Cyber security – is your business everyone’s business?

We don’t all own a Marty McFly hoverboard, but it is 2017 and we do live in a technologically advanced and digitally connected world.

We increasingly embrace digital models for study, research, teaching, social and finance activities. Inevitably, and unfortunately, digital risks follow us.

The recent alert on the Blueborne Bluetooth vulnerability is a great example of this.

It’s not a mix of Blue Steel and Jason Bourne, (however we’re totally lining up for that movie!). Blueborne is the latest Bluetooth vulnerability that could be violating your digital world.

Blueborne has the potential to impact billions of devices, including computers, laptops, phones, and work and home devices.

It allows a person with the right tools, and who is within Bluetooth range of your ‘smart’ tech, to gain control over your device without any action from you.

Excuse me while my inner techy geek gets a little excited by how cool that is…. Alas, it is also pretty dangerous and threatening too.

That threat, and the evolution of the Internet of Things, is why we all need to take an active role in our own cyber security.

Australia, along with an increasing number of other countries, have adopted a cybersecurity awareness theme for the month of October. National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is growing internationally as a global concerted effort to keep us cyber safe.

Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. And as part of improving awareness, Griffith University have recently launched a new cybersecurity website. This will be progressively updated with information and advice.

It is your one stop shop for staying safe online: tips, guidance, contacts and training videos. So, spread the word and stay tuned for more.


Disaster Recovery testing

While some very lucky staff are off on trimester vacay, we’re taking the opportunity to complete the annual IT disaster recovery test. We’re putting our Scouts hat on, ‘Be Prepared’.

For those fortunate enough to be on the beach in Bali, you can continue sipping your cocktail knowing we’ve got your covered. You can trust that we’re on the ball, executing a fail-over test in the case of a major disaster.

The disaster recovery test is a major activity to ensure the University’s key information systems can be recovered and continue to operate in the event of a major disruption.

This year’s testing includes

  • A major site fail-over test simulating the loss of all in-house hosted systems. During this test period, access to all systems and associated links including access to the Griffith home page and internet will be unavailable.
  • Testing the fail-over capability of our critical telephone systems, student printing system and SharePoint document repository. During this test period, access to these systems could be interrupted.

When?

The date and times and subject to change (it’s always in the small print) but currently, the date and times are:

  1. Sunday 22 October 2017
  • In-house hosted systems (including internet and wi-fi access)
    8am – noon
  • Telephones, student printing and SharePoint
    8am – midnight

While this may cause some inconvenience, these tests are required and you will receive more information as the date gets closer.

For further information, please contact Sudath Wijeratne.  More information about scheduled maintenance for the remainder of 2017 is available in the Maintenance Calendar.


The Lecture Capture service is getting an upgrade

The current version of Lecture Capture (Echo Centre) is coming to the end of its vendor support in 2017. To continue providing the valuable lecture capture service, the University is implementing the new version, Echo360 (Active Learning Platform) beginning in Trimester 3 2017.

The existing arrangements for automated lecture recording will continue with one change. Prior to the first teaching session in a Trimester, you will need to add the Echo360 link to your Learning@Griffith course site. This will provide you with greater flexibility to either link to a whole course section within Echo360 or to specific recordings.

Help materials including screenshots and a short video to assist you with adding this link will be made available prior to Trimester 3 2017.

In addition to the above change, you will notice some powerful new functionality including:

  • improved personal capture for creating desktop videos,
  • the ability to embed student response activities within your presentations and videos,
  • and a mechanism for students to identify points of confusion.

You can still use Echo360 like you do now, but if you would like to learn more about the new features for your classroom, visit the Project website.


What to do when retiring your old mobile device

Have you recently upgraded your mobile phone, or are you thinking about it in the near future?

With the continual innovation of new technology, the life expectancy of your mobile device can be as short as three years before you need to update – or maybe you elect to update sooner to stay on top of the newest releases.

So what should you do with your old device? Recycle it, of course!

Griffith is committed to finding sustainable solutions for our end of life electronics as part of our E-Waste and Sustainability campaign. To facilitate this, there are E-Waste recycling stations at each campus library, as well as the EcoCentre and various student centres.

