Monthly Archives: February 2016

Use Deep Freeze with a Breeze!

On Tuesday, February 22nd, Justin Walker and Nandor Domonkos attended a classroom and lab tech support conference at Georgia Southwestern University. Several universities located throughout South Georgia attended this conference to give their fellow colleagues the latest updates on what is being carried out on their respective campuses. Justin and Nandor went on behalf of Columbus State to discuss the advantages of the using a special tool called Deep Freeze. Deep Freeze is a tool that is used to keep computers within their original configuration each time the computer restarts. This ensures that the core operating system and configuration files on the workstation. In 2003, CSU began to integrate the Deep Freeze tool and has seen significant improvements ever since the transition. Instead of having to manually unfreezing each and every computer in a lab, the Deep Freeze tool has made it possible to mass unfreeze 20+ computer labs from just one single console. This also helps to ensure that the computers are working smoothly and also improves efficiency on tasks to be completed faster. Check out what Deep Freeze can do for you!

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Ransomware Trojan and Preventable Solutions

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of computer virus that makes the user’s files inaccessible by encrypting them. The user is then threatened with a monetary ransom request to restore access.  The attacker tries to lock all the user files and then encrypts them with a really  strong unbreakable technique. The main intentions of Ransomware is either to demand for the money  or to take some surveys.

How does it spread?

Most of the time Ransomware spreads like a Trojan that is attacked by downloading a file from the internet or using the vulnerabilities in the users system. Once the Trojan successfully enters into the users computer it starts looking for the most often used files and starts encrypting them. After finding the files  it runs a payload software that pop ups fake messages pretending law enforcement agencies demanding money be transferred to encrypt these files.

What are the prevention steps?

  • Never click on suspicious email attachments.
  • Download  software only from the legitimate sites.
  • The Trojan encrypts the users most often used files so keep an eye on the files you use the most often.
  • Always keep the computer patches updated. The attackers will look at the vulnerabilities and patches present in the software installed on your computer.
  • Use Anti-virus  software and ensure strong firewalls on your computer.
  • Always back up your data. In the event if attackers encrypt your files, you will be able to  have a copy

 

References

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ransomware

[2] WRAL.com “city of Durham avoids ransomware threat by backing up data”.

 

Looking for a job? Be aware of job scams and schemes

Scammers know that finding a job can be tough. To trick people looking for honest work, scammers advertise where real employers and job placement firms do. They also make upbeat promises about your chances of employment, and virtually all of them ask you to pay them for their services before you get a job. But the promise of a job isn’t the same thing as a job. If you have to pay for the promise, it’s likely a scam.

Signs of a Job Scam

Scammers advertise jobs where legitimate employers do — online, in newspapers, and even on TV and radio. Here’s how to tell whether a job lead may be a scam:

You need to pay to get the job
They may say they’ve got a job waiting, or guarantee to place you in a job, if you just pay a fee for certification, training materials, or their expenses placing you with a company. But after you pay, the job doesn’t materialize. Employers and employment firms shouldn’t ask you to pay for the promise of a job.

You need to supply your credit card or bank account information
Don’t give out your credit card or bank account information over the phone to a company unless you’re familiar with them and have agreed to pay for something. Anyone who has your account information can use it.

The ad is for “previously undisclosed” federal government jobs
Information about available federal jobs is free. And all federal positions are announced to the public on usajobs.gov. Don’t believe anyone who promises you a federal or postal job.

Job Placement Services

Many job placement services are legitimate. But others lie about what they’ll do for you, promote outdated or fake job openings, or charge up-front fees for services that may not lead to a job. In fact, they might not even return your calls once you pay.

Before you enlist a company’s help:

Check with the hiring company
If a company or organization is mentioned in an ad or interview, contact that company to find out if the company really is hiring through the service.

Get details — in writing
What’s the cost, what will you get, and who pays — you or the company that hires you? What happens if the service doesn’t find a job for you or any real leads? If they’re reluctant to answer your questions, or give confusing answers, you should be reluctant to work with them.

Get a copy of the contract with the placement firm, and read it carefully. A legitimate company will give you time to read the contract and decide, not pressure you into signing then and there. Make sure any promises — including refund promises — are in writing. Some listing services and “consultants” write ads to sound like jobs, but that’s just a marketing trick: They’re really selling general information about getting a job — information you can find for free on your own.

Know whether it’s job placement or job counseling
Executive or career counseling services help people with career directions and decisions. They may offer services like skills identification and self-evaluation, resume preparation, letter writing, and interview techniques, and general information about companies or organizations in a particular location or job field.

But job placement isn’t guaranteed. Fees can be as high as thousands of dollars, and you often have to pay first.

The National Career Development Association (NCDA) offers some tips on finding and choosing a career counselor, and explains the different types of counselors active in the field.

Check for complaints
Your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General’s Office, and the Better Business Bureau can tell you whether any complaints have been filed about a company. Just keep in mind that a lack of complaints doesn’t mean the business is on the up-and-up. You may want to do an internet search with the name of the company and words like review, scam, or complaint. Look through several pages of search results. And check out articles about the company in newspapers, magazines, or online, as well.

Where to Look for Jobs

You’ve read the many resume and interview tips from respected sources available for free online, and scoured online job boards and newspaper classifieds. Some other places to look for leads in your job search include:

CareerOneStop
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, CareerOneStop lists hundreds of thousands of jobs. It also links to employment and training programs in each state, including programs for people with disabilities, minorities, older workers, veterans, welfare recipients, and young people. For federal jobs, all open federal positions are announced to the public on usajobs.gov.

State and county offices
Your state’s Department of Labor may have job listings or be able to point you to local job offices that offer counseling and referrals. Local and county human resources offices provide some placement assistance, too. They can give you the names of other groups that may be helpful, such as labor unions or federally-funded vocational programs.

College career service offices
Whether it’s a four-year university or community college, see what help yours can offer. If you’re not a current or former student, some still may let you look at their job listings.

Your library
Ask if they can point you to information on writing a resume, interviewing, or compiling a list of companies and organizations to contact about job openings.

Report a Job Scam

If you’ve been targeted by a job scam, file a complaint with the FTC.

For problems with an employment-service firm, contact the appropriate state licensing board (if these firms must be licensed in your state), your state Attorney General, and your local consumer protection agency.

To learn about credit and background checks when you’re looking for a job, read What to Know When You Look For a Job.

UITS hosts the LANDesk Best Practices Conference

LANDesk Conference 2016-01-28 Photo of participants at tablesLANDesk Conference 2016-01-28 Photo of Steve Rutledge

On January 28th, 2016 UITS hosted a LANDesk Best Practices Conference.  This gathering kicked off one-of-many meetings at different locations, that the nine universities will partake in which will showcase technology and solutions which will benefit each institution.  This Bird-of-a-feather type meeting will help each university grow a vast knowledge base, increase networking, and most of all help grow a tighter bond between each other.

Three institutions presented on the following areas of interest:

  • Columbus State University – Initial LANDesk Setup and Requirements, USG It Handbook Compliance, Active Directory
  • Valdosta State University – Provisioning, Software Deployment, Remote desktop, Self Service Application
  • South Georgia State College – LANDesk Encryption

LANDesk Conference 2016-01-28 Group photo of conference attendees

The nine South Western USG universities (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Fort Valley State University, South Georgia State College, Albany State University, Bainbridge State College, Georgia Southwestern State University, Darton State College, Valdosta State University and Columbus State University) convened at CSU showcasing LANDesk and how it is used to manage current needs within the universities.