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Email Security: Magnifying glass

Don’t Fall For Fake Student Job Postings

Jobs that sound too good to be true should raise a red flag for any college student. Fake job postings abound in unsolicited emails sent to your student account and in online job listing sites.

Fake jobs can be attempts to steal personal information about you or steal money or bank account information from you. You also could get entangled in criminal activity, so be cautious.

Here are some tips to help you identify fake jobs. You should always carefully research the legitimacy of employers before applying.

Common Job Scams Targeting College Students

  • Mystery shoppers
  • Envelope stuffing from home
  • Repackaging or shipping from home
  • Issuing checks/check processing from home
  • Model/talent agencies
  • Pyramid sales schemes
  • A variety of scams in which a student is asked to pay for certification, training materials, or equipment with promise of reimbursement

Overpayment Scams

Watch out for overpayment scams. These are often posted as a bookkeeper, personal assistant, administrative assistant, etc., to assist in processing checks or mystery/secret shoppers. The “company” sends a check to the “assistant” (student), who is then responsible for taking their “salary” out of the check and wiring the remainder of the money back to the “company.” These checks are fraudulent and can leave you out thousands of dollars and facing criminal charges.

Beware If the Email or Job Posting:

  • Does not indicate the company name
  • Comes from an email address that doesn’t match the company name
  • Does not give the employer contact information — title of person sending the email, company address, phone number, etc.
  • Offers to pay a large amount for almost no work
  • Offers you a job without ever interacting with you
  • Asks you to pay an application fee
  • Wants you to transfer money from one account to another
  • Offers to send you a check before you do any work
  • Asks you to give your credit card or bank account numbers
  • Asks for copies of personal documents
  • Says you must send payment by wire service or courier
  • Offers you a large payment for allowing the use of your bank account — often for depositing checks or transferring money
  • Sends you an unexpectedly large check

No legitimate employer will send payment in advance and ask the employee to send a portion of it back. DO NOT provide any personal information, especially Social Security numbers or financial information! 

Examples of Suspicious Ads

The following job posting was rejected by the Student Employment Program Job Board:

“Agile and Responsible individual is needed to fill the vacant position of a Personal Assistant (Part time) Someone who can offer these services: *Mail services (Receive mails and drop them off at UPS) *Shop for Gifts *Sit for delivery (at your home) or pick items up at nearby post office at your convenience. (You will be notified when delivery would be made).”

A student notified the Student Employment Program that she received the following email:

“If you are resourceful, organized, good with paperwork and honest, you can make three hundred dollars ($300) a week, as a business assistant. This flexible but formal position would only take at most two hours of your time daily, or even less, depending on your work-speed. You would be needed Mondays through Fridays, but the job’s flexibility lies in the fact that your duties are clear-cut and would take little of your time to be executed daily. Kindly get back to me ASAP if you are interested and wish to know more about this opportunity.”

Another student received an email offering them a “New, interesting, and respectable job” as a typist.

A recent actual email to UMB students:

Dear The University of Maryland, Baltimore Students…

At Market Force Information Company. Get paid $185- $250 Twice a week and we offer Survey Evaluation Services to various shopping outlets and Organizations. We want all Survey  Evaluation to take complete pride in their work, writing intelligent surveys that are clear, honest and observant.

The information collected by Market Force Information  Compliance Services reaches clients, but will always conceal individual identity. Survey results are aggregated by combining responses with those provided by other participants who have also completed the online survey. This data is stored in a database that can be analyzed by clients, but personal data will never be revealed, sold or traded without your permission.

You are providing input for the development of a product or service.

Market Force Information Compliance Services Is one of the most popular paid survey panels in  America. My survey provides a variety of interesting surveys, including product reviews, service reviews buyers opinion, general opinion, Survey Evaluation just to name a few. Find below Job description (available survey).\The recruitment is restricted to US and Canada residents only.

JOB DESCRIPTION (AVAILABLE SURVEY):

Survey Evaluation services are to be carried out in your location in which you will carry out a survey on the performance and effectiveness of the stores with which you will be directed to carry out a Survey Evaluation on and we would like you to become our Survey Evaluation. Salary/Wage: – $185-$250 per survey assignment.

 Your employment packet includes businesses/stores evaluation (Macy-Stores, Banks, Wal-Mart, CVS, McDonald’s, Best Buy and many more). Assignment instructions will be sent to you via email after you must have received the payment for the Survey assignment.

 Payment for the assignment/wages would be sent to you by Certified Check. No experience required and no upfront payment needed from you (Application is Free).

If you would like to be considered for this survey assignment, please fill out the application below and kindly send the requested details to the email above. 

    Name:

    Current Address:

    City:

    State:

    Zip Code:

    Home Phone:

    Cell Phone:

    Alternative email address:

    Preferred Time to Call:

    Occupation: none

    Can you check email at least twice daily?

Report Suspicious Ads

If you feel that you’ve been the victim of a scam, please contact University Police at 410-706-6882.

Researching Ads and Employers

Why is it important to research every opportunity?

