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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

ALERT: Phishing Emails from Valid Fordham Accounts

Photo by Jamal Kurshed

Phishing emails are being sent from valid Fordham email accounts. These emails may appear to come from people you know. In some cases, their names are used to sign the emails. A list below shows the types of subjects commonly used in the phishing emails.

These emails are NOT legitimate. They request recipients to "Click here" or "View Document Here>>."  If you click on the link, you are directed to a site asking you to log into your Google Gmail, or even your Yahoo and AOL accounts. 

These sites are NOT legitimate. They are used to capture your usernames (AccessIT IDs) and passwords. An attacker with this information can log into your account and send phishing emails to everyone in your contact list.

We have seen phishing emails with the following subjects:

  • Update
  • New Doc
  • Important
  • Important Message
  • Important!!!
  • Yahoo Security Update
  • Your Yahoo Account Safety Is Our Top Priority

If you believe you have received this phishing message, please do the following: 

  • Do not respond to the message.
  • Do not click any links within the message.
  • Do not provide any information such as a username (AccessIT ID) and password.

If you responded to the email and provided confidential information:

  • Contact Fordham IT Customer Care ASAP at 718-817-3999.
  • Manually reset your password and disconnect any active login sessions to your Gmail account.
  • Delete the message. 

Email Security Tips:

  • NEVER give out your password to anyone, especially in an email. Fordham IT and any other reputable service provider will NEVER ask for your password or personal information via email.
  • NEVER provide personal or sensitive information in an email.
  • Do not click on links in emails. Enter valid website addresses into a browser manually.
  • Do not respond to suspicious emails. If you receive questionable or suspicious emails, contact IT Customer Care and allow the University Information Security Office (UISO) to validate the legitimacy of these emails.
  • Be wary of attachments, especially any you weren't expecting. Send them to IT Customer Care and let the UISO scan them for you.
  • If an email looks fishy, it probably is a phishing email.
  • Do not be fooled by scare tactics threatening to cut off your email, expire your accounts, and so on. Go to the source (my.fordham, your bank, HR, etc.) and validate the claim, but do not rely on the information provided in the email.

Find out more about phishing and online security:

  • Search our SecureIT blog to see if we have already identified a suspected email as a scam or a legitimate email: 
  • IT security topics are available on our IT Security website: 
  • Remember, Fordham IT and Fordham University will NEVER ask you for your password. If you believe you have received a suspicious email or phone call, please contact IT Customer Care for help at (718) 817-3999 or 

Follow us on Twitter for news and alerts: @FordhamIT and @FordhamSecureIT.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Google Chrome Requires Important Update

Google made some important changes to its Chrome browser. Therefore, it is vital that you update a plugin for version 42 of the Chrome browser so you can continue to access Fordham's systems with Chrome. 

Update NPAPI plugin
1. In the address bar of your browser, enter chrome://flags/#enable-npapi 
Here's an excerpt of what the page will look like:

2. In the window that appears, click Enable under the Enable NPAPI heading, which will be highlighted in yellow. 

3. Restart your Chrome browser for the change to take effect. You will only have to do this once.

Verify Current Version of Chrome on Mac or PC
1. Lauch Google Chrome.
2. In the upper right corner, click on the icon that looks like 3 short bars.
3. Select About Google Chrome to display the version number.

If You're Still Having Issues with Chrome
Call IT Customer Care: 718-817-3999 |

We will continue to keep you updated on this developing situation.

Keep in touch with Fordham IT
Twitter: @FordhamIT or
IT Event and Maintenance Calendar

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Break: Digi-Dissertation Edition

For this post, we welcome Christy Pottroff, a PhD candidate in English. She's this year's campus digital scholar, sponsored by the English Department. For many students, spring break is a gift of time to be spent on research. But it's also potentially a solitary time--too solitary. Christy explains how she found an online community of students to help get her through the week, enabling her to focus, manage her time well, and get encouragement to keep going when the temptation to do something else, like the laundry, is strong. This post is cross-posted with the Fordham Graduate Student Digital Humanities Group blog. On April 25, Christy leads a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, with graduate student Alisa Beer, at Lincoln Center.

