Did you know that lemons prevent highway deaths?

So the more lemons the USA imports from Mexico, fewer deaths occur on the highway. Seriously. There are stats to prove there is a correlation between lemon imports and highway deaths.

But before you start lobbying the Australian government to import Mexican lemons, we should look at where the data comes from and what it’s trying to say.

We live in a world where there is a lot of fake news and learning the difference between causation and correlation is an important step.

Causation means if X causes Y, therefore if we change X we change Y. The end result is directly related to the first event(s). Whereas correlation means the end results mimic each other. So they look like they match but it does not mean the two events are related.

A well-known example is homicide and ice cream. When murder rates increase, so do ice cream sales. Does this mean that a murder takes place and someone celebrates with ice cream? No.

  • Summer starts, therefore, ice cream sales increase.
  • Summer starts, therefore, murder rates increase.

Summer is the causation of these two events, but without that critical piece of information, media can spin it to appear as though ice cream and homicide go hand in hand.

Nowadays, we can access information instantly on a small device we carry in our pocket – but anyone can put anything up on the internet. It also seems that the best way to get people to read or click on your story is to give it a sensational headline.

So here are a few ways to spot a fake news item:

  1. Are ‘legitimate’ sites talking about it? If the BBC and CNN are covering it, then it probably really happened or is happening.
  1. Are multiple sites saying the same thing? If not, then only a few sites are making a bigger deal than it needs to be.
  1. When you do a Google search, do you have multiple sites debunking it? Then, again, a small bit of information turned into something more.
  1. Do they have references? Are they citing anyone or anything that is known as reliable and/or has integrity?
  1. Finally, how do you feel? Fake news is designed to evoke certain feelings – particularly, feelings of fear and loss of control.  They want you to keep reading/clicking to get ‘more information’.

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.

The Customer Satisfaction Survey in GSM has been streamlined!

Have you ever had an IT or library issue, question or request that you needed help with? If you’re at work, chances are you’ve contacted the Library or IT Service through the many available channels (chat, phone, email or online form) and had a job logged in the Griffith Service Manager (GSM).

Because customer satisfaction is important to Griffith, you would have been sent a Customer Satisfaction Survey via email upon the resolution of your job.

The Customer Satisfaction Survey has recently been updated to a simplified survey. And of course, you’ll want to fill it out!

The new survey has two questions: 

  1. 1. Are you satisfied or unsatisfied with the support you received?
  2. 2. Are you satisfied or unsatisfied with the product/service you received support for?

According to the Service Management Office Manager, Marty Miller-Crispe, the reason for the change is two fold.  

‘The new survey simplifies the response. Griffith staff and students can indicate if they are happy with the service provided or not’.

Secondly, ‘we have added a question to differentiate between customer satisfaction with the support received and the product or service they had the issue with’.

Marty explains that this will improve reporting by making it easier to identify where the issue lies.

If you have any questions about the new Customer Satisfaction Survey, please contact the Service Management Office.
Read the rest of this entry »

Are you a cyber security warrior or sleepwalker?

Today’s reliance on digital technology has led to a heightened risk of digital and cyber threats. Therefore, it is imperative that cyber security is high upon our (and everyone’s) radar!

Griffith is committed to cyber security, and keeping its systems and data safe. However, you’ve also got a role to play. You can find information on how to stay cyber-safe at our recently launched Cyber Security website.

Want to find out more? Attend one of our information sessions, which are being held across all campuses. There’s no need to register – just turn up!

Campus Date Location Time
Gold Coast Tuesday 21 November G06 1.04 11.30 am – 12 pm
Logan Wednesday 22 November L08 Theatre 1 10.30 am – 11 am
Nathan Wednesday 22 November N29 0.06 2.30 pm – 3 pm
Mt Gravatt Thursday 23 November M09 1.129 10.30 am – 11 am
South Bank Thursday 23 November S07 1.23 2.30 pm – 3 pm

These sessions will cover the cyber security basics, including:

  • What is happening in the cyber threat landscape (it’s actually pretty interesting!).
  • What the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) means.
  • What a Botnet is.
  • What phishing is – they’ll even step through a typical phishing example, explaining how they operate, what sort of people are doing this and why, and what it means for you.
  • Understanding how you can protect yourself from phishing threats in email and on social media.
  • Advice to help stay protected at home, at work and while travelling.  

As we head into 2018 Griffith’s Cyber Security team will continue to deliver activities, training and updates – so stay tuned (and stay cyber vigilant)!

These are the 25 worst passwords of 2016

Halloween has recently passed. A day where we are reminded of frights, scares and horrors. While this is an American-centric holiday, there are some mortifying things a lot closer to home. Like cybersecurity.

We know, it doesn’t sound that scary, does it? Well not as scary as Keeping up with the Kardashians reaching 10 years of air time and 14 seasons. But it can be. Our online world is wrought with potential viruses and hackers.

A large part of keeping your online world secure is passwords. But with so many accounts, come so many passwords. Some are fine – set once and it’s it. Some will prompt you to change at set periods (and they may not all align).