  • To find out if the job and the company are legitimate
  • To gather information to help you determine whether the company or job is a good fit for you
  • To find data to help you write targeted resumes and cover letters
  • To find facts to help you answer interview questions such as: Why do you want to work for this company?

Visit the organization website

If the organization in question doesn’t have a website or the website doesn’t seem to match the advertised job, there may be cause for concern. Note the professionalism of the website. Is there specific contact information? Are jobs and career information actually posted on the site? Lack of pertinent information is a red flag.

Use personal contacts, Linked-In, or other networking sites

Do you have any connections to help you find inside information? If you belong to a professional association, they may be able to put you in touch with people who can advise you. Search Linked-In by “People” and the advanced search fields for “Company Name.” Click the “Current Companies Only” checkbox to receive information on people currently listed as employed by this company.

Use Google

Search by the name of the organization to gather information and recent news. You also can search by “scam” to look for signs the company has been reported in any type of fraudulent activity.

Check with consumer services

Two organizations to utilize are the Better Business Bureau or the Federal Trade Commission to see if any complaints have been lodged against the company.

Investigate the company’s references

If you aren’t sure a company is legitimate, request a list of employees or contractors. Then contact the references to see how satisfied they are. If a company isn’t willing to share references (names, email addresses, and phone numbers), this is a red flag. You may want to research the references a bit as well, to be sure they are legitimate.

Be suspicious of poor communication skills

Be careful when an employer cannot communicate accurately or effectively on the website, by email, over the telephone, etc. If communications are sloppy, how professional is the organization?

Exercise caution when asked to pay any fees

Most legitimate employers will not charge to hire you! Don’t send money for work-at-home directories, advice on getting hired, company information, or for anything else related to the job. There are some well-known internship programs that do require payment to place you in internships, but check with your department’s internship coordinator to determine if the program is legitimate.

Review payment information

When information about salary isn’t listed on a job posting, try to find out if you will receive a salary or be paid on commission. Find out how much you’re paid, how often you are paid, and how you are paid. If the company doesn’t pay an hourly rate or a salary, be cautious and investigate further.

Beware: Scam ads can be found in legitimate publications

Read all information carefully. If the opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Just because a job lead appears in a legitimate publication, it doesn’t mean that the job or company is necessarily legitimate. Forget about getting rich quick.

Additional information about job scams

Federal Trade Commission video about job scams

Sarah SteinbergTechnologyDecember 11, 20180 comments
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America's Got Regulatory Talent 2018 winning team

America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent: Call for Submissions

The Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation is holding its Sixth Annual America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent competition on Feb. 6, 2019, from 1-2 p.m. at Pharmacy Hall.

The competition, which is open to all students, aims to promote student interest in regulatory science, which is the science of developing new tools, standards, and approaches to assess the safety, efficacy, quality, and performance of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated products.

Students can participate as individuals or as a team and will have to present a proposed solution to a current opportunity in regulatory science. Presentations will be evaluated by a panel of judges from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and the FDA in terms of proposed solution and presentation quality.

Registration deadline for participation is Jan. 30.

Learn more about the competition.

Erin MerinoEducation, TechnologyDecember 6, 20180 comments
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Santa Claus sticking hand out of monitor with gifts

The Holidays Are Here: Here’s How to Shop Online Securely

The holiday season is nearing for many of us, and soon millions of people around the world will be looking to buy the perfect gifts. Many of us will choose to shop online in search of great deals and to avoid long lines and impatient crowds. Unfortunately, this also is the time of year when many cyber criminals create fake shopping websites to scam and steal from others. Below, we explain the risks of shopping online and how to get that amazing deal safely.

Fake Online Stores

While many online stores are legitimate, there are some fake websites set up by cyber criminals. Criminals create these fake websites by replicating the look of real sites or using the names of well-known stores or brands. They then use these fraudulent websites to prey on people who are looking for the best deal possible. When you search online for the absolute lowest prices, you may find yourself directed to one of these fake websites. When selecting a website to make a purchase, be wary of websites advertising prices dramatically cheaper than anywhere else or offering products that are sold out nationwide. The reason their products are so cheap or available is because what you will receive is not legitimate, may be counterfeit or stolen, or may never even be delivered. Protect yourself by doing the following:

  • When possible, purchase from websites that you already know, trust, and have done business with.
  • Verify the website has a legitimate mailing address and a phone number for sales or support-related questions. If the site looks suspicious, call and speak to a human. If you can’t get ahold of someone to talk to, that is the first big sign you are dealing with a fake website.
  • Look for obvious warning signs, like deals that are obviously too good to be true or poor grammar and spelling.
  • Be very suspicious if a website appears to be an exact replica of a well-known website you have used in the past, but its domain name or the name of the store is slightly different. For example, you may be used to shopping online at Amazon, whose website is https://www.amazon.com. But be very suspicious if you find yourself at websites pretending to be Amazon, such as http://store-amazoncom.com.
  • Type the store’s name or URL into a search engine and see what other people have said about the website in the past. Look for terms like “fraud,” “scam,” “never again,” or “fake.” A lack of reviews also can be a sign indicating that the website is very new and might not be trustworthy.
  • Before purchasing any items, make sure your connection to the website is encrypted. Most browsers show a connection is encrypted by having a lock and/or the letters HTTPS in green right before the website’s name.

