Fall 2019 information for students

We hope you had a great summer! Michigan Tech IT wants to keep you informed with things we’ve updated over the past few months.

AppsAnywhere

We have implemented the use of AppsAnywhere to make lab software available in our Windows Labs. AppsAnywhere makes software available to Windows computers through its web-based Application Catalog. It will improve your computer lab experience by maintaining software availability without allocating system resources for software applications you don’t need. It also allows Michigan Tech IT to efficiently update programs.

System Drives Upgraded to SSDs

We have upgraded system drives on our lab systems from standard hard drives to Solid State Drives (SSDs). Greater than 90% of systems now have SSDs.

Duo “Remember Me” Update

We have implemented changes to profiles that allow Duo’s remember me feature. Selecting the checkbox for Duo’s “Remember me for 30 days” option now works on lab and classroom computers.

Knowledge Base

With the help of our customers, we’ve improved our online support center. Our Knowledge Base (KB) has instant answers to common IT issues like printing, wireless, passwords and more. You can browse articles by category or search by keyword. For more detailed information, visit our blog post on how to use the new KB.

Accessible Technology

Michigan Tech IT wants everyone to have access to the technology resources we provide. We follow accessible technology guidelines and procedures to make sure that individuals with visual, hearing, mobility, cognitive, and other disabilities can use our technologies without barriers. Please visit the Accessible Technology website for more information. If you do encounter a technology barrier, please complete the Barrier Reporting form. If you are a student with a disability, please reach out to Student Disability Services.

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H, M, and G—more than just letters

H:\, M:\ G:\ drives. What do these letters mean? Pat Hopp, Michigan Tech IT’s Director of Operations, gives us a rundown.

When you log into a Windows computer on campus, you have access to multiple storage locations on the network. Faculty, staff, and students have access to three network storage locations on campus—H:\ drive, M:\ drive, and G:\ drive.

When you log into a campus Windows PC, you will see:

The H:\ drive (home drive)

This is your place to store personal files. The data stored in your H:\ drive is only accessible to you. It also contains your desktop, document folders, and some application settings. The data stored here is backed up nightly, and IT keeps those backups for up to a year. You have the ability to restore your own files using the Previous Versions function described in KB article, Restoring a File on an On-Domain Windows Computer.

You do have a data quota, or limit, on your home drive. Your home drive is not meant for the long term storage of archival data. The Multidrive or Google Drive is more suitable for files or information you would like to archive or share with others.

The M:\ drive (multidrive)

The multidrive contains shared network folders (repositories). Files related to your work, research, or group projects should be stored here. These folders are set up to be securely accessed by multiple people and are backed up nightly. You have the same ability to restore your own files using the Previous Versions functionality described above.

It’s important to the University that work you do for your department, research group or academic unit is stored in a safe place. The multidrive is that place. If your department, research group, or academic team would like a new multidrive share created, we can help. More information is in the article, Requesting a multidrive share.

The G:\ drive (Google Drive)

Google Drive is also an option worth considering, depending on your needs. With the Google Drive File Stream application installed, your Google Drive and Shared Drives will show up as a drive letter, usually G:\. This allows you to browse through Google Drive as if it were another folder on your PC.

With Google Drive File Stream you will see your personal Google Drive space along with any Shared drives (formerly Team Drives) you have access to. Michigan Tech faculty, staff, and students have unlimited Google Drive space. It’s a great place to store long term archival data.

Please note that any data deleted from Google Drive moves to Trash for up to 30 days, but is then unrecoverable after that period. If longer retention for deleted data is important to you, we recommend using the multidrive instead.

If you have any questions about the drives on campus, we can help. Contact us at it-help@mtu.edu or call 7-1111.


Understanding the basics of online safety and security

Inside your connected home. Protect your always-on family.

Americans use 3,138,420 GB of internet data every minute of the day.

It is safe to say that being online is now a way of life for many. Engaging in safe and secure online practices helps protect against the risks of living life on the internet.

Shopping, surfing, banking, gaming, and connecting Internet of Things devices such as toasters and refrigerators are some of the many actions performed each minute in cyberspace. These common everyday activities carry the cyber threats of social engineering to gain unauthorized access to data, identity theft, bullying, location tracking, and phishing, to name just a few. How can we decrease our risk from these cyber threats without abandoning our online activities altogether? Here are some basic online tips everyone can follow to help stay secure while online.

  • Set up alerts. Consider setting up alerts on your financial accounts. Many credit card companies and banks allow you to set up alerts on your accounts via their websites. These alerts range from sending you an email or text each time a transaction happens on your account to alerts when transactions meet or exceed a designated spending limit that you set. These alerts keep you in control of your accounts’ activities. These types of alerts are useful because they make you aware of what’s going on with your account quicker than waiting for monthly statements. When you receive an alert about a transaction that you did not authorize, you can reach out to the credit card company or bank immediately. Log into your credit card company and banking websites to set up alerts on your accounts.
  • Keep devices and apps up to date. This familiar tip is useful even if you are just casually surfing the internet. Keeping your devices up to date (including apps and operating systems) ensures you have the latest security fixes.
  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi. In addition to an updated device, the network the device is connected to is also important. Did you have to enter a password to connect to a Wi-Fi network? If you did, that network is more secure than an open one that any device within range can connect to. Whenever possible, use a secure network, especially when banking or shopping online.
  • Consider using a VPN. VPN stands for virtual private network, and its main purpose is to provide a tunnel for encrypted internet traffic. If you are connected to the internet without using a VPN, your traffic is passed through the internet service provider’s servers. The location of your device is known, and if you must connect to a public Wi-Fi network, there is a risk of snooping by other devices on the same network. Connecting to a VPN redirects your internet traffic to a remote server, encrypting the traffic, reducing the snooping risk. There are many options for VPN software today for consumers and businesses. Do your research and decide which one makes sense for your online needs.
  • Create unique passwords. Here’s another familiar tip. Using the same password for many sites is not a best practice. Suppose that one of your accounts suffered a data breach and your password was exposed. If you reused this password on other accounts, it’s likely that someone would be able to access those accounts as well (especially if your user name is an email address). Consider using a password manager to manage all your passwords. Not only do these tools manage all your passwords, they can also create strong passwords and can even autofill your username and password as you go to websites on different browsers.
  • Be vigilant. Be aware, there are fake websites out there waiting to collect your valuable information. Make sure you are on a legitimate site by double-checking the URL website address to make sure it is spelled correctly. Also make sure you see a padlock and https:// in the URL.

Remember that you are in control of your online activities. Following these security tips will give you peace of mind while online.

Additional resources

Campus Security Awareness Campaign 2019

This post is part of a larger campaign designed to support security professionals and IT communicators as they develop or enhance their security awareness plans. The campaign is brought to you by the Awareness and Training Working Group of the EDUCAUSE Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC).