Archive for October 2013

Improving the College experience for staff and students

One challenge we face within IS Services is accommodating the varying technological needs of staff and students across diverse academic departments and areas of College. We tackle this challenge by listening to students via our annual satifaction survey and working with representatives from the student body and the IS Services Users group. These methods of gathering feedback give staff and students a greater voice. Below is a summary of what work was done over Summer, based on feedback received.

The focus of feedback from both staff and students was a need to improve th ease of connectivity to the College Wi-Fi services and to that end a range of activities were undertaken.

Students requested a streamlined process for connecting to and registering for the College network. In response, we simplified the onnection steps, expanded the help pages, and introduced support for additional anti-virus software.

After bringing iOS mobile devices onto the College network in December 2012, the most soughtafter development came by way of introducing Android devices to the College network.

Increased devices means increased usage. With that in mind, the College network received major upgrades over the Summer. Students and staff will now see faster wireless speeds and higher data rates. As well, we added high-density Wi-Fi coverage in high traffic areas such as the Biomedical Sciences Building. This comes as a result of an upgrade to the latest architectural design.

A major College initiative is now underway that will further enhance Wi-Fi coverage and connectivity in the next two years; an effort which will push the TCD Wi-Fi network to the top of the nation’s list of data networks. The vast majority of devices connect to the College network will see faster speeds and higher data rates, as well as a broader range of devices will be permissible on the network.

New: How you can find out where there are available computers in our rooms

Need to print a paper or do some work on a PC or Mac in the College computer rooms? You can now check the availability of computers in our rooms across campus by visiting our new Computer Room availability page at: http://isservices.tcd.ie/facilities/pacrmaplinks.php

New service status page from IS Services

On the new Service Status page on our website, you will find the latest news on the status of key College IT services and systems.

You can check the status of the following IT services: student & staff email, TCDconnect, the wired network, Staff Wi-Fi, internet access to external sites, the College webserver, TCD web-based systems and student printing.

You can find the Service Status page on our website at http://isservices.tcd.ie/status

Latest improvements to TCDconnect (October 2013)

To date this year a record number of over 10,000 students (more than double the number at the same time as last year), have successfully registered on TCDconnect and are now connected to the College Network.

A programme of service improvement changes were made to TCDconnect over Summer 2013 that have made it easier than ever to register and connect. Some the changes that we would wish to highlight include:

• Android and Google Chrome OS devices can now register & connect to the College Wi-Fi network;

• the registration process was reviewed and simplified;

• support for McAfee Home and McAfee Internet Security was enabled on TCDconnect.

For anyone who is yet to connect and wants to find out more there is information online at: http://isservices.tcd.ie/network/tcdconnect.php

Audio visual equipment upgrade work in progress

Inside the classroom, teaching tools are rapidly developing and we are ensuring that academic staff has the best presentation tools and access to latest teaching technology.

During Summer 2013, we carried out a wide range of improvements to the audio visual and media equipment in College lecture theatres.

Further scheduled work will take place between now and Christmas 2013 and to avoid disruption to teaching, we will try to use weekends and teaching breaks at Study Week and Christmas to complete all the installations.

In summary the improvements will include the following:

• Burke Lecture Theatre – New teaching desk location, additional microphones on stage and improved integration with new lighting

• LTEE2/3 Lecture Theatres – Replacing Screens, Data Projectors and PCs

• Arts Davis Theatre & Goldsmith Hall – Replacing the Screens

• Museum M20/21 – Rewiring and replacing the lecterns

• D’Olier St, Arts and AAP Seminar Room– Replacing PCs, Screens and Data Projectors

New online, self-service password recovery service for students

Students will now be able to change their network login and MyZone passwords easily and remotely by visiting mypassword.tcd.ie from anywhere, through a web browser, have details sent to your mobile phone and confirmation emails sent to an email address of your choice.

This new service is opt-in, and if you have not signed up already we strongly  encourage you to do so. Signing up for this service now will save you any undue delay in the event of you forgetting your password. For example, were you to realise you had forgotten your password late on a Friday evening, being able to use the new service would save you waiting until Monday morning to have the problem resolved, and save you a
trip to the IS Services Helpdesk.