Remember, just because the site looks professional does not mean it’s legitimate. If you aren’t comfortable with the website, don’t use it. Instead, find a well-known website you can trust or have safely used in the past. You may not find that absolutely amazing deal, but you are much more likely to end up with a legitimate product and avoid having your personal and financial data stolen.

Your Computer/Mobile Device

In addition to shopping at legitimate websites, you want to ensure your computer or mobile device is secure. Cyber criminals will try to infect your devices so they can harvest your bank accounts, credit card information, and passwords. Take the following steps to keep your devices secured:

  • If you have children in your house, consider having two devices, one for your kids and one for the adults. Kids are curious and interactive with technology; as a result, they are more likely to infect their own device. By using a separate computer or tablet just for online transactions, such as online banking and shopping, you reduce the chance of becoming infected.
  • Always install the latest updates and run up-to-date antivirus software. This makes it much harder for a cyber criminal to infect your device.

Your Credit Card

Regularly review your credit card statements to identify suspicious charges, especially after you’ve used your cards to make many online purchases or used a new site. Some credit card providers give you the option of notifying you by email or text messages every time a charge is made to your card or when charges exceed a set amount. Another option is to have one credit card just for online purchases. That way, if it is compromised, you can easily change the card without impacting any of your other payment activities. If you believe fraud has been committed, call your credit card company right away. This also is why you want to use credit cards for all online purchases and avoid using debit cards whenever possible. Debit cards take money directly from your bank account, so if fraud has been committed, it can be far more difficult to get your money back. Finally, consider using credit cards that generate a unique card number for every online purchase, gift cards, or well-known payment services, such as PayPal, which do not require you to disclose your credit card number to the vendor.

Fred SmithTechnologyNovember 21, 20180 comments
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Dr. Perman talks at the TEDx UMB event

TEDx Event Amplifies UMB’s Cutting-Edge Innovations

The audience seated in an intimate ballroom at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) turned its attention to a small stage at the front of the room. The stage filled with red light as Nadine M. Finigan-Carr, PhD, MS, a research associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, entered from behind a black curtain off to the right.

“I am a P-H-Diva,” Finigan-Carr declared. “I study sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll, and I’m here to tell you about the perfect combination of the three: child sex trafficking.” And with that, Finigan-Carr began her TEDx talk titled Child Prostitutes Don’t Exist, which discussed the topic of minors being manipulated and trafficked for sex.

Her riveting talk was part of TEDx University of Maryland, Baltimore (TEDx UMB), an inaugural, day-long event for the University put on through TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), a nonprofit organization devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” The goal of a TEDx program is to carry out TED’s mission in local communities around the world through a series of live speakers and recorded TED Talks.

On Nov. 9, 10 speakers from the UMB community took the stage to share their innovative ideas across a wide scope of subject areas united under a single theme culled from the University’s mission statement: Improving the Human Condition. Each speaker approached the theme from a unique perspective informed by life, work, and experience. This brought forth an engaging mix of topics ranging from pioneering augmented reality in the operating room to exploring a middle ground in gender beyond just male and female.

(View a photo gallery.)

“All of the speakers are passionate about the work they are doing,” explains Roger J. Ward, EdD, JD, MSL, MPA, UMB’s senior vice president for operations and institutional effectiveness and a member of the committee that organized TEDx UMB. “As an institution for health and human services, UMB conducts a multitude of cutting-edge research and education and we’re always looking for platforms to amplify our work.”

UMB’s cutting-edge research certainly was demonstrated by TEDx UMB speaker Samuel A. Tisherman, MD, FACS, FCCM, a professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), with his talk: A Cool Way to Save Dying Trauma Patients.

Tisherman discussed the idea of using EPR (Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation) on patients with severe traumatic injuries like gunshot or stab wounds to help stave off death during surgery. The innovative medical technique involves pumping the human body with cold saline (a saltwater solution used for resuscitation) to lower a dying patient’s body temperature to a hypothermic state. This slows the patients’ need for oxygen and blood flow, giving surgeons more time to perform life-saving operations.

“There’s this dogma in surgery that hypothermia is bad, but I would have to disagree,” Tisherman told the audience. “There are numerous reports of patients having cold water drowning, but they survived after being under water for over an hour. Think about that for a second. You’re underwater, can’t breathe, but your body cools fast enough so that your brain, your heart, and other organs are protected, and you can actually survive for over an hour.”

EPR is currently in human trials at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. If it continues to be successful, EPR potentially could lead to reduced mortality rates in trauma centers around the world, which fits right into TEDx UMB’s theme of Improving the Human Condition.

Mary J. Tooey, MLS, AHIP, FMLA, associate vice president for Academic Affairs and executive director of UMB’s Health Sciences and Human Services Library, served as emcee for the day, and UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, kicked off the proceedings with his talk, No Money, No Mission. Perman discussed how he learned to balance empathy with good business practices from his parents while growing up in their family-owned dry cleaning business in Chicago. Perman explained how he has put that lesson to use as a pediatric gastrienterologist and as the president of a university that produces hundreds of millions of dollars worth of groundbreaking research and innovations every year.

