SSL by look for https: (rather than http://) at the beginning of the web site’s address in the browser.
Your Credit Card Information
Never send your credit card numbers via e-mail. Although it is generally safe to enter your credit card number on a secure web site, it is not safe to send it through e-mail. E-mail is sent through the internet in clear text format, so it’s possible for someone other than the vendor to see it.
Keep a record of your transactions. Print or store the copy somewhere for your records. Check your credit card statements to verify you were charged the proper amount. Also, keep any e-mail confirmations about your order for later reference.
Consider using credit cards that generate a unique card number for every online purchase, such as PayPal, which do not require you to disclose your credit card number to the vendor.
If you do have a problem with an online vendor, first attempt to work it out with them directly. Don’t just rely on e-mail; call them as well. If you cannot resolve the problem to your satisfaction, contact your back and ask them to stop the payment. You can also use an online service such as SquareTrade to resolve your dispute.
Finally, you can file a complaint to the state Attorney General’s Office, post your experience on a site like Reseller Ratings, or contact the Better Business Bureau.
02 Oct / 2017
PRISM is a comprehensive suite of web-based applications which provide innovative solutions to streamline University business processes and transactions. PRISM allows self-service access for faculty and staff to manage their personal data online from anywhere, such as benefits and address information.
PRISM’s integrated applications include Purchasing, General Ledger, Accounts Payable, P-card Redistribution, Research, Human Resources, Payroll, Benefits, and Time Keeping.
Between the crtl and alt on the lower left of your keyboard, resides the Windows key. Some of you may know that pressing the Windows key opens the start menu but, did you know that there are a variety of other shortcuts that you can use to increase your productivity. Some of our favorites are listed below.
Windows key + L: Lock your device
Windows key + [Left][Right]: Position windows on your screen. For example, if you press Windows key + Left, it will position the current window to the left half of your screen. If you use Windows + Up afterward, the current window will be placed in the upper left quarter of your screen.
Windows key + D: Show the desktop and minimize all programs. If you press it again, it will reopen all your programs.
Windows key + […]: Open the programs that are pinned to the task bar. For example, if Word is the third program on your taskbar and you press the Windows Key + 3, then Word will open.
Windows key + Alt + Number: Open the right-click menu for the app pinned in the number position on the taskbar.
Windows key + A: Open the Windows notification center (only on Windows 10 devices).
Windows key + E: This will open the file explorer. This is how you get to your H: and K: drive.
Windows key + X: Opens a start menu that will quickly take you to task manager, control panel, and other useful settings.
Windows key + [+][-]: Zoom in or out on your current window.
Windows key + Shift + Up arrow: Maximizes the active window vertically while maintaining its width.
Windows key + Up: Maximized the selected window.
Windows key + Down: Minimizes the selected window.
Are there any you like to use? Comment below!
FIS and the University have many options for where you can save your files. To help you navigate through all of these options, we have written an article that details in which situations you should choose one option over the other. The article will also help you assess what information you should be saving and where you can save it. Follow the link below to learn more!
When you receive Windows 10, you may notice a new feature on your toolbar. This is the Task View pane. Task View allows you to see all of the programs that are currently open on your desktop and you will be able to toggle through them. However, this feature also allows you to create additional desktops.
Using multiple desktops can allow you to better organize your programs and job functions. You may want one desktop to keep your email and Skype for Business chat. On the next, you can have Excel, PRISM, and Word open. This can help you to organize your actions and see multiple things without having to minimize what you are working on.
To get the task view:
- There are multiple ways to get the task view open. You can click on the Task View button on the task bar.
- You can also press the Windows Key + Tab
To create a new desktop:
- In the Task View pane, click New Desktop to add another desktop.
- To open a new desktop quickly, you can press the Windows Key + Ctrl + D
To move items to the new desktop:
- To move a window from one desktop to another, open the Task View pane and then right-click the program you want to move. You will then see an option that says Move and select the desktop that you would like to move it to.
To move between desktops:
- When you want to move between each of your desktops, open the Task View pan and click on the desktop you want to move to.
- You can also do this by pressing the keyboard shortcuts Windows Key + Ctrl + Left Arrow and Windows Key + Ctrl + Right Arrow.
To close a desktop:
- Open the Task View pane and hover over the desktop you would like to close. After a few seconds, a small X will appear in the upper right corner. Click the X to close the desktop.
- You can also close the desktop you are currently in by pressing Windows Key + Ctrl + F4. Please make note that this will not close the programs you have open. They will be moved to the first desktop.
It is a well-perpetuated myth that closing apps on your iPhone will help save battery and make your phone’s performance improve. The result of closing apps on your phone has the opposite result compared to the desired effect.
When you “force close” your apps by double-tapping the home screen to show the Multitasking Menu and swiping up to close them, it creates more harm than good. When you see how many apps are open on your phone, you think that they must all be running in the background, draining the battery, and making our phones slower. However, you need to understand how iPhones suspend apps when they are not in use.
Most apps have three states:
- Active – This app is running in the foreground and is receiving events. This is the normal mode for an app that you are using currently.
- Background – This app is in the background and still receiving events. An app can run in the background momentarily while it is on its way to being suspended or it could run for longer. An example of this is when you have a navigation app giving you directions to a location. You may not be in the map app; however, it is giving you directions intermittently.
- Suspended – This app is the background and not receiving events. The system moves apps to this state automatically and while suspended, an app remains in memory. This means that the app will remember what you were doing last but, it will not get updates, use any battery, or harm the performance.
