Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Watch Out for Scam Emails

It's the time of year where online criminals seek to prey on new students and trick them into revealing their account login details. University email addresses and login details are very attactive to online criminals who at this time of year especially are keen to get access to the the money changing hands in the form of student loans.

Luckily, we at CiCS, intecept and destroy the vast majority of fraudulent emails and spam, around 95% of all email messages coming into the University are eliminated in this way. However, some fraudulent emails do get through and whilst we do have ways to limit the damage it's much easier if people know how to identify email scams.

Fradulent emails, also known as phishing emails, seek to trick you into revealing your University login details or your bank details. An email is sent which is formatted to look like it's from a well known bank, from the Student Loans Company or from your local IT Support desk. It alledges that there is some kind of problem with your bank or email account and either asks you to reply with your personal details including your email and password or it may provide a link for you to complete an online form - the form being formatted to look like it's part of the organisation's official website.

Once you supply your account details the criminals are one step closer to their bounty.

You should always be very suspicious of any unusual or unexpected email that refers to your account details or asks for personal information. If you have any doubts at all about whether an email is genuine call our helpdesk on 0114 2221111 and discuss your concerns with our staff, or alternatively ask staff in the Information Commons.

The following links have information about common scams aimed at students:

Student Loans Company
Bank Safe Online
CiCS Online Fraud web pages

Monday, 24 September 2012

New Software Download Service

CiCS provides a range of academic software to University staff and students, either at discounted prices or for free. Different software providers offer us different licesing terms and conditions etc but we worry about all of that and just provide cheap academic software to you.

Up until recently you had to visit the Computing Centre to collect your installation discs and pay. However, now we have made most of our software available to download directly onto your University computer from our new software download service.

This is linked below and features a list of our available software with instructions on how to download and information about eligibility etc:

Software download service

As these applications tend to quite large we recommend you download them on campus rather than at home. If you do need a copy on a computer at home, for which some software is licensed, we suggest you download on campus to a USB memory stick and take that home with you. Also if you are recommending that a class of students download a software application you should stress that they do not all do this at the same time during your lecture!

We've heard it works better in Internet Explorer than in Chrome - let us know if you have any problems downloading.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Student View of Your MOLE 2 Courses

A new feature called ‘Student View’ is now available in MOLE 2 to allow Teaching Staff to see how a Course is displayed to students.

You may already be familiar with the similar 'Test Student' facility which requires you to log on separately into a Course using a Test Student ID assigned to you.  One drawback with this facility is that ‘Test Student’ is governed by the same data rules which apply to actual students regarding course availability. i.e. if the course is not due to be available to students until September 17th, you will not be able to use the Test Student account to access the course until that date either.

This new ‘Student View’ does away with this rule as it is a feature within your own usual MOLE 2 account.

Instructions on how to use Student View

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Student IT support moves to IC for longer opening hours

From Monday 10th September, all student IT support will take place in the Information Commons. Not only does this take the service to the place where the students are, but it allows us to offer face to face IT support for much longer service hours.

The primary contact point in the IC is the Information Desk on Level 1, although students can ask any staff member for help.

From the Information Desk students can get help with:
  • Problems using University IT services
  • Problems using software
  • Reinstalling corrupt computer operating systems
  • Removing viruses and malware
  • Replacing easy-to-access parts on their computer kit
All this support is available during IC staffed hours, up to 70 hours per week.

Many problems will be sorted at the Information Desk there and then, but for complex software problems we may have to pass the query on to an expert.

For hardware maintenance and more difficult operating system installs or virus removal we will take the computer to our workshop. Once the work is complete, the student will be notified and can collect the computer from the Information Point any time during staffed hours.

Full details of the extended Technical Support Service for students are available on the CiCS website via the link below.

Student Face to Face Support

The staff IT support service is still located in the Computing Centre and is restricted to office hours, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.

Goodbye to MOLE 1

On September 6th the links to MOLE 1 from MUSE will disappear. 

There will still be a few departments using MOLE 1 as an archive or for delivering assessments but it will be linked to from within MOLE 2. 

Any questions or comments please email: mole@sheffield.ac.uk