The day continued with more compelling and thought-provoking discussions. Russell McClain, JD ’95, an associate professor and associate dean at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, used the back of a cereal box to demonstrate and launch a discussion about implicit bias and stereotype threat; Luana Colloca, MD, PhD, MS, an associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing and at UMSOM, explored the idea of using the brain’s own power as a solution to the opioid crisis; and Jenny Owens, ScD, MS, the faculty executive director of UMB’s Graduate Research Innovation District (the Grid), delivered a talk about her passion project, Hosts for Humanity, an organization that connects families and friends of children traveling to receive medical care with volunteer hosts offering accommodations in their homes.

“I think events like TEDx are really encouraging,” Owens said. “Seeing all of the amazing work people are doing and how much time and commitment they’re putting into making the world a better place is really inspiring, and I hope it inspires people to go out there and get to work on their own ideas.”

Although each speaker at TEDx UMB was part of the UMB community, their audience was not limited to the 100 people seated in the ballroom. The event was livestreamed on YouTube to a global audience, allowing its outreach and engagement to go far beyond the local community.

“There are so many talented people doing important work here at UMB,” said John Palinski, MPA, a philanthropy officer at UMB and a member of the TEDx planning committee. “TEDx is a bit of education in just reminding people who we are by projecting to the world all the wonderful things that are happening here.”

Members of UMB’s TEDx planning committee hope that this year is just the beginning of an annual event that showcases UMB’s commitment to sparking deep discussions and spreading innovative ideas to improve humanity.

“I am so pleased with this year’s event and I’m already excited for next year,” concluded Palinski.

Jena FrickCollaboration, Education, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Administration, University Life, USGANovember 14, 20180 comments
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National Library of Medicine Director Patricia Brennan stands with event organizers.

Libraries Help to Provide New Pathways to Precision Health

Patricia Brennan, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, a pioneer in the development of information systems for patients, was ready to enjoy retirement when she was asked to join the National Library of Medicine (NLM) as its director two years ago, and she has not looked back since.

“I was well on my way to the lounge chair and the knitting club and then I took this job,” Brennan said during her keynote lecture Oct. 11 at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) titled, “Precision Health and the National Library of Medicine: From Accelerating Discovery to Improving Health and Well-Being.”

“Now, why would someone who was well on her way to nirvana move to Washington?” she asked. “Well, it’s a fabulous job. It’s an amazing place. But I control the biomedical knowledge of the world. So, by shaping the way we index, curate, distribute research … I am able to broaden the conversation from medicine to health.”

The NLM is the world’s largest biomedical library and the producer of digital information services used by scientists, health professionals, and members of the public worldwide. Brennan became its 19th director in August 2016.

Mary J. Tooey, MLS, AHIP, FMLA, associate vice president for Academic Affairs, executive director of the University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL), and director of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region, was excited about welcoming Brennan, calling her the HS/HSL’s unofficial “captain.”

“As a health sciences library, and a health sciences librarian, we think of the National Library of Medicine as the ‘mothership,’ and so I guess that means that Dr. Brennan is our leader, Captain Patty T. Kirk,” Tooey quipped. “I can’t underscore the importance and great fortune of having the National Library of Medicine as the leader and partner of the important work of collecting, organizing, and making biomedical information available in whatever the format, print, digital, and certainly, data. The NLM articulates and sets strategic directions for our profession.”

For more than 35 years, the HS/HSL has been designated as the regional headquarters for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeastern/Atlantic region, one of eight regional headquarters in the United States, Tooey said. As a regional headquarters, the HS/HSL serves 1,600 network members throughout the region, working as a field office for the NLM.

“Patti Brennan came to the NLM a little more than two years ago, developed a new strategic plan with a cast of thousands, and has health sciences librarians and libraries casting themselves forward into new and exciting places — to boldly go where many had never considered going before. So, you can see why our library community is excited to have her here,” Tooey said.

Joining Tooey in her excitement about Brennan’s visit to UMSON was Eun-Shin Nahm, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor, Department of Organizational Systems and Adult Health, program director, Nursing Informatics, and co-director of the Center of Excellence in Biology and Behavior Across the Life Span. She introduced Brennan, calling her “a visionary leader in health care informatics and my esteemed mentor.”

Since assuming her directorship, Brennan has positioned the NLM to be the hub of data science at the National Institutes of Health and a national and international leader in the field, Nahm said. “She spearheaded the development of a new strategic plan that envisions NLM as a platform for biomedical discovery and data-powered health.”

The NLM is a strong and robust library, Brennan said, committed to a national network of libraries of medicine made up of 7,000 institutions around the country that provide NLM’s reach “into everywhere and most importantly into the homes of those who need the health information that we have.” It began as a small bookshelf in a hospital in the 1830s, she noted.

“It has grown to touch every corner of the world and has shaped every biomedical discovery that has happened in the last 50 years,” Brennan said. “You can’t innovate, discover or peer [review] without us.”

The lecture centered around the concept of precision medicine, which Brennan described as an approach to patient care that allows doctors to select treatments that are most likely to help patients based on the genetic understanding of their disease.

