Archive for January 2015

‘TCD Students’ app no longer operational from 1st Feb

‘TCD Students’ was a mobile device app that allowed students to access certain College information and services.  This app is no longer being developed and will not work from 1st February 2015.  The various College resources available through the app are easily accessed by following the links outlined below, many of which have been optimised for mobile devices.



Pocket Guide



Staff Directory

Prospective students

Android devices –

IT Security Week: Can you spot a ‘phishing email’?

Your inbox can be a dangerous place! Lurking among the countless work and study related emails are fraudulent ‘phishing’ emails waiting to catch you unawares and trick you into divulging your College network password, your personal information or the login details for your Internet Banking, Apple iTunes or PayPal accounts.

To stay safe you need to be alert to the possibility of scams and fraud in your inbox.

Take a look at the emails below, have you ever received something similar?
























These are common examples of the type of phishing emails we regularly receive in College.

These emails may attempt to induce you to:

  • Act quickly to prevent an account from being deactivated
  • Take part in a system upgrade or other IT action
  • Cancel payment for an item which you have not purchased

To avoid these types of scams you need to be vigilant and cautious, always take your time and consider the validity of what you are being offered.

  • Make sure you can confirm the identity of the company or individual with whom you are engaged in a transaction

Never provide sensitive personal information by email or on unfamiliar websites

What should I do when I receive a phishing email to my College email account?

Staff members who receive a spam/phishing email to their staff email account should report it so that similar email is blocked in future. Doing this helps reduce the overall amount of spam/phishing email being delivered to College email accounts, not just your own. To report an email as spam/phishing:

  1. Save the spam/phishing email message – in Outlook this would mean opening the email to view it and then choosing File – Save As and saving it to your computer
  2. Create a new, blank email message and attach the saved spam message to it
  3. Copy and paste the original spam message subject line into the new message subject line
  4. Send the new message to

What do I do if I think I have responded to a phishing email in College?

If you have replied to a phishing message or clicked on any links within the email body and entered your College username and password please immediately change your password and report this to the Helpdesk (+353 01 896 2000).

Finally remember..

IS Services will never ever ask for your username and password via email and you can confirm any communications from us with our website or the Helpdesk.

IT Security Week: College Data Protection Day 2015

This year to mark Data Protection Day 28th January Information Systems Services collaborated with Information Compliance and the Science Gallery to run a number of interesting and successful events, which you can read about below:


The Mystery QR Code

Did you notice a giant QR code being projected onto the Nassau Street entrance of Trinity College Dublin on the evening of Tuesday 27th January?












Over 100 people scanned the code and were asked a sequence of questions requesting personal data ranging from name, gender, email address to more sensitive data such as their data of birth, occupation and credit card details.

Without any idea of what their information would be used for or where it was going 90% of participants volunteered their name and gender while a shocking 27% of participants answered the request for details of medical conditions and their credit card number.

While this exercise was for demonstrative purposes only with a view to raising awareness regarding placing personal data online, it could easily have had a more sinister agenda. The moral of the story – Think before you click!

Data Protection day: Are you oversharing? One-on-one social media workshops

A number of willing participants volunteered to have their online presence ‘data mined’ by IS Services and the Science Gallery as a demonstration of just how much personal data it is possible to collect online about a stranger.

The results were then presented to each participant over coffee in the Science Gallery yesterday. Many were surprised at the sheer volume of data which was available about them on the Internet and 70% of participants said that they would put less data online in future as a result of attending this workshop.

Remember disclosing too much personal information about yourself on the internet can expose you to:

  • Identity Theft
  • Fraud
  • Personal Loss/danger (when disclosing location info)
  • Reputational damage (future employers etc.)

Personal social media management is now more important than ever why not review our tips from Tuesday on how to protect your personal data online and ensure that you are not oversharing!

Panel discussion: What does the Internet say about you?

We rounded off the day with a fascinating panel discussion around the theme of data privacy and the Internet. Speakers including Eoin O’Dell, Professor, The Law School and Twitters Director of Public Policy Sinead McSweeney discussed recent developments in online privacy and what issues we should all be aware of.











If you missed the event keep an eye on our website as we will be making a podcast of the event available soon!


Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) support update

IS Services has now completed testing of Mac OS X Yosemite (Mac OS X 10.10) in regard to its compatibility with the College data network and IT systems.  We are pleased to announce it is now supported for use on the wired network in College offices and labs and on the staff Wi-Fi.  In a small number of cases people have experienced issues following the upgrade to Mac OS X Yosemite.  We’ve published the details of these issues to our Mac OS Support Statement web page.

IT Security Week: Is your password on the list of worst Internet Passwords for 2014?

