Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Protecting Students with Google Apps for Education

Today more than 30 million students, teachers and administrators globally rely on Google Apps for Education. Earning and keeping their trust drives our business forward. We know that trust is earned through protecting their privacy and providing the best security measures.

This is why, from day one, we turned off ads by default in Apps for Education services. Last year, we removed ads from Google Search for signed-in K-12 users altogether. So, if you’re a student logging in to your Apps for Education account at school or at home, when you navigate to, you will not see ads.

Of course, good privacy requires strong security. We have more than 400 full-time engineers — the world’s foremost experts in security — working to protect your information. We always use an encrypted HTTPS connection when you check or send email in Gmail, which means no one can listen in on your messages as they go back and forth between your laptop, phone or tablet and Gmail’s servers — even if you’re using public WiFi.

Today, we’re taking additional steps to enhance the educational experience for Apps for Education customers:

  • We’ve permanently removed the “enable/disable” toggle for ads in the Apps for Education Administrator console. This means ads in Apps for Education services are turned off and administrators no longer have the option or ability to turn ads in these services on.
  • We’ve permanently removed all ads scanning in Gmail for Apps for Education, which means Google cannot collect or use student data in Apps for Education services for advertising purposes.

Users who have chosen to show AdSense ads on their Google Sites will still have the ability to display those existing ads on their websites. However, it will no longer be possible to edit or add new AdSense ads to existing sites or to new pages.

We’re also making similar changes for all our Google Apps customers, including Business, Government and for legacy users of the free version, and we’ll provide an update when the rollout is complete.

On Thursday, May 1 at 9:00 am PT, we’ll be hosting a Hangout on Air on our Google for Education G+ page with myself; Jonathan Rochelle, Director of Product Management for Docs and Drive and Hank Thiele, Chief Technology Officer for District 207 in Park Ridge, IL who uses Google Apps. We'll be discussing these changes and answering your questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

For more information about student privacy in Google Apps for Education, please visit our website.

Reposted from Google Enterprise Blog:


Monday, April 21, 2014

JasperNet Single-Signon Pages Sport New Look; New Hardware Architecture

Manhattan College ITS will be rolling out an update to its JasperNet Single-Signon system today, April 21, 2014. The update consists of new service pages with enhanced functionality, running on new more robust hardware infrastructure.

New features include:
  • A link to the JasperNet account management self-help utilities, including:
    • Password Resets (automated - or via helpdesk call)  / Forgot my Password
    • Account Activation for New Students and others
  • Link to ITS webpage to get Help / Assistance
  • Links to Responsible Use and Annual Copyright Disclosures
  • Any Site-Specific Messages
  • Major Web Servers: Status
  • Link to ITS System Alerts / Notices
Your Comments and Suggestions are appreciated to help continuously evolve and improve this.  As always, we invite you to TellITS. Alternatively, you may call the Client Services Help Desk @ X7973 to report any issues.

Network Maintenance - Overlook Manor 4/22

A fiber optic cable upgrade to Overlook Manor will take place on Tuesday 4/22.  As a result, residents of Overlook may experience prolonged network interruptions between 7AM and 2PM.  The updates being performed to the fiber optic connection to Overlook Manor has been scheduled to prepare for the opening of the Student Commons as well as provide more reliable and faster connectivity to residents of Overlook.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Windows XP Support has ended

"As of April 8, 2014, support and updates for Windows XP are no longer available. Don't let your PC go unprotected." -- reads the Microsoft Windows XP support site.

How is Manhattan College addressing this issue?

ITS began the process of contacting offices that process sensitive data earlier this year.  Since that time, we have developed a plan for upgrading or replacing machines running Windows XP in these areas.  Additionally, Faculty who received a laptop running Windows XP will be due for a replacement this summer and will receive a laptop running Windows 7.

Unlike other software issues that have been in the news lately, the end of support for Windows XP means that risk to the security of your PC increases over time (not necessarily immediately).  Manhattan College plans to phase out support for Windows XP over the summer - mostly through attrition (i.e. replacing old computers with new ones since all existing Windows XP computers now exceed the standard life-cycle of 3-4 years).

What do I need to do?

ITS has already upgraded all public computers from Windows XP to Windows 7.   We will continue to work with campus offices to identify Windows XP machines and develop a plan for upgrade or replacement.  If you are using a College supplied computer that is running Windows XP, please contact Client Services to discuss a plan to keep your machine secure.

If you have a machine running Windows XP, you have a few options:

- Upgrade to Windows 8 - You can find information about upgrading your current computer to Windows 8 here:

- Get a new computer - There have been many developments in the PC/laptop market since Windows XP stopped shipping with new computers.  Besides purchasing a new Windows computer with the current version Windows 8, Apple computers have become more affordable and the introduction of Chromebooks

- Turn that old Windows XP machine into a Linux computer - If your old computer is not able to run Windows 8, you may want to try Linux (a free operating system on which Chromebooks are based).

Friday, April 11, 2014

Heartbleed Bug

The following is an update to the Manhattan College community regarding the recently discovered Heartbleed software bug -

ITS has been working with our software vendors to investigate our exposure to the recently identified Heartbleed bug that affects OpenSSL software - one of the most common cryptographic libraries used to secure Internet communications such as secure websites (via https://) and VPNs.

The majority of our "production" systems such as, Banner, self-service, SSO, Moodle, etc were never vulnerable to the flaw based on the version of software installed on these systems.  Some "test" systems with limited access were vulnerable, but patched by Tuesday AM.  Additionally, ITS is taking preventative measures to update software and configurations on all systems running OpenSSL cryptographic software as a precaution.

What do I need to do?  Be aware of scams!

In the coming days, you may be notified by various services related to your social media, banking, or other accounts potentially affected by the Heartbleed bug.  Take these notifications seriously and consider changing your password on these services.   Currently, no action is required for your JasperNet account.  If this changes, the campus community will be notified.

Be aware of scams!  With the legitimate notices will come "phishing" scams from illegitimate sources asking for your username, password and/or other personal information.  ALWAYS verify the legitimacy of these types of messages and NEVER give your password or personal information unless you are certain that you are dealing with a trusted service.  Tips on how to avoid phishing scams can be found here: