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!

Introducing the Workplace Solutions team

Photo of a white robot

Do you need a technological solution to a problem? Maybe you’ve noticed an inefficiency in your workflow that could be improved with Google Apps, videoconferencing (WebEx), Learning@Griffith or the Griffith Portal.

Well, Information Services has a team dedicated to finding technological solutions for your workplace. They are the Workplace Solutions team. We asked Workplace Solutions, Team Leader, Robert Snow, to tell us about what his team can do for you.

What does your team do?
We provide advice on the best use of Griffith Enterprise tools to address technology issues and concerns, improve productivity and provide technology briefings and ad-hoc training.

We also facilitate discussion between IT experts who may provide further advice and guidance for small business projects. This includes preparation of planning, briefing and proposal documents relating to workplace technologies and solutions.

Who are your major clients?
All staff including general and professional staff, academics and researchers

If you only had 30 seconds to tell someone what you do, what would you say?
We assist staff in selecting IT solutions. Whether it be software or systems, we connect them with the right tools and people at Griffith.

What is your team’s greatest achievement?
Overall, it would be our communication reach across all areas of the University.  We have managed to meet with representatives from most schools and departments. We are building a working relationship across all campuses and referring them quickly to the right services and support for their IT needs.

Email Workplace Solutions to request a consultation with a Workplace Consultation Officer.

What’s new with Griffith Research Online?

Have you had a look at the newly redeveloped Griffith Research Online (GRO)? It’s now live with an up-to-date interface, improved searching and discoverability, and more statistics about usage.

For those of you who haven’t heard about Griffith Research Online, it’s a digital repository with over 15,000 full-text Griffith research outputs.

With free online full-text versions of journal articles, conference papers and more, GRO increases the impact and influence of Griffith research and scholarship by ensuring it is visible, discoverable and accessible.

Publications held in our digital repository can be found via search engines like Google and discovery services like Trove.

And what happens when people discover the quality publications on offer in GRO? They download them, of course. Over 10 million full-text publications have been downloaded since 2007.

Have questions? Head to the Griffith Research Online FAQs page.

Windows 10 on new staff computers

Windows 10 is coming! It’s been successfully rolled out in student spaces and now it’s your turn. From mid-April, a contemporary Windows 10 desktop configuration will be provided on all new staff computers.

The new configuration provides a modern, up to date interface that is significantly faster than previous versions, is more compatible with newer computers, devices, drivers and applications, and addresses known security issues.

Two key changes include:

1. Administrator access has been removed
To mitigate increasingly sophisticated and prevalent cyber security threats, the previous default, where all Staff desktop PC users have permanent ‘administrator’ access to their computers, has been removed.

Where ‘administrator’ access is required, you can temporarily elevate permissions (a software tool is provided for this purpose), or request permanent access (based on a business case).

2. Files will be automatically stored on network storage
Files stored in the standard Windows folders (e.g. Documents, Pictures, Desktop etc.) will be automatically redirected to, and securely stored on, network storage.

This will allow you to access those files from any other staff computer with Windows 10. In addition, those files will be backed up daily, and you will be able to easily revert to previous versions or restore deleted files.

For laptop users, an additional ‘offline’ capability provides users with a local copy of those files, which is synchronised when the laptop is connected to the Griffith network.

Additional information can be found at the Griffith University Windows 10 Desktop Support page. For IT support, please contact the IT Service Centre.