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Free Windows 10 installations

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

In September we installed Windows 10 on desktop PCs with the right requirements. 

All new asset item PCs purchased through IT will by default be installed with Windows 10, but from 6 March to 3 April 2017 we will also install free Windows 10 software on laptops meeting the requirements. 

The list to the right includes laptops tested by Dell and Lenovo which also has the drivers available to run Windows 10. ONLY Dell and Lenovo laptops in these lists will qualify from free installations from 6 March to 3 April 2017

Keep in mind that, even though we will do the installation, you will be responsible for your own data and for backing it up before the installation takes place.

We realise that many of our clients would love to start using Windows 10, but in some cases, it just won’t be possible due to old hardware and the availability of drivers. It might be possible that a laptop will be able to handle Windows 10 as an operating system, but the drivers could be generic and cause instability. 

If you would like to make use of this free installation and your laptop qualifies according to the list we supply, please send an e-mail to help@sun.ac.za or contact the IT Helpdesk at x4367.

Learn What It Takes to Refuse the Phishing Bait!

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Cybercriminals know the best strategies for gaining access to your institution’s sensitive data. In most cases, it doesn’t involve them rappelling from a ceiling’s skylight and deftly avoiding a laser detection system to hack into your servers; instead, they simply manipulate one staff member or student.

According to IBM’s 2014 Cyber Security Intelligence Index, human error is a factor in 95 percent of security incidents. Following are a few ways to identify various types of social engineering attacks and their telltale signs.

  • Phishing isn’t relegated to just e-mail! Cyber criminals will also launch phishing attacks through phone calls, text messages, or other online messaging applications. Don’t know the sender or caller? Seem too good to be true? It’s probably a phishing attack.
  • Know the signs. Does the e-mail contain a vague salutation, spelling or grammatical errors, an urgent request, and/or an offer that seems impossibly good? Click that delete button.
  • Verify the sender. Check the sender’s e-mail address to make sure it’s legitimate. If it appears that our help desk is asking you to click on a link to increase your mailbox quota, but the sender is “UniversityHelpDesk@yahoo.com,” it’s a phishing message.
  • Don’t be duped by aesthetics. Phishing e-mails often contain convincing logos, links to actual company websites, legitimate phone numbers, and e-mail signatures of actual employees. However, if the message is urging you to take action — especially action such as sending sensitive information, clicking on a link, or downloading an attachment — exercise caution and look for other telltale signs of phishing attacks. Don’t hesitate to contact the company directly; they can verify legitimacy and may not even be aware that their name is being used for fraud.
  • Never, ever share your password. Did we say never? Yup, we mean never.Your password is the key to your identity, your data, and your classmates’ and colleagues’ data. It is for your eyes only. The IT department will never ask you for your password.
  • Avoid opening links and attachments from unknown senders. Get into the habit of typing known URLs into your browser. Don’t open attachments unless you’re expecting a file from someone. Give them a call if you’re suspicious.
  • When you’re not sure, call to verify. Let’s say you receive an e-mail claiming to be from someone you know — a friend, colleague, or even the rector of the university. Cyber criminals often spoof addresses to convince you, then request that you perform an action such as transfer funds or provide sensitive information. If something seems off about the e-mail, call them at a known number listed in the university’s directory to confirm the request.
  • Don’t talk to strangers! Receive a call from someone you don’t know? Are they asking you to provide information or making odd requests? Hang up the phone and report it to the helpdesk.
  • Don’t be tempted by abandoned flash drives. Cyber criminals may leave flash drives lying around for victims to pick up and insert, thereby unknowingly installing malware on their computers. You might be tempted to insert a flash drive only to find out the rightful owner, but be wary — it could be a trap.
  • See someone suspicious? Say something. If you notice someone suspicious walking around or “tailgating” someone else, especially in an off-limits area, call campus safety.

[ARTICLE FROM Educause]

Log out, switch off

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

It’s almost holiday, but what about that ominous to-do list? We’ve compiled one especially for the office to save you some trouble. 