For example, the security-conscious folk at Griffith regularly makes us change our passwords to ensure our account is safe from hackers. And we totally appreciate the automated prompt to stay on top of our online-security. But let’s be honest, it’s hard having to think of a password that is different from your previous 13, has at least six characters, a mixture of letters and numbers… shall we go on? So inevitably, you may choose a password that is too simple, weak or just plain obvious.

So SplashData made a naughty list; the 25 worst passwords for 2016. The list is based on more than 5 million passwords that leaked online last year, and posted for sale online (see, we told you it was scary!).

Is your password on the list?

  1. 1. 123456
  2. 2. password
  3. 3. 12345
  4. 4. 12345678
  5. 5. football
  6. 6. qwerty
  7. 7. 1234567890
  8. 8. 1234567
  9. 9. princess
  10. 10. 1234
  11. 11. login
  12. 12. welcome
  13. 13. solo
  14. 14. abc123
  15. 15. admin
  16. 16. 121212
  17. 17. flower
  18. 18. passw0rd
  19. 19. dragon
  20. 20. sunshine
  21. 21. master
  22. 22. hottie
  23. 23. loveme
  24. 24. zaq1zaq1
  25. 25. password1

Read the full article in Network World, available via the ProQuest database.

How safe is your password? For tips on keeping your password secure, go to Griffith University’s Passwords page.

4 ways to open your research

Open access, strictly defined, means research outputs that are free of restrictions on access and use. It has expanded from research articles and papers, to include open data, books, software and many other formats. Benefits of open access include that it can:

  • Increase the academic and societal impact of research
  • Improve public policy and decision making
  • Allow academics in parts of the world that cannot afford expensive journal subscriptions to access research
  • Allow transparency of research

So, how can you make your research more open?

1. Publish in an open access journal

There are many open access journals to choose from, and journal evaluation services like Scimago and InCites Journal Citation Reports include an Open Access filter so you can easily search for them alongside other features like journal impact factor and ranking. You can also consult the Directory of Open Access Journals.

If your research output is not an article there are other options. For example, Knowledge Unlatched is a publisher which provides free access to scholarly content. While the focus for Knowledge Unlatched has been social sciences from 2018 KU will accept submissions in STEM subject areas.

When choosing an open publisher we recommend the Think Check Submit website to help make that decision. Check out Griffith Library’s Strategic Publishing Guidelines for Authors or talk with your Discipline Librarian.

2. Disseminate your research outputs via Griffith Research Online (GRO)

GRO provides free online full-text versions of your journal articles, conference papers, and more, to a global audience. To make the most of GRO check your outputs are up-to-date with the Office for Research. After the Library checks copyright and publisher policies regarding open access and embargoes we will contact you directly so you can provide the right file for upload

3. Make your research data available

As well as being required by some funding agencies and publishers, making your research data available means other researchers can test and build upon your work. Use the Creative Commons licence tool to choose the most appropriate licence for your data, and select an appropriate discipline based data repository to store your datasets. For further information, consult Griffith Library’s Best Practice Data Guidelines for Researchers, attend one of our research data management workshops or talk with your Discipline Librarian.

4. Increase your online visibility

Excellent research is only one part of your story. The other part is telling people about your research, and there are many tools to do this: Griffith Experts, Google Scholar, ResearchGate, ORCID, ResearcherID and social media platforms.

There is great variation in what each of these tools offers, from publication lists and citations, to online communities connecting with experts, and showcasing experience. By building your research profile and engaging with internal and external networks you provide exposure for yourself that can potentially increase the academic impact of your research.

Effective online profiles can extend the reach of your research so that it is discoverable not only by peer academics but also industry and the general public. Use Griffith Library’s Developing your Online Research Profile module and Academic Impact guide to plan your online strategy and build an effective profile, or talk with your Discipline Librarian.


Open Access Week was in October, and to celebrate Griffith hosted Open Research: Four stories from Griffith, a panel discussion on the 2017 theme, “Open in order to…”. The event was hosted across three campuses, with a diverse audience of academics, HDR candidates, professional staff and librarians in attendance. Our panel of experts discussed their experience in open research, and explored the actions they take as Griffith academics to enhance their impact and benefit the community. The panel and attendees joined in an intriguing and intelligent discussion – check out the photos below!

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Have a staff Mac? Update it to stay cyber-safe!

Our Office of Digital Solutions staff have been working hard over the trimester break to ensure all computers are up-to-date and protected against cyber threats.

In late October, we introduced Parallels Mac Management technology for all staff Mac computers (that’s 1500 to be exact!).

Parallels Mac Management enables compliance and control of our Mac fleet centrally, enforcing security policies and enabling image deployment and software management. The technology also provides inventory and reporting tools for managers and allows users to browse and install approved Mac applications.

Mac computers are not immune to viruses or cyber attacks. Parallels Mac Management enables us to quickly deploy critical software updates to your computer, ensuring that your data and privacy are protected.

So, what do you need to do?

Well, if you received a Mac computer prior to 26 September 2017, you’ll need to install the App. To do so, follow the installation steps here.

*Note: If you have received a new Mac computer since 26 September 2017 no action is required and your computer is up to date.

For further installation queries contact the IT Service Centre.