News and Information

Please be ALERT for Phishing Attempts

February 2nd, 2016 by Jo-Ann

During the last week, many of you have been tricked into providing your account password to an unauthorized party (aka have been Phished).  When an un-authorized entity has your username and password, they have access to everything you have access to.   This includes your email, course material and and any other information available to you in MyPlymouth.

Please be aware that Information Technology Services (ITS), upon discovery of a phished account, will shut it down to preserve the integrity of PSU systems and data.  It will typically take 24-48 hours to regain access to your account depending on day of week and IT workload. 

Please review the TIPS below to avoid being Phished:

  • Take the time to read messages completely and make note of bad grammar.
  • Check to see where a URL *REALLY* takes you before clicking on it (hover your cursor over it to see where it goes).
  • Be suspicious of anything taking you to a login page.   Is it really at PSU?  Again, check the URL.
  • Be suspicious of message which attempt to create a sense of Urgency.  
  • Be suspicious of any message asking you to confirm or verify your account.

 If you see something you are uncertain whether or not is legitimate, it is far better if you stop and give the Helpdesk a call.

VDI Technology being tested in Lamson Library

May 28th, 2015 by Jo-Ann

Our Systems department has recently deployed some new technology known as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or (VDI) on the following computers in Lamson Library…

Computer Names: Librefpc01 through Librefpc07
Computer Locations: Main Floor – Circular computer clusters behind the Reference Desk.

Computer Names: Publamcove01 through Publamcove08
Computer Locations: Main Floor – Along the outside wall of classroom 102, near the Reference Desk.

Each computer has clearly been labeled with a note stating the following information:

“This workstation is currently running on a new test version.  It will work exactly like the old clusters, but if you encounter any issues please let the Help Desk know.”

What is Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or (VDI)?

“Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is the practice of hosting a desktop operating system within a virtual machine (VM) running on a centralized server. VDI is a variation on the client/server computing model, sometimes referred to as server-based computing.”

This essentially means that our VDI cluster computers will act as a shell that communicates with our main servers. Upon login our main servers will serve up the requested user profile and provide all of the computational processing power during that session.

With this new technology comes many added benefits:

  • Extended life for our computer cluster machines.
  • Improved performance
  • More secure roaming profiles
  • Standardized security configurations
  • Centralized patch management
  • Reduced costs
  • …and much more!

While our Systems department has worked hard to make this improved solution possible, we are still early in the practical testing phase. As such, only a few select computers have been configured to utilize the VDI technology at this time. Down the road this may become the standard way that we configure all campus cluster computers.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Help Desk.

Tax-related Identity Theft on the Rise

April 18th, 2015 by Jo-Ann

As you have probably seen on the news, identity theft is on the rise, and PSU’s HR and ITS offices have recently been made aware that a very small number of the PSU community members have become victims of tax-related identity theft.  “Tax-related identity theft is when someone uses your Social Security number to file a false tax return claiming a fraudulent refund” (irs.gov). What we are seeing at PSU is not an isolated incident, but sadly, represents a significant national uptick. According to the IRS, the number of fraudulent return filings has been growing over the last few years. The General Accounting Office now reports that over 5 million fraudulent returns were submitted for tax year 2013, and 2.9 million of these were tax-related identity theft. Of the 122 million taxpayers in that year, 2.9 million represents 2.3% of the population. They expect the number for tax year 2014 will be far higher. PSU has been making an examination of our own systems, we have been working with the Information Security Office at USNH, and we have contacted cyber-security experts with the Office of Homeland Security. At this time, we have no indications that any PSU or USNH system was breached.

Knowing that you are not alone in this is of little comfort after it has occurred.

What should I do to prevent this?

We have reached out to the Department of Homeland Security and looked at IRS publications and have identified the following preventative actions you can take:

·       Submit your tax return early

·       Be careful of email messages claiming to be from the IRS or from a tax preparer (TurboTax, H&R Block, etc..) as they might be phishing

·       Protect your computers by using firewalls, anti-virus software, update security patches and change passwords for any internet account on a regular basis.

·       Visit the IRS site for more information  (http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Identity-Protection)

What if I have already fallen victim to Tax-related Identity theft?

·       File a police report with your local police department.

·       Follow the instructions provided in the IRS notice.

Refer to the IRS publication for  further actions (http://www.irs.gov/uac/Taxpayer-Guide-to-Identity-Theft)

All News and Information articles.

System Status

All ITS systems Operational

July 7th, 2014 by Jo-Ann

All ITS systems are operational. If you have any questions, please contact the Help Desk at helpdesk@plymouth.edu or (603) 535-2929.

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