By Christy Pottroff

Free Time is so Appealing
For me, there’s nothing more appealing than an open week in my calendar. That blank iCal space means no lesson planning or grading for my "Texts & Contexts" course. I don't have to ride the D-train to the Bronx for a meeting or lecture. It's a week of sartorial freedom: basketball shorts over khakis, t-shirts over blazers. Most importantly, a break from my weekly routine means I can settle into my home workstation and immerse myself in late eighteenth-century seduction fiction—as it relates to my dissertation, of course. As an advanced doctoral student in English, my expectations for this past spring break were writing-intensive. I had no travel plans and only a handful of social events for the week. I carved out this precious time to write and revise sections of my dissertation.

The Intimidating Blank Page
An open week—like a blank page—can be intimidating. The possibilities seem endless and dizzying. A few weeks ago, I found myself wondering: Could I write fifteen pages on epistolary novels for my dissertation group? Would I be able to read Margaretta and The Hapless Orphan during the break? Is an annotated bibliography the best use of my time? Should I start writing that book review? Wait! How is this a “break,” exactly? Will I ever finish House of Cards?

Online Dissertation Writing Group
A few days before the break, Fordham medievalist extraordinaire, Boyda Johnstone, had a stroke of brilliance. Boyda organized a week-long online dissertation writing group for graduate students at Fordham and beyond. 

The purpose of the online dissertation group was simple: we wouldn't critique one another's writing; rather, we would focus on accountability in the writing process. Each group member was asked to set daily and cumulative goals for the week, then members would report on their daily and weekly progress. These goals were public, specific, and realistic (i.e., read and summarize 3 articles on notecards; write for 1.5 hours in the morning; notes toward response paper for Hapless Orphan). 

Throughout the week, we gave each other advice on the writing process, suggestions for professional development, and general motivation for the hard task of writing. In effect, each individual group member spent the week consciously and publicly organizing her time; as a community, we held one another accountable and supported one another.

Collaborating with Google Docs
The tool that facilitated our online writing group was a simple one. Boyda created a shared Google Doc with a template for each group member's goals. Here's our group's template:

Our Template in Google Docs
Please use the template provided and fill in your own daily goals and accomplishments. Feel free to cheer each other on, and/or intersperse entries with motivational memes. No judgments, only motivation and positivity! Together we can make this Spring Break WORTH SOMETHING.

TEMPLATE (please cut and past your own underneath)
Broad goals for break:

Goals 3.16 (Mon):
Accomplishments 3.16:

Goals 3.17 (Tues):
Accomplishments 3.16:

Goals 3.18 (Wed):
Accomplishments 3.16:

Goals 3.19 (Thurs):
Accomplishments 3.16:

Goals 3.20 (Fri):
Accomplishments 3.16:

Within this template, our goals were specific, but informal. We used the comment function to engage with each other's goals. The encouragement was consistent and inspiring. This kind of structured online engagement made me not only more purposeful in my use of time, but I also felt accountable in reporting back my accomplishments. 

At the end of each day, I set the next day’s goals. When I woke up in the morning, I put on my basketball shorts, fed my cat, drank my coffee, and had a clear plan of action for the rest of the day. I was purposeful and supported. 

Even though I spent most of the week in academic solitude, I never felt alone. The group happened to be populated by eight graduate student women. Seeing other avatars in our shared Google Doc made me feel like part of a productive and collaborative community of academic women. We were from Fordham University, NYU, University of Alberta, and York University. Despite our geographical and institutional distance, I received daily encouragement from this community and I felt accountable to them. 

What is more, I encountered writing and research practices and professional development activities beyond the norms at Fordham thanks to the group's institutional range. Even though our group never met face-to-face (and I don't know what some of them look like at all), my online engagement with this community heightened my productivity throughout what would have otherwise been a very solitary week. While I certainly wouldn't advocate for an all-digital academic community, this was a positive and productive experience enabled by a simple digital tool.

Manage time, set goals, and work with others using simple online tools
Time is the most precious commodity in graduate school. Time management is a difficult skill to learn—but it's not something you need to learn alone. The next time you feel disoriented by an open calendar, take to the Internet! Create an online group of like-minded friends. Make specific public goals for how you'll use your time and hold one another accountable.