“I would submit to you that this definition of precision medicine is not complete. It is accurate but not complete,” she said. “To make precision medicine work, we have to know the person in context. Precision medicine is a new era of health care that will enable treatment to be tailored and prevention to be aligned with people’s unique structure, their characteristics, their gene sequence, how they live, where they grew up.”

Nurses play a unique role in broadening the conversation from precision medicine to precision health, said Brennan, a nurse herself.

“What is it that nurses know that others might not know? Nurses know about the human response,” she said. “Nursing is about the diagnosis and treatment of human response to disease, disability, and developmental crisis. We understand pathology. We understand cellular structure. We understand social engagement, but we know about the human response. Nurses also know about the care between the care, what happens between visits. Because people live health every day, and if the NLM is only available at the point of encounter with our health care system, we are failing our patients.

“To transform precision medicine to precision health, we have to have patients as partners. We’re not going make them partners by giving them research papers to read,” she said.

The lecture was co-sponsored by the following entities:

“This is an impressive array of institutions and it symbolizes the power of the many ongoing collaborations not only among entities within the University of Maryland, Baltimore but also with our colleagues across the street at the University of Maryland Medical Center and with our colleagues throughout the entire University of Maryland Medical System,” said UMSON Dean Jane M. Kirschling, PhD, RN, FAAN, who provided welcoming remarks to the estimated 100 attendees.

“It also reflects our authentic commitment to interprofessional research, education, and practice. Given our commitment to the research enterprise, clinical excellence in public health, and to the education of the next generation of health professionals … we are precisely the configuration of institutions that can support the National Library of Medicine in realizing its inspiring mission of advancing human health and discovery.”

— Mary T. Phelan

 

Mary PhelanClinical Care, Collaboration, Education, Research, Technology, UMB News, University LifeNovember 8, 20180 comments
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eUMB forms screenshot

Coming Nov. 12: eUMB User Authorization Forms Online

UMB’s Center for Information Technology Services (CITS)  is excited to announce that eUMB security forms will be available Nov. 12 to submit online, utilizing electronic signatures by users and approvers in workflow. The current paper/PDF forms will be eliminated. (Users will be required to log in using multi-factor authentication to access the forms.)

The following eUMB security forms will be available:

  • eForms User Authorization Form and System Access (eTravel and ePAF)
  • RAVEN Access Request Form
  • eUMB HRMS User Authorization Form
  • eUMB Financials User Authorization Form

For more information, please visit this eUMB webpage.

Sarah SteinbergTechnologyOctober 30, 20180 comments
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Information Security collage

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Helping Others Secure Themselves

Many of us feel comfortable with technology, including how to use it safely and securely. However, other friends or family members may not feel so comfortable. In fact, they may be confused, intimidated, or even scared by it. This makes them very vulnerable to today’s cyber attackers. Cybersecurity does not have to be scary; it’s actually quite simple once you understand the basics. They most likely just need a guide like you to help them understand the basics.

Five Simple Steps

Here are five simple steps you can take to help others overcome those fears and securely make the most of today’s technology. For more information on each of these points, refer to the references section at the end of this newsletter.

Help others securely make the most of technology by sharing these five simple steps with them.

  1. Social engineering: Social engineering is a common technique used by cyber attackers to trick or fool people into doing something they should not do, such as sharing their password, infecting their computer, or sharing sensitive information. This is nothing new. Scams and con artists have existed for thousands of years. The only difference now is bad guys are applying these concepts to the internet. You can help others by explaining to them the most common clues of a social engineering attack, such as when someone creates a tremendous sense of urgency, when something is too good to be true, or when a cyber attacker pretends to be someone you know but their messages don’t sound like them. Share examples of common social engineering attacks, such as phishing emails or the infamous Microsoft tech support phone calls. If nothing else, make sure family members understand they should never give their password to anyone or allow remote access to their computer.
  2. Passwords: Strong passwords are key to protecting devices and any online accounts. Walk your family members through how to create strong passwords. We recommend passphrases, as they are the easiest to type and remember. Passphrases are nothing more than passwords made up of multiple words. In addition, help them to install and use a password manager. It is important to have a unique password for each of your devices and accounts. If a password manager is overwhelming, perhaps teach them to write down their passwords, then store those passwords in a secure location. Finally, help them enable two-step verification (often called two-factor or multi-factor authentication) for important accounts. Two-step verification is one of the most effective steps you can take to secure any account.
  3. Patching: Keeping systems current and fully up-to-date is a key step anyone can take to secure their devices. This is not only true for your computers and mobile devices, but also anything connected to the internet, such as gaming consoles, thermometers, or even lights or speakers. The simplest way to ensure all devices are current is to enable automatic updating whenever possible.
  4. Anti-virus: People make mistakes. We sometimes click on or install things we probably should not, which could infect our systems. Anti-virus is designed to protect us from those mistakes. While anti-virus cannot stop all malware, it does help detect and stop the more common attacks. As such, make sure any home computers have anti-virus installed and that it is current and active. In addition, many of today’s anti-virus solutions include other security technology, such as firewalls and browser protection.
  5. Backups: When all else fails, backups are often the only way you can recover from mistakes (like deleting the wrong files) or cyber attacks (like ransomware). Make sure family and friends have an automated file backup system in place. Often, the simplest solutions are cloud-based. They back up your devices hourly or whenever you make a change to a file. These solutions make it easy not only to back up data, but also to recover it.

