I had originally planned to offer a live Zoom briefing on IT projects in mid-June but there are a few interesting and important things that are oh-so-close but not quite ready to discuss. I’ll offer another live briefing later this summer, but in the meantime here are a few key items of note:
- Ray Martinez has left IWU for a new career opportunity. This departure will directly impact our ability to deliver IT support services in a timely manner. Please do request help via our ticketing system (http://help.iwu.edu/) but please make those requests as early as possible.
- A new login page will start appearing for campus services this summer:
- IT staff will be conducting an inventory of campus IT equipment during the week of June 21. We may be visiting your building and love to say hello, but please enter IT support requests via our ticketing system (http://help.iwu.edu/) rather than stopping us as we walk past. We have a lot of equipment to catalog and will be pressed for time.
- Moodle courses for Fall are now available (https://courses.iwu.edu/).
- Fall courses are currently sorted just below the Summer term. This will be reversed once Summer term closes.
- We’ve received many requests for highly individualized Moodle support and will do our best to assist you. Submit your IT support requests via our ticketing system (http://help.iwu.edu/). There are also a few resources already established for your use:
- All IWU teachers have access to two training modules within Moodle: Moodle Basics and Advanced Usage of Moodle. These are a key resource for Moodle teachers. If your screen is crowded with too many courses to find these, I recommend using the search bar.
- All IWU teachers have access to the CETAL Moodle page, filled with faculty development resources.
- All IWU learners have access to Learner Orientation within Moodle.
- Moodle HQ has provided a lovely set of YouTube videos covering the basics of our version (https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLxcO_MFWQBDc-Me7DllOSTe6FMh8JYjJ3)
Due to the Memorial Day holiday and subsequent summer hours, the IT Services help desk hours will be adjusted as follows:
Saturday May 29 through Monday May 31: Closed
Beginning June 1 our Help Desk will be staffed from 8am-4pm M-F. This corresponds with the Ames Library hours of operation.
If you need assistance during off-hours please enter a ticket at https://help.iwu.edu – one of our staff will respond as soon as possible.
Illinois Wesleyan opted for a virtual commencement in 2020 due to COVID restrictions but was able to conduct a modified in-person ceremony in 2021. Social distancing rules made it a logistical challenge – Class of ’21 grads were split into two events, and a third smaller event was conducted to celebrate ’20 grads. Each graduate could bring a maximum of 4 guests so it was imperative that we provide a quality online streaming experience for friends and family at home.
To add to the excitement, we didn’t know until Friday if the weather would be good enough to use Tucci Stadium. Michael and Jerry from the IWU network team hustled to get outdoor WiFi in place for the stadium and totally nailed the deadline. The event had to move indoors but was lovely nonetheless:
We brought in two large high-res LCD screens to support such a large room. Jay and his colleagues at Physical Plant provided audio support for on-stage mics and music cues pre-recorded by IWU student musicians. Abby, Eve, Vinny and Trey set up and operated 4 cameras, produced by Curtis (see below) and streamed on YouTube and a second platform, SideArm. This allowed international viewers to participate even if YouTube is blocked in their location. It was also a great backup for anyone at home having trouble with YouTube buffering.
IWU IT Services and Physical Plant workers worked behind the scenes for days to set up and test, then were on-duty for around 12 hours on Sunday to produce the live event. Follow that up with a clean-up day on Monday and we can finally call this unique, improvised celebration a success. Congratulations to the classes of ’20 and ’21!
Our Moodle partner eThink Education recommends using the Open LMS mobile app to connect to our Illinois Wesleyan course pages.
The Open LMS App is a free option for all Moodle™ sites! With the Open LMS Mobile App, you can:
- Access your courses directly from your mobile device
- Download content for offline access
- Update your profile information
- Receive course notifications and messages
- As a student: view your course grades and awarded badges on your profile
- As a teacher: grade assignments both online and offline
The App is available on the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, or read more at the eThink web page:
Once you have the app, connect it to https://courses.iwu.edu/ and you’ll be ready to sign in.
We’re beginning to roll out a new app to campus computers – Sophos Endpoint. This software will help us protect campus from viruses, malware, and other potentially unwanted apps (PUA).
Sophos has been around for many years and will provide a layer of security for our campus IT infrastructure. We’re working on additional layers, too, but for now we’re focused on getting this protection into campus labs, classrooms and offices.
As we roll this software out, you will begin to notice the following icon on campus computers:We will share additional information about how this rollout might impact you once we get a little further in the planning process. In the meantime, if you have personally owned devices, we are encouraging the use of free Sophos software at home.
A recent FBI report (FBI Flash Alert) indicates that a growing number of ransomware attacks are targeting educational institutions. Ransomware is a cyber extortion threat in which bad actors lock down important campus systems and demand money to restore them.
It is all too easy to make an innocent mistake and set ransomware in motion. One preventive mantra might be: Stop. Think. Connect.
