I.T. Happens

A great place for QC faculty, staff, and students who are looking for advice, assistance, tips and tricks for their technological needs.
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Summer is finally here!

When the summer is here you know that means vacation! There’s so many thing you can do this season. People can go to museums, amusement parks, and even travel to another state.

If you’re traveling to another state there will be flying. If you fly a lot, you know that there’s a lot that comes with flying like getting tickets, seats, hotels, and so on. There are also things you have to look out for such as delays or changes in flights.

Luckily for you technology is no further than in our pockets and there are plenty of apps available to make your life much easier. Plus, they’re all free! Some of the apps/websites include:

·         Hipmunk

·         FlightAware

·         SeatGuru

·         Seatalert.com

Hipmunk seems to be THE go to app to plan a trip because it’s fast and easy! It’ll help you find low-costing flights along with deals on hotels.

FlightAware is great because this app keeps you informed about all flights statuses, delays, cancellations, gate/terminal information, changes, etc.

SeatGuru eliminates any shocking surprises about your seat on the plane. You’ll find out if it’s broken, if the arm rest is gone, broken AC, and so on. This app has your back!

SeatAlert.com will let you know if any seat has opened up next to your seat before the flight. Hope for that window or aisle seat!

So if you’re planning a trip to California, Florida, or Paris even, download these and you’re set to go! Happy Traveling!!

Here are just some shortcuts to keep in mind when using your Windows computer:

F1: Help

CTRL+ESC: Open Start menu

ALT+TAB: Switch between open programs

ALT+F4: Quit program

SHIFT+DELETE: Delete item permanently

Windows Logo+L: Lock the computer (without using

CTRL+ALT+DELETE)

CTRL+C: Copy

CTRL+X: Cut

CTRL+V: Paste

CTRL+Z: Undo

CTRL+B: Bold

CTRL+U: Underline

CTRL+I: Italic

CTRL+SHIFT+ESC: Opens Windows Task Manager

CTRL+(1,2,3,…): Helps you easily scroll through the respective tabs in your web browser

F5: Refreshes the current window

CTRL+A: Select all the items in the current window

Windows Logo: Start menu

Windows Logo+R: Run dialog box

Windows Logo+M: Minimize all

SHIFT+Windows Logo+M: Undo minimize all

Windows Logo+Break: System Properties dialog box

Join the millions of internet users who are celebrating World Password Day by protecting themselves!

On World Password Day, there is no need to buy presents or cook a turkey dinner to celebrate. All you need to do is change your passwords! This last year has brought to light major security breaches, the Heartbleed bug being the most recent of those and we need to make sure that we do whatever possible to protect our information and identities.

Now, changing your password requires more than just adding a number or an extra letter. You want to make sure that you are creating a moderately strong password. That means stop using password123…you know who you are.

Some tips for creating strong passwords include:

  • Using 12 or more characters, the longer the better
  • Using punctuation and spaces
  • Using case sensitive alphanumeric characters

Want to find out if your password is strong enough? Play Password Blaster and see if your password comes up. If it does, destroy it and go back to the drawing board!

If you do not already have it installed, I strongly suggest downloading Firefox or using Google Chrome!

As we have stated over and over again, technology can be a WONDERFUL  thing, but that in no way means we shouldn’t be prepared to deal with the dangers that it can also hold.

Bullying is a huge topic that has been gaining momentum across the nation as more parents and students begin to speak out against it, and we need to be aware that bullying isn’t limited to just school grounds anymore.

With technology, bullies are finding new ways to attack others. Some are even managing to do so while staying anonymous. It is important for us to be aware of the threats that are out there and what we can do to stop them, or at least protect ourselves and the others around us.

Take a look at the CNN article for more information.

There is no doubt about it, technology has entered our lives in such a way that it would be impossible to imagine a world without it.

Online banking, shopping, and social media have allowed us to stay on top our personal, financial, and social lives during a period where time is everything. We just do not have time to get to a bank that closes at 6pm during the week and we are too busy catching up with other errands on Saturday to make it to the bank before 2pm.

And how about Christmas shopping in stores? Are you crazy? No one has time to wait in long lines after spending hours searching stores, bumping into people, and getting into fights over that last PlayStation 4 on the shelf.

So instead we turn to the Internet, which provides us a much needed relief from these stress-inducing experiences. BUT, with our everyday use of the Internet, we begin to hear more and more stories of cyber threats and breaches. As users, we need to be aware of these instances and know what we can do to bring them to a minimum. While we cannot stop all incidences from occurring, we stand a better chance of fighting them off when we are intellectually prepared and ready to be responsible users. As Uncle Ben from Spiderman would say, "With great power, comes great responsibility."