However, just as you wouldn’t leave a public computer without logging out of all your personal accounts, don’t forget to remove your personal data from your mobile device before disposing of it!

Lately, there has been an increase in the number of phones being dropped off to be recycled that still have access to the owner’s highly confidential data: private text messages, personal photos, online accounts and even banking passwords!  

To avoid the risk of having your accounts hacked or money stolen, it’s important to ensure you remove your personal data before your recycle.

Simply follow the checklist below, then get recycling!

  • Back up the device
  • Manually remove any personal information (a factory reset does not necessary delete all personal information)
  • Log out of online accounts  (iCloud, iTunes, App Store, Google Play, etc) and social media (Facebook, Instagram)
  • Manually turn off any ‘find my phone’ applications (i.e. Find my iPhone and Android Device Manager)
  • Unpair any devices such as Car Media or iWatch
  • Perform a factory reset
  • Remove your SIM card

For further information on the data management of your device before recycling visit the Recycling Devices webpage, or take a look at the tips on the Mobile Muster, Apple iOS, or Android websites.


6 ways to cut back on your iPhone data usage

Photo of iPhone

Do you love your iPhone, but hate the amount data you’re churning through? We can help! Check out our handy tips and tricks to reduce the mobile data usage on your iPhone.

Android devices have similar data saving capabilities – just check your online manual for details.

1. Disable Wi-Fi assist
Wi-Fi assist lets you stay connected to the Internet when Wi-Fi signal strength is weak by automatically switching over to mobile data.

2. Disable Background App Refresh
Background app refresh automatically updates your app content. But fear not, you can disable this function and it may even help with your battery life.

3. Disable automatic downloads
Purchased something new from iTunes on a different device? You can select to download it to your iPhone via Wi-Fi only.

4. Turn off cellular data usage for iCloud
If you use iCloud to transfer documents and data, it could be syncing using your mobile network and draining your data.

5. Avoid streaming high-quality music
Apple has created the option to stream high-quality music regardless of your being on Wi-Fi or mobile data. The higher the quality, the more data is needed to stream!

6. Disable auto play videos on apps
Some social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Twitter automatically play videos which can use a lot of data. Switch off auto-play via the app settings.

Head to the Mobile Phones Self Help page to find out how to turn off these settings, improve your mobile coverage and more!


An update to the Griffith App has just been released

Do you have the Griffith App on your mobile device?

It’s full of useful and time-saving features such as the library catalogue (a necessity, right?), the staff directory, Ask Us and GriffithPAY.

But it’s not just for you. Actually, it’s mostly for your students. But we love that you love to use it too.

Because staff and students alike are using the Griffith App, we need to ensure it keeps working and is usable. That’s why we’ve just released an updated Griffith App on Google Play and the App Store.

This version of the Griffith App is an emergency maintenance release designed to restore functionality that was disrupted recently due to technical issues with underlying infrastructure.

You’ll be pleased to know that issues with the Maps feature have been resolved by moving to Google Maps. It’s ready to help your students get their bearings to find their way around the Griffith campuses.

Another Griffith App update worth mentioning is that the Learning feature is integrated with the new Bb Student by Blackboard app.

Once your students download the Bb Student app, they will have seamless access to Learning@Griffith content from the Griffith App.

A number of other features and pages have been modified for stability and performance reasons.

The Griffith App will be undergoing significant redevelopment in the coming months to enhance access to personalised information, deliver Single Sign-on capability, improve the maps and wayfinding features, create an easily customisable interface and more!

Update your Griffith App now!


Let’s hangout!

Photo of mobile phone

Does your Google Talk look a little different?

That’s because it’s not Google Talk anymore! Google announced they are phasing out Google Talk and replacing it with Google Hangouts.

So, we updated to Google Hangouts on Tuesday 30 May. Yes, that’s right. You’ve actually been using Google Hangouts for just over a week.

Here’s what’s changed:

  • Your Chat interface is now a Hangout session
  • Some of your existing chat contact list may be deleted, however contacts will re-populate in Hangouts when you start a new chat with someone.
  • Status availability has also been modified to allow you to share your status by typing a message (i.e. In a meeting or Currently on leave).

So, next time you want to chat, lets Hangout instead!