Managing Your Online Presence

Did you know that employers and recruiters check your social media when considering you as a candidate for a job, sports team, internship, college admissions, etc.? They do, and if your security settings aren’t up to par, they might see something you didn’t want them to see.

Your profile remains online forever. Sure, you can delete stuff or remove your account, but as soon as one person sees it then it is out of your control forever. With just a little time and skill, someone could easily find anything you’ve ever posted online. It’s all stored somewhere. Things never truly go away on the internet.

Identity thieves and phishing scammers also use your social media for their attacks, too. Social media is especially useful to them for finding answers to those “silly” security questions. Things like your first pet, your favorite high school teacher, or even your mother’s maiden name are easy facts to find on a profile.

Take the time this week to check your security settings on all of your social media accounts. Don’t forget about Pinterest and LinkedIn too. You can edit the settings for who can see your profile such as Friends, Friends of Friends, or Everyone on Facebook, but you can also edit who can see each individual post. Maybe you should go back to the pictures from last weekend and make sure that your boss can’t see those posts.

Don’t forget to check your location settings. Some apps will post your location along with any photos or videos. This can be fun if you’re on vacation somewhere cool, but it also lets thieves know that you aren’t home.

A good rule of thumb whenever you aren’t sure if something should go up on the web, ask yourself if you would put this post or tweet on a billboard in the middle of Times Square. Would you want complete strangers seeing you at that party? Would you want your parents to see you like that? Do you trust random people with access to that information about you? If the answer is “no,” or even a hesitant “maybe not,” then you should reconsider posting that. Some information can be safe. Such as sharing your hometown but not the street you live on or sharing your birthday just not the year. When in doubt, err on the side of privacy and safety.

Keep these tips in mind when considering your online reputation. You never know who is looking at your profile or posts. Be smart online.

Adapted from: http://er.educause.edu/blogs/2016/6/december-managing-your-online-reputation

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Tech Tip: Device Issues? Turn it off and back on again.

When your computer acts up or apps stop responding or your Wi-Fi won’t connect, don’t panic.  The easiest thing to try and fix any technology device issue is to turn the device off and then back on again. No, really. This does work.

Rebooting can fix a number of issues. Sometimes a device glitches such as the Wi-Fi not connecting, an application not acting right, or the computer simply acting slow. An easy fix is to turn the device off and back on again. This works for desktop computers, laptops, tablets, game consoles, and phones. Rebooting also helps with wireless routers at home too.

Rebooting resets the device and starts reading the code from the beginning.

Faculty and staff: Next time your device is acting up, try restarting it before you start to panic. Close the application (like Firefox or Word) and open it again. If that doesn’t fix the problem, try turning the entire device off and turning it back on. If that doesn’t work, give us a call at the Help Desk at ext. 4357 (206) 592-4357 or email us at helpdesk@highline.edu.

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Hover, Don’t Click

You just got an email. It looks relatively harmless, but something is nagging you. You don’t think that in-text link is trustworthy. Check! Before you click, hover!

Links in emails can present problems in two major ways: they can be infected with malware that can damage your files, or they can be phishing attempts to gather your information for potential identity theft.  Corrupt and infected links can release malware that will automatically download onto the device as soon as you click the link. When malware is detected on the network, your account may be suspended. This can take some time to resolve. Don’t put yourself at that risk.

A phishing link might also redirect to a page that asks for your username and password or other information. It may look trustworthy, but giving account information to phishers could lead to identity theft. Phishers can use this information and put the entire E-town network at risk.

Never click on a link in an email. An in-text link, or hyperlink, uses a word or phrase instead of showing the URL. For example, the link might say “Go to Google and search for cats wearing hats” with Google linked instead of displaying the URL.

To tell if that in-text link is trustworthy, hover your mouse over the link, but don’t click yet. By hovering over the link, the destination will appear. This allows you to check if the destination is what you expect.

Give it a try. Hover over this link: “Go to Google and search for cats wearing hats.” Did you see what we did there? If this were a phishing attack, you would have been in danger. Because you didn’t click and hovered instead, your computer and account are safe.

If you are using a phone or mobile device, you can tap and hold on a link until an options window appears. The link will appear at the top of that options window where you can confirm the destination of that link. See an example of that options window on an iPhone below:

Before you follow a link, examine it VERY carefully. Is the whole address, especially the extension at the end, correct? Perhaps you thought it would go to “highline.edu” but really it says that it will go to “highline.edu.co.” That is not the same place, and that is a common sign of a phishing scam. If it is going where it said it is, then you are safe to paste that URL into your web browser and follow the link. If it goes somewhere else, do NOT open the link. It might be a phishing scam.

If you think you have received a phishing email, forward it to helpdesk@highline.edu. If you think you have been the victim of a phishing attempt, call the ITS Help Desk immediately at ext. 4357 (206) 592-4357 and change your password.

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Welcome!

Highline College

Welcome to the Information Technology Services blog!

This is a new central location where you can find details on reported issues and schedule maintenance for campus technology, as well as information on general computing, tech tips, and updates to services.  Notices about critical issues broadly affecting campus will continue to be sent by email, but other periodic information may only be posted on the blog and via our social media accounts.  We hope that you find the blog useful.

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