The first step is protecting our PII’s, which stands for Personally Identifiable Information. This is any information that an individual can use directly, or in connection with other data to identify, contact or locate a person and can include:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Social Security Number
  • Birthdate
  • Home, Office, or Mobile phone number

So now that we know what our identifiable information is, what can we do to protect ourselves?

  1. DO NOT trust everyone you meet online. This is especially true in an age where people follow each other on social media based on shared interests rather than an actual relationship.
  2. DO NOT send personal information over public WiFi. Wireless networks can be easily intercepted and you are better off using your carriers 3G or 4G.
  3. DO create strong passwords. It is always a good idea to use a combination of capital and lower case letters and numbers when creating a password. And while it can be annoying, creating different passwords for each of your accounts gives you the added safety that if one of your accounts are breached, the hacker will not be able to get into all of them.
  4. NEVER, EVER, EVER send out ANY personal information over email. Emails can easily be hacked and you do not want to make it any easier for someone to find more information about you.

           Please note: If you receive an email from your friend who claims to be trapped in Nigeria and needs money because they were robbed, chances are their email was hacked and your friend has no idea. Let them know immediately so they can deactivate their account ASAP.

The Internet, while extremely helpful, has also managed to become extremely dangerous, especially for those of us who are unaware of the dangers that lurk. It is extremely important for all of us to be aware of what we can do to keep cyber security threats to a minimum.

Every month, we offer Security Awareness workshops for QC faculty, staff, and students. If you are interested in attending a workshop, please email us at Training@qc.cuny.edu let us know! Remember that this is not a topic that should be taken lightly! Just one evening of watching the news should let you know that.

"I’m not a tech person"

Says who? In my position, I have heard this phrase uttered more times that I can even begin to comprehend.

I think the problem is people have a different definition of “tech”. Well, I am here to dispel all these myths. Believe it or not, you can indeed be a tech savvy person without knowing how to reconstruct a computer or knowing the first thing about designing a website.

You can be a tech person without even realizing it. Do you know how to properly use social media? How about creating PowerPoint presentations? And I am sure you send out emails multiple times throughout the day. Most people have the basic tech skills needed at any job, but that cannot be enough. In order to set yourself apart from everyone else out there looking for the same type of jobs, you need to remember one thing, learning is the key.

The skills you learned could (or have already) become obsolete, especially when dealing with a tech environment, so it is extremely important that you are willing to continue your education. While I encourage anyone who is looking to continue their degree, that doesn’t necessarily need to be the type of learning you pursue, especially if you need results fast!

What you do need is to be prepared to self-learn. Take it upon yourself to master a system or a program. Look for places that are willing to help you. Queens College students, faculty, and staff have a great resource available to them. At Training & Technology Solutions, we do the best we can to prepare our community for positions they are looking to hold or want to acquire.

Need to rev up your presentation skills? Take our PowerPoint workshop or ask about help with SMARTboard.

How about learning how to schedule meetings and appointments in Outlook? We got you covered.

Applying for a job that needs data entry experience? Our Excel class can help you out with that.

CUNYfirst throwing you for a loop? We will walk you through it every step of the way.

The point is, do not be afraid of what you do not know! It’s ok to ask for help, we are, after all, here to help you!

To learn more, check out our Training website.

You can also email us at any time at training@qc.cuny.edu to learn more about our workshops.

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So in the previous post we discussed the different and better ways to utilize Microsoft Word. Now, while Word may be a great tool for creating other kinds of documents because of their variety of templates, there is another program within Microsoft Office that, depending on what you are looking to accomplish, can be even better, and that would be Publisher.

Don’t take this the wrong way Word lovers. Word is a wonderful tool and offers us the ability to perform multiple functions within it. What is does lack though is an easy way to create  more graphical and layout intensive publications that would be ideal for office environments. And this is where Publisher comes in.

With Publisher, you can use this desktop publishing application to create hundreds of professional looking publications such as:

  • Business cards
  • Newsletters
  • Flyers
  • Websites
  • Calendars
  • Certificates
  • Brochures
  • Do I really need to go on?

When you first open up Publisher, you will be given the option to select your template. You could choose from any of their pre-loaded templates within the program or you can choose a blank template and create your document from scratch!

Now if you decide to use a template, know that you are not limited to its original format. You can modify it, move, add, or delete text objects, change colors and fonts, and just make it your own!

There are so many features within Publisher, it is best if you just jump right in and start playing with it. Queens College faculty, staff, and students are always welcome to come to one of our workshops and walk through Publisher with us.

For more information about our Publisher workshops, email us at training@qc.cuny.edu.