1. Make sure your password won’t expire while you are away on holiday. Rather reset it before you leave so you won’t be locked out of your accounts when you return.

2. Secondly, did you put in leave? We hope so, but if you haven’t, here‘s something to keep in mind.

3. If you plan on using your PC or device during your holiday and you need to have it fixed, updated or need to set up anything in order to do so, please try and bring it to us ASAP. Just like with Christmas shopping, people tend to wait until the last minute, therefore we are busier closer to the end of the year. The sooner you drop by, the sooner we can solve your problem.

4. If you’ll only be returning to the office mid-January, make sure the necessary arrangements have been put in place in your absence and your colleagues are up to date with your responsibilities. For example, some visitors and external workers’ SUNid registration might expire during the holiday and with it, their access to the network and buildings. If you are your department’s SUNiD representative, make sure this is dealt with before you leave. More info on SUNid here.

5. If you regularly misplace keys, cell phones, etc, it might be a good idea to set up security on your phone, as well as a tracking device. Read our article on security and how to set up tracking.

6. Activate Outlook’s Out of Office assistant. Detailed instructions on how to do this, can be found on Microsoft‘s website.

7. And lastly, before you happily close your office door for the last time this year, remember to switch off all equipment using electricity. This includes, PCs, chargers, printers, screens and lights.

 

Beat the cyberbully

Friday, November 11th, 2016

bully-655659_960_720Cyberbullying is deliberately and repeatedly harming or harassing someone using electronic technology  – this includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets, as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. 

With the increased use of communication technology, cyberbullying has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers. While the term cyberbullying is used predominantly for children or teenagers, cyberstalking or cyberharassment is when the same behaviour occurs in adults. 

What is cyberbullying or -stalking?

The main goal of this harassment is to threaten a person’s reputation, employment, earnings, safety or try to turn people against them. Cyberbullies aim to intimidate, hurt, control, manipulate, humiliate or falsely discredit someone. Their actions are deliberate, hostile, usually repeated and intended to harm.

Cyberstalkers use public forums, social media or online information sites to launch their attacks on. Online platforms provide anonymity and bullies can remain ignorant of the consequences their attacks have on the victims. According to the National Council on Crime Prevention’s survey, 81% of teenagers thought others cyberbully because it’s funny. 

Cyberbullying can come in various forms. It can be someone repeatedly sending e-mails or text messages even when the person clearly stated they don’t want them. It can include repeated threats, sexual remarks, hate speech, false accusations or ridiculing someone.

Some bullies/stalkers will even go so far as to hacking into a site and changing information or posting false statements to humiliate or discredit a person. They may also publicise a victim’s personal data or create a fake account to use to defame, discredit or humiliate them.

The 8 most common cyberbullying tactics used by teens according to www.wikipedia.org are the following:

  1. Exclusion: Teenagers intentionally exclude others from an online group.
  2. Cyberstalking: Teens will harass others by constantly sending emails, messages, or tagging others in posts they don’t want to be tagged in.
  3. Gossip: Post or send cruel messages that damage another’s reputation, relationships, or confidence.
  4. Outing/Trickery: Trick another teen into revealing secrets or embarrassing information which the cyberbully will then share online.
  5. Harassment: Post or send offensive, insulting, and mean messages repeatedly.
  6. Impersonation: Create fake accounts to exploit another teen’s trust. They may also hack into an account and post or send messages that are damaging to the person’s reputation or relationships.
  7. Cyber Threats: Threaten or imply violent behaviour toward others to make them feel uncomfortable.
  8. Flaming: Fights online that involve hateful or offensive messages that may be posted on various websites, forums, or blogs.

More definitions of cyberbullying can be found on The Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention’s website.

Who are the bullies?

The root of cyberbullying is the same as face-to-face bullying. The only difference is the convenience and anonymity of technology which makes it even easier.

Usually, a bully will know their victim and attack them because of their own prejudice, whether it’s race, religion or sexual orientation. Or merely because they’re “not cool” or they didn’t like something they said on social media. 