Securing Kids When Visiting Others

If you are comfortable with technology, you most likely not only have secured yourself, but also helped to secure your kids. However, when kids visit a relative who is not comfortable with technology, such as grandparents, these relatives may not be aware of how to best protect kids online or your expectations. Here are steps you can take to help protect kids when they visit others, especially family:

  • Rules: Be sure that if there are any rules or expectations you have for your kids’ security, others know about them. For example, are there any rules on how long kids can be online, whom they can talk to, or what games they can or cannot play? Trust us, don’t plan on kids explaining the rules to other family members. One idea is to create a “rules sheet” and share that with any relatives your kids frequently visit.
  • Control: If a child understands technology better than their guardians, they may take advantage of that. For example, kids may ask for or gain administrative rights to a grandparent’s computer and then do whatever they want, such as installing that game you may not want them playing. Make sure relatives understand they should not give the kids any additional access beyond what has been established.
Fred SmithTechnologyOctober 24, 20180 comments
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The Internet of Things

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: The Internet of Things

In the past, technology was relatively simple: You just connected your computer to the internet and used it for your daily activities. However, technology became more advanced when mobile devices came into our lives, devices such as smartphones and tablets. These devices put the power of desktop computers into our pockets. While far more mobile, these devices also brought their own, unique security challenges.

The next big technical advancement is the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things, often shortened to IoT, is all about connecting everyday devices to the internet, devices from doorbells and light bulbs to toy dolls and thermostats. These connected devices can make our lives much simpler; for example, having your lights automatically activate as your phone recognizes when you get close to home. The IoT market is moving at an amazing pace, with new devices appearing every week. However, like mobile devices, IoT devices also come with their own individual security issues. In this newsletter, we help you understand what those risks are and what you can do to secure your IoT devices, your home, and your family.

Issues with IoT

Know what IoT devices you have connected to your network, isolate them often, keep them updated, and have strong passphrases.

The power of IoT is that most of these devices are simple. For example, you simply plug your coffee machine in and it asks to connect to your home Wi-Fi network. However, all that simplicity comes at a cost. The biggest problem with IoT devices is that many of the companies making them have no experience with security. Instead, their expertise is manufacturing household appliances. Or perhaps it is a startup trying to develop a product the most efficient, fastest way possible, such as on Kickstarter. These organizations are focusing on profits, not cybersecurity. As a result, many IoT devices purchased today have little or no security built into them. For example, some have default passwords that are well known, perhaps even posted on the internet, and cannot be changed.

In addition, many of these devices have no option or ability to configure them; you’re stuck with whatever was shipped. To make matters worse, many of these devices can be difficult to update or may not even have the capability. As a result, many of the IoT devices you are using can quickly become out of date with known vulnerabilities that cannot be fixed, leaving you permanently vulnerable.

Protecting Your IoT Devices

So what can you do? We definitely want you to leverage the power of IoT devices securely and effectively. These devices can provide wonderful features that can make your life simpler, help save money, and increase the physical security of your home. In addition, as the technology grows, you may have no choice but to purchase or use IoT devices. Here are steps you can take to protect your IoT devices and yourself:

  • Connect only what you need: The simplest way to secure an IoT device is to not connect it to the internet. If you don’t need your device to be online, don’t connect it to your Wi-Fi network.
  • Separate Wi-Fi network: If you do need your IoT devices online, consider creating a separate Wi-Fi network just for them. Many Wi-Fi access points have the ability to create additional networks, such as a guest network. Another option is to purchase an additional Wi-Fi access point just for IoT devices. This keeps your IoT devices on an isolated network, where they cannot be used to harm or attack any computer or mobile devices connected to your primary home network (which is still the main interest of cyber criminals).
  • Update when possible: Just like your PC and mobile devices, keep your IoT devices up to date. If your IoT device has the option to automatically update, enable that.
  • Strong passwords: Change any passwords on your IoT device to a unique, strong passphrase only you know. Can’t remember all of your passphrases? Don’t worry, neither can we. Consider using a password manager to securely store all of them.
  • Privacy options: If your IoT device allows you to configure privacy options, limit the amount of information it shares. One option is to simply disable any information sharing capabilities.
  • Consider replacement: At some point, you may want to replace an IoT device when your existing one has too many known vulnerabilities that cannot be fixed or there are newer devices that have far more security built into them.

There is no one size fits all for every device, so it is worth checking for best practices and any publications on how to secure them. Unfortunately, most IoT devices were not developed with cybersecurity in mind, so many manufacturers do not provide much security information. But as awareness for cybersecurity grows, we hope to see more and more IoT vendors build security into their devices and provide more information on how to protect and update them.

Sarah SteinbergTechnologyOctober 16, 20180 comments
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Cybersecurity Awareness Month: 10 Steps to Smartphone Security

Smartphones continue to grow in popularity and are as powerful and functional as many computers. It is important to protect your smartphone just like you protect your computer, because mobile cybersecurity threats are growing. These mobile security tips can help you reduce the risk of exposure to mobile security threats:

  1.  Set PINs and passwords. To prevent unauthorized access to your phone, set a password or Personal Identification Number (PIN) on your phone’s home screen as a first line of defense in case your phone is lost or stolen. When possible, use a different password for each of your important log-ins (email, banking, personal sites, etc.). You should configure your phone to automatically lock after five minutes or less when your phone is idle, as well as use the SIM password capability available on most smartphones.
  2. Do not modify your smartphone’s security settings. Do not alter security settings for convenience. Tampering with your phone’s factory settings, jailbreaking, or rooting your phone undermines the built-in security features offered by your wireless service and smartphone, while making it more susceptible to an attack.
  3. Back up and secure your data. You should back up all of the data stored on your phone — such as your contacts, documents, and photos. These files can be stored on your computer, on a removal storage card, or in the cloud. This will allow you to conveniently restore the information to your phone should it be lost, stolen, or otherwise erased.
  4. Only install apps from trusted sources. Before downloading an app, conduct research to ensure the app is legitimate. Checking the legitimacy of an app may include such thing as: checking reviews, confirming the legitimacy of the app store, and comparing the app sponsor’s official website with the app store link to confirm consistency. Many apps from untrusted sources contain malware that once installed can steal information, install viruses, and cause harm to your phone’s contents. There also are apps that warn you if any security risks exist on your phone.
  5. Understand app permissions before accepting them. You should be cautious about granting applications access to personal information on your phone or otherwise letting the application have access to perform functions on your phone. Make sure to also check the privacy settings for each app before installing.
  6. Install security apps that enable remote location and wiping. An important security feature widely available on smartphones, either by default or as an app, is the ability to remotely locate and erase all of the data stored on your phone, even if the phone’s GPS is off. In the case that you misplace your phone, some applications can activate a loud alarm, even if your phone is on silent. These apps also can help you locate and recover your phone when lost. Visit CTIA for a full list of anti-theft protection apps.
  7. Accept updates and patches to your smartphone’s software. You should keep your phone’s operating system software up to date by enabling automatic updates or accepting updates when prompted from your service provider, operating system provider, device manufacturer, or application provider. By keeping your operating system current, you reduce the risk of exposure to cyber threats.
  8. Be smart on open Wi-Fi networks. When you access a Wi-Fi network that is open to the public, your phone can be an easy target of cybercriminals. You should limit your use of public hotspots and instead use protected Wi-Fi from a network operator you trust or mobile wireless connection to reduce your risk of exposure, especially when accessing personal or sensitive information. Always be aware when clicking web links and be particularly cautious if you are asked to enter account or login information.
  9. Wipe data on your old phone before you donate, resell, or recycle it. Your smartphone contains personal data you want to keep private when you dispose of your old phone. To protect your privacy, completely erase data off your phone and reset the phone to its factory settings. Then, donate, resell, recycle, or otherwise properly dispose of your phone.
  10. Report a stolen smartphone. The major wireless service providers, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), have established a stolen phone database. If your phone is stolen, you should report the theft to your local law enforcement authorities and register the stolen phone with your wireless provider. This will provide notice to all the major wireless service providers that the phone has been stolen and will allow for remote “bricking” of the phone so that it cannot be activated on any wireless network without your permission.

For more information and resources on mobile and cybersecurity, visit the FCC’s website and the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect.

Sarah SteinbergTechnologyOctober 9, 20180 comments
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The President’s Message

Check out the October issue of The President’s Message. It includes Dr. Perman’s column on Promise Heights’ game-changing $30 million grant; a look ahead to Founders Week; President’s Symposium and White Paper Project tackles gun violence; John T. Wolfe Jr. talks disruption and diversity at DAC Speaker Series; UMB leaders discuss policing and emergency management; new CURE Scholars documentary to air on MPT; “I’m new to Twitter — come say hello @JayPerman;” and a roundup of student, faculty, and staff achievements.

Chris ZangABAE, Bulletin Board, Clinical Care, Collaboration, Contests, Education, For B'more, People, Research, Technology, UMB News, University Life, USGAOctober 8, 20180 comments
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Meet the Makers: Dr. Luana Colloca

Luana CollocaJoin the Health Sciences and Human Services Library for Meet the Makers, its speaker series focusing on emerging technologies in the life sciences, on Oct. 17, noon to 1 p.m., in the Gladhill Board Room on the fifth floor of the library.

Luana Colloca, MD, PhD, MS, of the University of Maryland schools of medicine and nursing will deliver the lecture titled, “The neurobiology of pain modulation: From placebo effects to virtual reality”.

“The capacity to activate endogenous opioid and nonopioid systems in concomitance with the administration of an intervention represents a fascinating phenomenon that is capturing the attention of scientists from different disciplines,” Colloca says. “This lecture focuses on the neurobiology of placebo effects and virtual reality with an emphasis on relevant discoveries, new insights and developments.”

A light lunch will be provided.