Is your College password on the list of worst Internet Passwords for 2014?

You might recall during last year’s IT Security week we looked at the list of the Internet’s most commonly used and therefore ‘worst’ passwords. The list has been updated for 2014 As you can see below there has not been much of an improvement! Do you see any passwords similar to those you may be currently using for accounts which provide access to important information about you? These could include your College network or email account, or your iTunes, Amazon, PayPal, LinkedIn, or Facebook account?

If so it may be time to consider a change!

Rank Password Change from 2013
1 123456 No Change
2 password No Change
3 12345 Up 17
4 12345678 Down 1
5 qwerty Down 1
6 123456789 No Change
7 1234 Up 9
8 baseball New
9 dragon New
10 football New
11 1234567 Down 4
12 monkey Up 5
13 letmein Up 1
14 abc123 Down 9
15 111111 Down 8
16 mustang New
17 access New
18 shadow Unchanged
19 master New
20 Michael New

What makes these passwords so bad?

The passwords on this list demonstrate many of the common features which make a password weak and easy for an attacker to guess or crack:

  • They use dictionary words like dragon, football & monkey
  • They use common sequences or repeated characters like 111111 & 12345678
  • They use adjacent letters on the keyboard like qwerty

How can I create a secure password?

The key ideas to think about when creating a password are:

  • Length – Make your passwords long with 8 or more characters.
  • Complexity – Include letters, symbols, and numbers and a variety of upper and lower case characters.
  • Obscurity – Good passwords are randomised combinations of characters, don’t use dictionary words or words with personal connections to you or the service the password is for.

Test it online When you think you have come up with a secure password you can check it with an online password checker.

How can I manage all my passwords?

The best idea is to use separate passwords for all your important accounts which provide access to important information about you like your College account, iTunes or Facebook account. However remembering many different complex passwords is a challenge, one useful way to manage you passwords is to use an application like Keepass.

This is a small application which you can install on your computer and use to store your password information. The application is encrypted and password protected.  Obviously you should choose a really strong password to protect this application and remember to transfer and delete all information when you buy a new computer.

What if I forget my College Password?

Everyone forgets their password occasionally, you can save yourself a trip to the helpdesk by signing up today for the automated password reset services provided by IS Services below:

  • Password Manager

Password manager is a web-based application which allows staff and students to manage and reset their network login password. For a complete set of instructions on how to get started using Password Manager as a member of staff please see staff information, and as a student please see student information

  • TCD Password Recovery Service

Students can reset their email and network login password and have details sent to their mobile phone. Sign up today at by providing a mobile phone number and, optionally, an alternative email address.

IT Security Week: Data Protection Day 2015 – Did you know that over half of Irish Organisations experienced a data breach last year?

Today January 28th is Data Protection Day. This is an international event aimed at raising awareness and educating individuals on their rights and their responsibilities with regard to collecting, storing and processing personal information.

The event also focuses on encouraging businesses and other organisations to understand their responsibilities by being open and honest about how they collect use and share personal information.

Know your rights

As an individual or a consumer you should know that that when you give your personal details to another organisation or individual, they have a legal duty to keep these details private and safe. This process is known as data protection.

Know your responsibilities

A recent survey of Irish Organisations found that more than half had experienced a data breach in the last year and the biggest cause was not hackers or other external threats but the behaviour of the companies own employees!

If you collect or store personal data belonging to others then you have defined legal responsibilities to protect and manage this data correctly.

As a staff member or a student in College you may be collecting and storing personal information as part of your job role, studies or research. You have a responsibility to ensure that the data is stored and processed appropriately and securely.

Remember IS Services are always available to advise you on how to manage data securely. We can advise on encryption techniques, evaluate IT partners’ products and services or review your current arrangements and advise on any improvements that may be necessary.

The College Information Compliance Office is also available to assist with any queries around Data Protection Legislation and compliance.

So make sure you know how the Data Protection Act applies to you. You can find information on the Data Protection Commissioner’s website at

Join us this evening to find out WHAT DOES THE INTERNET SAY ABOUT YOU?

To mark Data Protection day there will be an exciting panel discussion at 6pm in the JM Synge Theatre. It will be hosted by Newstalk’s Technology Reviewer Jessica Kelly.  See the Science Gallery Events Page for more information

IT Security Week: Protecting your Personal Information

We all have information worth protecting; financial data, medical information, usernames, passwords, passcodes and PINs to name but a few. Protecting this information was much easier when it was mainly stored in physical files and folders and could be locked securely away, but now that it is online how safe and secure is your personal information?

Are you at risk of loss of privacy, identity theft or fraud?

Have a read through our top 10 tips below to ensure that you are doing all you can to protect your personal information.

