Information Technology Blog

NSHE Host-On-Demand Service Ending May 1

March 20, 2014

The following information has been posted by NSHE System Computing Services.

The software, Host On-Demand, used to connect to Mustang for the administrative systems Advantage Financial, HRMS, and Legacy SIS, will no longer be an option to NSHE effective May 1, 2014.

System Computing Services recommends QWS3270 Secure client as a replacement for Host On-Demand.  We have found QWS3270 Secure to be faster and more reliable.  We share our System-wide site license with the campuses so this client software can be installed on an employee’s campus workstation and/or home computer. Please contact your institution’s IT support to  request QWS3270 Secure client.

More information on obtaining the QWS3270 software, and configuring it for use with Advantage, HRMS, and SIS can be found on the IT website.

General Information, Software


Tips for Preventing and Removing Malware and Adware

March 17, 2014

Are you getting annoying popup ads or worried that your computer might have a virus?  This article gives tips for preventing and removing malware and adware from computers.

Note:  Some of the following tips such as uninstalling malware programs could lead to inadvertently modifying legitimate and important programs, so if you have any doubts check first with a knowledgeable source like IT support.

  • Malware:  Malware is any program that is designed to damage or disrupt computer systems.
  • Adware:  Adware is any program that displays advertisements on a computer, such as popups.

The tips in this article include practicing safe computing, installing an adblock plugin for your web browser, running antimalware software, and manually deleting malware and adware programs.

 

Practice safe computing

You can significantly reduce the risk of contracting malware and adware by following safe computing practices.  For suggestions on safe computing, see the IT’s Safe Computing article.

 

Install Adblock for your Web Browser

Adblock is a popular web browser program which helps block adware and reduce popups.

Note:  Some websites, such as WebCampus and MyNevada, require popups to function properly.  If you are on a secure and trusted site you can disable Adblock temporarily in order to access the legitimate popup windows.

To download Adblock, do the following:

  1. Google search for the Adblock plugin which applies to your web browser.  For example, if you use the Mozilla Firefox browser, Google search “Adblock Firefox”.
    AdBlock
  1. Access a reputable download website such as CNET or Mozilla.org and follow instructions on the site to download the plugin.

Adblock is available for the major web browsers (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox).

 

Use Malware Removal Software

Malware removal software can help to eradicate malware from your computer.  One common and popular malware removal tool called Malwarebytes allows you to scan for and remove malware from your computer.  For more information personal anti-malware programs, visit our Personal Antivirus webpage.

 

Manually Uninstall Malware and Adware Programs

Sometimes unwanted programs, such as adware, are bundled into free downloads from websites like CNET.  If you notice a sudden increase in popups or strange web browser behavior, you may have contracted an adware or malware program.  You can attempt to manually uninstall mal/adware programs by searching your list of programs to identify and uninstall unwanted programs.

Warning:  There are many important programs on your computer which you can inadvertently uninstall.  If you have any doubts about uninstalling a program, wait and consult with a knowledgeable source such as IT support.

To manually uninstall mal/adware, do the following:

    1. Click the Windows Start button.
    2. Click Control Panel.
    3. In the Programs section, click Uninstall a program.Uninstall a Program

 

  1. Scan the list of programs and look for any suspicious or unrecognized program names.

For example, you may see a program with a suspicious name like AdClicker-AV.

  1. Google search the name of any suspicious programs you find.

Various websites keep collections of malware and adware program names.  If the target program shows up in an online list of malware program names, you can bet that it’s an unwanted program.

  1. In the Uninstall or Change a Program dialog box, double click the unwanted program name to initiate the uninstall process.
  2. Follow prompts to complete the uninstall.
  3. Restart the computer in order for the uninstall to take full effect.

 

Tip:  Check the Installed On date of the program you suspect is adware.  If the install-date of a suspicious program coincides with the start of your computer’s odd behavior, then the program is likely unwanted.

 

 

Security


End of Windows XP Support

February 28, 2014

On April 8th 2014 Microsoft will end support for the Windows XP operating system.

The University of Nevada, Reno’s Information Technology department is actively working to upgrade all XP operating systems on campus.

We are aware of most XP computers on campus. However, if you have an XP machine, and don’t think we know about it, please contact IT Support.

General Information, Security


Making the Most of E-mail

December 16, 2013

To some e-mail is the lifeblood of their existence. To others, e-mail is an inconvenience that they are forced to use. However you use e-mail, there is always something that can be learned that will improve your performance (or give you extra time to deal with something more important). At the University of Nevada, there are many features of your @unr.edu e-mail account that can be discovered on the E-mail Training section of the IT site. These include:

  • How to connect your e-mail to many different e-mail clients.
  • How to set an out-of-office notification
  • How to archive your e-mail
  • How to set rules to automatically process incoming e-mail
  • How to send an encrypted e-mail
  • How to avoid and deal with spam messages
  • and more…

E-mail, Training


Using Styles in Microsoft Word

November 20, 2013

Formatting documents can be a repetitive and time-consuming task.  But by using a feature called styles in Microsoft Word you can speed up the process of formatting text.  The styles feature in Word allows you to save text-formatting into easily applied presets.  If you often apply formatting to text, such as indenting, spacing, and numbering, you can increase the efficiency of formatting by using styles.  Styles reduce the number of keystrokes you use, because you can automatically apply desired formatting as opposed to manually applying it.

As an example, say you want to create subheadings in a document.  You want the subheadings to be numbered, bold, and size 14 font.  You could apply this formatting manually for each instance of a subheading you create.  But, to be more efficient, you can create a style from the formatting and then simply click one button each time you want to apply the formatting saved in the style.

Here’s how to create a style:

  1. Create an example of the formatting you want.  So, for a subheading, you could create a number list, make the font bold and the text size 14.
    SubheadingThen, you create a style from this formatted text.
  2. Navigate to the Home tab in your navigation ribbon.Home Tab
  3. In the Styles section, click the downward arrow at the bottom right to expand the Style Pane.Expand Styles
  4. Highlight the text you want to create a style from.Highlight Text
  5. In the Style Pane, click New Style.New Style
    The New Style button saves the formatting from selected text into a style (in this case the selected text is Subheading example.
    The Create New Style from Formatting dialog box appears.
  6. In the Create New Style from Formatting dialog box, name your style and click OK to create the style.Set Formatting
    Now the desired formatting (bold, 14 pt, numbered) is saved in a custom style called Subheading.
  7. To apply your style, highlight text you want to format and then click your style in the Style Pane.Apply Style
    Clicking the Subheading style applies its saved formatting attributes to any selected text in the document.

So anytime you find yourself applying similar formatting over and over again in a document, remember that you can speed the process up by using styles.  Create an example of the formatting you wish to use and save the formatting as a style.  Then you can apply the saved formatting to any text simply by clicking the name of the custom style in the Style Pane.

Styles have many more benefits as well, such as integrating with Word templates and automatically updating all instances of a style when it’s changed.  For more information, check out the Lynda.com videos about styles, which you can access for free as a University member.

Training