Technology Tips & Information

Ohio Christian University offers many computing and information technology services designed to ensure academic success. We encourage you to become familiar with the information on this website in order to more easily navigate computing resources on the OCU campus.

Tech Tip: The Dangers of Social Media Questionnaires

I regularly see questionnaires on social media asking all sorts of fun, “get to know you better” types of questions (see example in the screenshot below). I also see all the responses that are posted by people wanting to get in on the fun. The sad thing is, once you put something out there on social media, you can’t take it back and you have no control over who sees it (especially when it gets shared beyond your friends list). Hackers love these innocent quizzes because they can use the answers to gain access to your accounts, steal your money, or even worse, steal your identity.

I don’t know whether you’ve noticed this or not, but a lot of those questions are used as security questions for sites you really don’t want hacked (like banks or sites you do business with). In fact, as harmless as your birthdate seems, it is one of the most dangerous to share (read this article). You also need to be aware of the ones that take you to another page to take the quiz. To read more about those, read the two linked articles below the screenshot.

The bottom line is this: it is much safer to read everyone else’s responses but keep your own to yourself.

To learn more, read this article and this article. If you feel your account may be at risk, please feel free to reach out to BlazerTech. If you have ideas for future tech tips, please let me know. You can see this and all previous Tech Tips by visiting our Tips page at https://it.ohiochristian.edu/tips.

Tech Tip: Windows 10 File Explorer

Windows 10 File Explorer (formerly Windows Explorer) no longer contains a “Help” option, so luckily, several authors decided to write some helpful articles. This article is a great resource, packed with information, instructions, tips, and links to other helpful articles. I even learned something new, so it’s definitely worth the time to read through it. This article reveals some additional tips, tricks, secrets, and shortcuts for using File Explorer.

Microsoft recently released a simplified ribbon (for use throughout all Windows apps). If you don’t see it yet, you will. This article covers how to use the simplified ribbon. Microsoft continues to come up with new ways to simplify our Windows desktops and provide tools to help us work more efficiently. As they do, we will continue to pass on the information we receive, along with helpful articles on how to use all this new functionality.

If you need assistance, please feel free to reach out to BlazerTech. If you have ideas for future tech tips, please let me know. You can see this and all previous Tech Tips by visiting our Tips page at https://it.ohiochristian.edu/tips.

Friday Tech Tip: Outlook Categories

If you are like me, you have a tremendous amount of email to sort through each day. Outlook Categories can help by allowing you to color code your email. Once categorized, you can group, search, and arrange your email by category. Even better, setting rules (using categories) enables you to automate the process of marking/categorizing email as soon as it hits your inbox. Outlook will apply the rule and color code your email accordingly.

The screenshot below is of my inbox. I set at least one rule for each category that automatically marks incoming email with the category color that applies based upon the rule I defined. This makes handling my email much more efficient as I work with the category tools that Outlook provides.

To learn more, read this article and this article. If you need assistance, please feel free to reach out to BlazerTech. If you have ideas for future tech tips, please let me know. You can see this and all previous Tech Tips by visiting our Tips page at https://it.ohiochristian.edu/tips.

Friday Tech Tip: HTTPS Explained

You may not have noticed, but in the address bar of your browser window, websites start with either HTTP or HTTPS. The HTTP and HTTPS represent the procedure or rules that govern how data is transferred between the website you are accessing and the device you are using to access that website. HTTP is not secure; HTTPS is. Most websites that deal with personal data use HTTPS which means your data is encrypted when it is passed between your device and the website you are accessing (like a bank or an online shopping site). There is also a lock in front of your website address to signify that the data is secure. If you click on the lock, the browser will display more information about the security of the website (see the screenshot below).

While this is great, it can lull us into a false sense of security. The encrypted HTTPS connection stops hackers from snooping or tampering with the data being transferred, but it doesn’t stop a scammer from creating a bogus website and making it secure (using the HTTPS rules for accessing that site). You can read more about that in this article. Just because a website is using HTTPS doesn’t mean that all is well – you still need to pay close attention to the red flags I’ve shared in previous Friday Tech Tips.

If you have questions about HTTPS, feel free to reach out to BlazerTech or to me. You can find this, as well as previous tech tips (including the tips on recognizing scams) on our IT portal, http://it.ohiochristian.edu/tips. If you have ideas for future tech tips, tell me about them here.

Friday Tech Tip: Blocking Robocalls and Telemarketers

Robocalls and Telemarketing calls are not only annoying, they, most often, originate from scammers. However, there are things we can do to help reduce the number of calls we receive.

It seems the best protection, currently, are call blocker apps. These applications help identify calls from telemarketers and scammers and display a warning on our caller ID before we answer the call. Some will even block the calls completely. The best ones will help identify the most annoying (in my opinion) – those that seem to come from a local number. Do I answer it or not??? The app helps make that decision much easier.

Below are screenshots from my phone. The image on the left shows the options available in the app. The image on the right is my “recent calls” log with “Telemarketer” and “Suspected Spam” accurately identified. Some still get through, but it has definitely reduced the amount of wasted time previously spent answering these calls.

To learn more about what you can do to block these annoying calls, read this article. For more information on robocalls and what the FCC is doing about them, read this article and this article. You can see this and all previous tips on our IT portal, http://it.ohiochristian.edu/tips. If you have an idea for a future tech tip, let me know here.

Friday Tech Tip: Fake Apple Store Receipts

There is a new scam going around that is dangerous enough to warrant attention in a Friday Tech Tip.  Whether you own an Apple device or not, this information still applies because it details the things you should look for in ANY site you visit (especially sites that request your personal information).

We have all received scam emails at some point, but this one is particularly dangerous because it looks so legit and it’s hook is something we all have a kneejerk reaction to (charges on our account that we didn’t make). In the midst of the kneejerk reaction, we may miss the red flags and warning signs, so I wanted to take a few moments to warn you about this one.

Feel free to share this link with friends and family.

To learn more about the scam, read this article. You can see this and all previous tips on our IT portal, http://it.ohiochristian.edu/tips. If you have ideas for future Friday Tech Tips, let me know here.

Amber Smith

Amber Smith

Documentation & Training

Amber Smith is the IT Documentation and Training manager, SIS Administrator, and SUG (Sonis User Group) Facilitator.

Request a Tip

8 + 11 =