Top 10 tips to safeguard your personal information online

  1. Remembering passwords can be a nuisance but passwords are often the sole keys to accessing your information and are fundamental to your security. They need to be long, complex, unique and not easy to guess, so at least 8 characters (preferably much more if you can manage it), and with no dictionary words, names, favourite colours or dates of birth!
  2. Don’t use the same password for everything; this increases the likelihood of multiple accounts getting hacked at once potentially turning a small problem into a major disaster!
  3. Protect your privacy on social media; think carefully about what information you allow to be accessed online and by whom. Make sure you understand how the privacy settings in applications like Facebook actually work.
  4. As a test log out and try to access your social media accounts as a stranger would every so often to check what data can be accessed.
  5. Be cautious about online status updates that reveal your location or future travel plans; you may put yourself or your property in danger by publicly declaring this type of information.
  6. Have a plan for how you will deal with the loss or theft of a personal computing device, have you encrypted the hard drive, can you remote wipe the device, do you have backups?
  7. Have you heard of phishing? Be on your guard while browsing your inbox and never ever supply personal or financial information in response to an email request. Even if you are convinced that an email is legitimate always verify by telephoning the bank or company using their publically listed telephone number to double-check first.
  8. Be careful when storing personal or sensitive information in online storage services, especially free ones! Have you read the terms and conditions of the service, are you sure you know who can access the data?
  9. Finally make sure to delete all your information stored on a computer, phone or tablet prior to discarding, exchanging or donating it to charity. 

Join us tomorrow to find out WHAT DOES THE INTERNET SAY ABOUT YOU?  

To mark Data Protection day on Wednesday 28th January there will be an exciting panel discussion at 6pm in the Synge Theatre – WHAT DOES THE INTERNET SAY ABOUT YOU?  It will be hosted by Newstalk’s Technology Reviewer Jessica Kelly.  See for more information

Consider how much data you are storing on your smartphones and tablets, you need to protect and secure these just as you would your computer. At a minimum set a password or PIN on your devices and set them to automatically lock after a set period of time.

[MATLAB Webinars] Upcoming Academic Sessions – January 2015

Join us online to learn more about MATLAB and Simulink. Each live webinar is free and features application demonstrations followed by a Q&A session with a MathWorks Engineer.


Parallel Computing with MATLAB
January 9, 2015
Session 1:  2 pm // Session 2:  7 pm

Learn how you can use Parallel Computing Toolbox and MATLAB Distributed Computing Server to speed up MATLAB applications by using the desktop and cluster computing hardware you already have. You will learn how minimal programming efforts can speed up your applications on widely available desktop systems equipped with multicore processors and GPUs, and how to continue scaling your speed up with a computer cluster.


Introduction to Geospatial (Mapping) Analysis using MATLAB
Date: January 16, 2015
Session 1:  2 pm // Session 2:  7 pm

This session provides an overview of using MATLAB for geospatial image and data analysis. Using imagery acquired from USGS Web Services, we will demonstrate the development and application of an algorithm to quantify from aerial imagery the portion of land under irrigation.

This session is intended for anyone interested in using MATLAB to analyze geospatially-oriented data.

Highlights include:

  • Accessing aerial NAIP (National Agriculture Imagery Program) imagery from a web map server
  • Developing an algorithm to detect and differentiate irrigation crop circles
  • Automating the algorithm over a range of sub-images
  • Displaying results on a map axis
  • Generating reports on the results

Additionally, we will demonstrate the registration of aerial images and the positioning of cellular towers to optimize coverage.

Highlights include:

  • Downloading digital elevation model and aerial imagery using WMS
  • Annotating terrain data with contour lines, colormaps, and more
  • Calculating line-of-sight visibility, and viewshed


Computer Vision Made Easy
Date: January 27, 2015
Session 1:  2 pm // Session 2:  7 pm

In this webinar you will learn how to use computer vision algorithms to solve real world imaging problems. Computer vision uses images and video to detect, classify, and track objects or events in order to understand a real-world scene.

You will discover how to:

  • Find moving objects in video
  • Analyze the motion of objects
  • Detect and locate faces in images and video
  • Track a single object over many frames of video

We will demonstrate key features through real world examples including:

  • Analyzing the flow of traffic using motion analysis
  • Using a person’s movements to interact with a computer
  • Locating an object in a cluttered scene

This webinar assumes some experience with MATLAB and no experience with computer vision. We will focus on the Computer Vision System Toolbox.

Top-ten Helpdesk issues & stats – December 2014

In December 2014, the IS Services Helpdesk received 2,499 queries via phone, email, walk in and web. You can see more details at

The top-ten issues reported by students and staff to the Helpdesk in December can be seen at

IS Services