Inside Higher Ed has noted that awareness of this type of extortion tactic is an important defense. We recommend that Illinois Wesleyan faculty and staff complete the Safe Colleges cyber security training that was sent out in early February.
As always, please reach out to your colleagues in IT Services if you have questions or concerns.
Several Campus Departments are receiving reports of email phishing attempts and job scams targeting the IWU community. This presents a great opportunity to share information about phishing, online scams, how to avoid being a victim, and what we can do to reduce or stop phishing scams.
The job scams have an attacker posing as an IWU alumni or Professor seeking to employ an IWU student via email. While seeming legitimate at first, this person is actually trying to obtain your personal information and seek financial gain and is not associated with the University in any way..
Some job scams are easy to spot while others appear legitimate. So how do you know who to trust? You can start with these basic guidelines to avoid a potential scam.
- Never give out personal information like your social security or bank account number over email or phone.
- Never take cashier’s checks or money orders as a form of payment. Fake checks are common and the bank where you cash it will hold you accountable.
- Never cash a check that comes with “extra” money. Scammers send checks that require you to deposit a check at your bank, withdraw the “extra” money as cash, and then deposit that cash elsewhere. The check will bounce and you will be held accountable.
- Never wire funds via Western Union, MoneyGram or any other service. Anyone who asks you to wire money is a scammer.
- Never apply for jobs listed by someone far away or in another country.
- Never agree to a background check unless you have met the employer in person.
- Never apply for a job that is emailed to you out of the blue.
- Be skeptical. If a job is offering a lot of money for very little work, it could be a scammer trying to get personal information from you.
- Research the employer. Do they have a reputable website or professional references? Is the job listing you want to apply for also on their main career page? Note: work-study jobs may not be advertised on employer websites.
- Meet face-to-face with a potential employer. An in person interview or informal chat over coffee will help you determine the employer’s intentions.Be sure to choose a public place to meet, tell someone where you are going and bring your cell phone, just in case.
- Trust your instincts. If a job sounds too good to be true, it is likely a scam.
Please see the following information to learn more or to file a complaint with the FBI and FTC –
Federal Trade Commission – Job Scams
Federal Trade Commission – Scam Alerts
Report Being a Victim to the FBI
File a Complaint with the FTC
Phishing is a form of social engineering. Phishing attacks use email, malicious websites, social network sites, or phone calls, to solicit personal information or money by posing as a trustworthy organization, friend, co-worker, etc. The latest email phishing attempt on our campus has an attacker posing as an IWU faculty or staff member by using an email address that looks very similar to our @iwu.edu accounts. The attacker has created @gmail.com accounts that use faculty and staff members names in a format that could easily be mistaken for an actual @iwu.edu account at first glance. For example – Tommy Titan’s IWU email account is firstname.lastname@example.org. The fake accounts being used in the phishing scheme look like email@example.com. (Notice that this is not an @iwu.edu account, but an @gmail.com account).
What to do if you receive one of these or any phishing message –
Report the phishing email –
Don’t fall for a phishing attack!
Phishing is a form of social engineering. Phishing attacks use email, malicious websites, social network sites, or phone calls, to solicit personal information by posing as a trustworthy organization, friend, co-worker, etc. For example, the latest phishing attempt on our campus has an attacker posing as an IWU alumni that is seeking to employ an IWU student, but this person is actually trying to obtain your personal information.
How do you avoid being a victim?
- Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits, or email messages, from individuals asking for personal information. If an unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify his or her identity directly with the company or trusted resources.
- Look closely at return email addresses and hover over website links to verify who you are actually responding to, or where a website link is actually taking you. Does the senders name match the email address? If not, be skeptical!
- Typos and grammatical errors indicate the message may be a phishing attempt.
- Never give out personal information over the phone if you did not initiate the call.
- Do not provide personal information or information about yourself or your organization unless you are certain of a person’s authority to have the information.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent in email.
- If you are unsure whether a request for your personal information is legitimate, try to verify it by contacting the company directly or by asking for contact information of the person asking so you can call and verify they are who they say they are.
- Never provide your email password to anyone!
What do you do if you think you are a victim?
- Immediately change any passwords you might have revealed. If you used the same password for multiple resources, make sure to change it for each account, and do not use that password in the future.
- Report any email messages you feel may be phishing schemes to Information Technology Services.
- If you believe you might have revealed sensitive information, please contact Information Technology Services or Campus Safety.
On Thursday, June 7, at approximately 10:00 a.m., Information Technology Services (ITS) is performing a Wide Area Network upgrade with assistance from CIRBN, Frontier, and Heart Technologies. Internet bandwidth is being doubled and new technology is being introduced for better routing capabilities, redundancy, and control over cloud service support. There will be a disruption of campus Internet service as the move to the new bandwidth circuits is made. Internet access will range from non-existent, to sporadic, to normal access, as the morning/day progresses.
We thank you for your patience as we perform this work in order to deliver a more reliable, more robust, and more manageable Internet connection to the campus community.