When you close the apps, you are taking the app from that suspended state and putting it into an inactive state. This makes it more laborious for the phone to re-open the app next time you use it. Closing the app will also drain the precious battery that you are trying to save. The only time that it is necessary to force-close an app is when the app is unresponsive. Otherwise, forcing close apps is much like turning your car off at stop signs, unproductive and wasting resources.
If you are concerned with battery, you can go into Settings>General>Background App Refresh and disable the refresh from apps that you don’t use or need to refresh frequently. Background App Refresh is a setting that lets certain apps check for new content and download updates in the background when they receive notification that it is available. Background App Refresh allows it to be ready for use the next time you open the app or you could just turn Background App Refresh off and let it update the next time you open the app.
21 Jul / 2017
These are the events that have helped to shape technology as we know it and they all have occurred in July.
July 1: The first Sony Walkman went on sale in Japan. This revolutionized the listening habits across the world.
July 3: The creation of the first computer network. UCLA created a network of the computers that linked together no matter the operating system or make of the computer. This was the first step in creating what became known as the internet.
July 9: Donkey Kong was released in 1981. This was the start of Donkey Kong and Mario, two of the most recognizable video game characters of all time.
July 10: The first International Communications Satellite was launched into space. This was a collaboration between US, Britain, and France to bring in a new world of communication.
July 14: Mariner 4 became the first spacecraft to perform a successful fly-by of Mars in 1965.
July 16: Apollo 11 is launched and becomes the first space mission to land men on the Moon.
July 17: The first photograph of a star was taken at Harvard Observatory in 1850.
July 18: Intel was founded on this day in 1968 in Santa Clara, California.
July 20: Viking 1 landed on Mars in 1976.
July 28: Dell Workstation 400 was introduced for mostly engineering purposes. The average cost was between $3000 and $8000.
07 Jul / 2017
Chancellor Gallagher identified Commercial Translation as a strategic focus area in Pitt’s 5-year Plan, “Making a Difference Together”. As a result, the Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences, Dr. Arthur Levine, has set Commercial Translation as a strategic priority and charged Assistant Vice Chancellor for Commercial Translation in the Health Sciences, Dr. Donald Taylor, with leading these efforts in the Health Sciences in collaboration with stakeholders across campus. The primary purpose of commercial translation is to elevate the core missions of both the university and the respective industry partners who support their commercial translation pathways via funding and research-oriented insights.
28 Jun / 2017
The F keys that sit at the top of your keyboard aren’t just useless decorations. Each as a special function that could help make your day a little easier.
F1: This is considered as the universal shortcut for help. If you press this in almost all programs, it will bring up the help menu.
F2: This key will help you edit or rename files. If you press this while selecting the file, you will be able to rename it. In Office, Ctrl+F2 will open print preview.
F3: F3 will help you search. It can search folders and files in Windows Explorer. If you press Shift + F3 in Word, it will toggle between capitalizing each word, lower case and upper case for the text you select.
F4: When you want to get to the cursor to focus on the address bar in Windows Explorer, press F4. Also, Alt+F4 will close the current program without saving the program. This is handy when you need to close something quickly.
F5: This may be the most useful of all the buttons. It will refresh for you. Whether that be when your desktop when icons are missing, your browser content isn’t cooperating, or you want to start a slide show over again in PowerPoint. Also if you press it in Office, it will open the “Find and Replace” dialog.
F6: When you are in Office, it will toggle between the menu items. When you are on the desktop, it will toggle from the desktop files to the taskbar and system tray. Also, when you are in a browser, it will toggle to the address bar.
F7: Easily access spell check in office by pressing this key. Also, Shift+F7 will run a thesaurus on a highlighted word.
F8: This is most useful in Word. Shift+F8 will allow you to shrink your current selection and Ctrl+F8 will allow you to resize the document.
F9: In Word, F9 refreshes the document. In Outlook, it will send or receive emails.
F10: Shift+F10 will function as a right-click on highlighted icons, files, and internet links. It will also activate the menu bar in the open application.
F11: This button will enter and exit fullscreen mode.
F12: This will open the “Save As” window in Microsoft Word. Shift+F12 just does a basic save and Ctrl+F12 opens a Word Doc.
09 Jun / 2017
How To Identify Spam Email
Identifying spam emails can be tricky as many come from someone you know or copy the look and feel of popular websites. They create emails and websites that have official looking logos and content. If you find that you are receiving unsolicited emails, there are a few easy ways to identify them as spam.
- Sender’s email address – If it contains a long string of characters before the @ sign, it is very likely that the email is spam.
- Check the “To” field – If the message was sent to several unrelated names or distribution lists then it is most likely spam.
- Urgency – If the email is instructing you to do something right away or within X hours, it is a good indication of spam.
- Attachments – Look for attachments you weren’t expecting and NEVER open attachments from an unknown sender. Viruses are often sent through a zip file.
- Grammatical and spelling errors – Most spam message will contain at least a few spelling or grammatical errors.
- Generic Greetings – If it says something like “IT Customer” or “Dear Valued Customers”, it could be spam.
- Links – Hover over the link to see if the URL that appears in the message matches the status bar and the URL that you are expecting to see. If you want to go to the website, you should type the website yourself.
- Requests for Personal Information – Banks, eBay, PayPal and other online services will NEVER ask you for your personal information through email. Ignore any email that asks you for personal information in an email or through a link in an email.
If you ever think you have received a spam email, delete it. Do not reply to the email and don’t assume that emails from someone you know are safe. If you are every unsure, please feel free to reach out to FIS.