If you’re interested in using the service, the only thing you’ll need to do right now is sign-up with your mobile phone number and, optionally, an alternative email address. The options to sign-up for the service, and to use it if you forget your password, can be found at mypassword.tcd.ie.
How do I create a strong password?

Here are 3 tips to think about when creating a strong password:

Length: make your passwords long with 8 or more characters

Complexity: include letters, numbers and a variety of upper case characters. Avoid basing it on a single dictionary word.

Test it online: when you think you have come up with a secure password you can check it with a good online password checker.  You can find one here: www.passwordmeter.com

Phishing awareness for staff and students

IS Services have seen a large volume of fraudulent emails over the Summer and have received many reports from staff and students about phishing emails since the start of the new Academic Year. We have recently learnt about a new type of fraudulent email known as a ‘spear-phishing’ attack which has been reported as happening in Irish Government Departments / Agencies in recent weeks.

These ‘spear-phishing’ attacks are highly-targeted and designed in a way to convince the recipient that a fraudulent message is authentic. In a  spear phishing attack the email is no longer a poorly-written attempt at fraud, but a much more sophisticated and credible-looking attempt to illicitly obtain your confidential information. In particular messages may have a “plausible” sender address, even @tcd.ie, and typically
will have an embedded attachment which appears to point to a legitimate website but is redirected to a fraudulent website. TCD staff and students are generally good at recognising a fraudulent message when they see one. However, we would like to continue to raise awareness and suggest a few tips that we hope will keep staff and students vigilant.

The most basic and most important note is that IS Services will never ask for username and password information through an email. Any message that asks for a username and password should be approached with caution.

Be extra vigilant about not opening unexpected emails (particularly emails containing attachments) or clicking on links within emails.

The consequences of falling victim to a phishing attempt are not limited to one email account, but could affect the College community as a whole. One compromised account could potentially endanger vast amounts of sensitive data.

We would ask anyone who has responded to a phishing message or  clicked on any links within the email body and entered College username and password information to immediately change their password and report the email to the Helpdesk (+353 01 896 2000 | helpdesk@tcd.ie).

Welcome from the Director of IS Services …

A warm welcome to the new academic year from IS Services. As staff and students are settling into the new term, we would like to take a few moments to share current news about IT topics that might help make an easy transition from Summer into the new term.

The College community has seen a large volume of fraudulent emails in recent weeks and, in particular, over the Summer. In this newsletter, we will inform you about phishing, and provide a few tips and some practical
advice on how to spot a phishing message and how to avoid it.

The most basic and important note is that IS Services will never ask you for your username and password through an email message.

With these recent phishing attacks in mind, it is worth noting the development of a password recovery service for students. With this secure service, students will be able to change their password through a web browser, have details sent to their mobile phone and confirmation emails sent to an email address of their choice. Staff can manage their network login passwords through TCD Password Manager. Students and staff can visit mypassword.tcd.ie for full options on managing passwords.

Students can get fast, secure Internet access for their computer and mobile devices with TCDconnect. Instructions on registering for TCDconnect here. In this newsletter, you will read about the latest developments to the TCDconnect service.

New students may find more information about College IT services on our new student web pages.

Also in this newsletter, we will release news of a major Mobility initiative, as well as highlight improvements to Audio Visual and Media Services equpiment across campus. As always, we encourage you to stay on top of service news and improvements by visiting our website. Thank you and best best wishes for the coming year!

HPRC Open Drop-In Session, Friday 1st November

HPRC will host one of their regular open drop-in sessions from 12pm to 1pm in Room 2.12 Lloyd Building on Friday 1st November, for all disciplines.

HPRC provides Trinity researchers from all disciplines with the following services:

  • Advanced Computing
  • Data Management
  • Visualisation
  • Training
  • Software Development Facilities and Expertise

The workshop may be useful to staff and postgrads in these faculties:

  • Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science
  • Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

See here for more details on the drop-in workshop.

Training sessions on the Datapac print/scan/copy facilities

If you make use of the printing, scanning and photocopying facilities in the College computer rooms and Library then you may be interested in training sessions taking place this week.  These sessions will take place between Monday 21st October and Friday 25th October 2013 in North Training Room, Berkeley Library. Please see the training schedule for further information.