Please RSVP at this link.

Brian ZelipResearch, TechnologyOctober 5, 20180 comments
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Cyber security logo

Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Make Your Home a Haven for Online Safety

Every day, parents and caregivers teach kids basic safety practices — like looking both ways before crossing the street and holding an adult’s hand in a crowded place. Easy-to-learn life lessons for online safety and privacy begin with parents leading the way. Learning good cybersecurity practices can also help set a strong foundation for a career in the industry.

With family members using the internet to engage in social media, adjust the home thermostat, or shop for the latest connected toy, it is vital to make certain that the entire household — including children — learns to use the internet safely and responsibly and that networks and mobile devices are secure. Week 1 will underscore basic cybersecurity essentials the entire family can deploy to protect their homes against cyber threats.

Three Things You Can Do Today to Protect Your Home and Family

Most of us probably remember our parents advising us to look both ways before crossing the street or to never touch a hot stove. But how many of us can recall parental guidance — or have talked to our own children — about how to secure our social media accounts or how to protect our laptops from hackers?

Cybersecurity isn’t just for the workplace. Technology permeates our daily lives, helping us to connect, create, and cool off. We take our tech home, using smartphones to play music or stream movies when we aren’t answering emails. As the number of devices per household continues to grow, more children are being exposed to more technology in less time.

It’s our responsibility as consumers and family members to be aware of our own security and understand how each of us is empowered to protect it.

1. Engage with your family about the way they use technology.

Communication is important in relationships, whether with a partner or a family. Take the time to talk about technology — and we don’t mean just to share the Wi-Fi password.

For the parents among us, get involved with the technology your children use. What apps and social media sites are helping them connect with friends? What information are they sharing through texts and social media, and with whom? Are they aware of fake profiles, Fortnite scams, and other tricks used by cybercriminals?

Understanding how your children engage with devices and online services will help you protect them from dangers they may not be aware of. Help them understand that they’re in control of their accounts’ privacy settings and what they share, and that a little caution can save a lot of embarrassment and regret down the road. As an added bonus, your tech talks might give you some gift ideas for the approaching holiday season!

2: Change that Wi-Fi password!

Most home routers come out of the box with a default SSID (network name) and password. Usually, this information is printed on a label, and many people never change it. Problem is, most of these passwords also are posted online and are easy for hackers (and neighbors) to find. Some routers might not even require a password by default!

If someone can log in to your router, they can view your connected devices, change your network settings, and even lock you out of your own network. This year, the FBI warned consumers to reset their router passwords in response to an outbreak of Russian malware that allowed hackers to do exactly those things. Even if the hackers don’t poke around, they can use your home like a free hotspot as long as they’re in range (in which case you’d better hope they’re not up to anything illegal!).

Your home has a front door, and so does your network. Make sure you keep both locked tight.

3: Make sure your family’s devices are all password (or fingerprint) protected.

Computers and smartphones include password protection features that you can enable in system settings. Most newer phones and laptops also include biometric protection features such as fingerprint scanners or facial recognition. Some devices may ask you to create passwords or biometric profiles when you first configure them or when you update their operating system. There’s a good reason for that.

If your device doesn’t have a password, anyone who picks it up can view your pictures, messages, and other data. Your thief may place a few Amazon orders in your name or meddle with other open apps.

Setting a strong password or using biometric authentication prevents thieves from stealing your data, even if they manage to get their hands on your computer or phone. It also helps prevent your significant other or your kids from snooping on or pranking you.

Sarah SteinbergTechnologyOctober 4, 20180 comments
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If you could have 3 library wishes, what would they be?

Submit Your Wishes to the HS/HSL Library Genie

How can the Health Sciences and Human Services Library better meet your needs? Would you like to see the library’s space designed differently? Are there any new technologies you would like to see? Are there additional resources and services you would like provided? Now is the chance to make your wishes known.

The Library Genie is accepting wishes through Oct. 31. Submit three Library Wishes to the Library Genie today!

All wishes are anonymous, but if you’re willing to talk about them, please include your name and email address.

Thanks for your input, and happy wishing!

Everly BrownEducation, People, Technology, University LifeOctober 1, 20180 comments
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Join us for Wikipedia Training on Oct. 10

Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon Training at HS/HSL

Are you interested in helping improve a resource students, faculty, staff, and the community use daily?

Come to the Health Sciences and Human Services Library (HS/HSL) on Oct. 10 to learn how to become a Wikipedian and participate in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine’s  second Edit-A-Thon. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the lower level of the HS/HSL, Room LL05.

During this training, librarians will help you make a Wikipedia account, make edits in Wikipedia, and use trusted National Library of Medicine (NLM) resources to improve the world’s largest encyclopedia. This workshop will help prepare you for the #citeNLM2018 Fall Edit-A-Thon, which will take place at HS/HSL on Nov. 7 and focus on women’s health. Your participation will help contribute to WikiProject Medicine.

Learn more about WikiProject Medicine or the NNLM Edit-A-Thon.

Register for Wikipedia Edit-a-thon Training.

Lauren WheelerCollaboration, Education, People, Research, TechnologyOctober 1, 20180 comments
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