It’s important to keep in mind that, in general, a bully’s behaviour stems from their own problems or issues. According to Stopbullying.gov, there are two main groups who harass others. Popular kids or teens bully because they think it will make them more popular or hurting others give them a false perception of power. At the other end of the spectrum are those who bully because they are victims of bullying themselves and it’s their way to lash out. 

How to beat cyberbullying or cyberstalking

In most countries, cyberstalking has the same consequences as physical stalking. South Africa does not have specific legislation dealing with cyberbullying. The victims of cyberbullying, therefore, have to rely on criminal law and/or civil law. More information on these laws can be found on The Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention’s website.

For this reason, it’s important to deal with cyberbullying as soon as it rears its head. The video below provides some valuable hints in this regard.

 

[SOURCES: http://www.bullying.co.uk/cyberbullying/, http://www.deletecyberbullying.org/why-do-people-cyberbully/, http://www.cyberbullying.org.za/south-african-law.html]

 

Conservation by drone

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

You’ve seen the videos on YouTube – sweeping, breathtaking aerial shots capturing locations inaccessible to most people. On Wednesday Rhino Africa released a video compiled with drone footage which shows the beauty of Africa and the results are truly breathtaking. 

We can now gain access to previously remote areas with drones or UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles) controlled by remote or with the guidance of software and GPS. These flying robots were named “drones” because they resemble the monotonous sound a male bee makes.

droneInitially, drones weren’t used for recreational activities. The first drones were utilised in the military, but today civilian drones outnumber their military counterparts. It is estimated that, by 2015, over a million has been sold. Currently, they are used  in commercial, scientific, recreational, agricultural, and other applications, such as policing and surveillance, aerial photography and conservation. 

The idea of using UAVs for conservation was conceived by Lian Pin Koh, a conservation ecologist and Serge Wich, a primate biologist in January 2011. It soon came to light that the available UAVs were too expensive for use in developing countries where they were most needed. The only solution for Lian and Serge was to build their own more affordable version, which ended up costing less than $2,000.

A year later, they tested their prototype in North Sumatra, Indonesia where the UAV flew over 30 missions and collected thousands of high-quality aerial images and video footage of forests and wildlife. (https://conservationdrones.org/our-story/)

As their research became known, the term “Conservation Drone” was coined and by 2012 the International Anti-Poaching Foundation was using UAV’s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIrgjCNcDBI

Worldwide organisations began using drones for conservation. In 2012 the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) started using UAVs in Chitwan National Park, Nepal to monitor rhinos, tigers and elephants, but also to deter poachers. In the same year, Google donated $5 million to the WWF to purchase conservation drones to fly over parts of Africa and Asia in an attempt to help monitor and catch wildlife poachers.

Closer to home UAVs have been used successfully in the Kruger National Park against rhino poachers. In 2012 a UAV was loaned to the South African National Parks authority by its manufacturer, Denel Dynamics. 

“In March 2014, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation announced a 255 million rand donation for a three-year initiative in partnership with Nature Conservation Trust, South African National Parks (SANParks) and a South African public benefit organisation (PBO) to combat poaching in Kruger National Park and test new anti-poaching technology. SANParks is testing the use of drones and this year, the Foundation added a further 37.7 million rand to buy a helicopter for use in anti-poaching operations.” (https://www.savetherhino.org)

In Namibia, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society used this technology to monitor the annual seal cull and also to combat rhino poaching in Etosha National Park. 

Other uses for UAVs include aerial crop surveys, aerial photography, search and rescue, inspection of power lines and pipelines, counting wildlife, delivering medical supplies to otherwise inaccessible regions, and detection of illegal hunting, reconnaissance operations, cooperative environment monitoring, border patrol missions, convoy protection, forest fire detection and monitoring,  surveillance, coordinating humanitarian aid, plume tracking, land surveying, fire and large-accident investigation, landslide measurement, illegal landfill detection, the construction industry and crowd monitoring. (Wikipedia

[SOURCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unmanned_aerial_vehicle, https://conservationdrones.org/our-story/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_Drones, https://www.savetherhino.org/rhino_info/thorny_issues/the_use_of_drones_in_rhino_conservation]

 

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