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College of Education - Louisiana Tech University

Information Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

Help! I just received an e-mail saying my webmail is full, expiring, etc. What can I do, and should I reply to this e-mail?
You probably also received an e-mail from a "prestigious" attorney in Nigeria informing you that your long-lost great uncle Walter, whom you have curiously never heard of until now, has just passed away and that as the result of a convoluted story you have been identified as his next-of-kin and will inherit his entire fortune! Both of those are fraudulent e-mails engaging in what is called phishing. Ignore them and read the next question.

What is phishing, and should I take time off work for it?
I said phishing; not fishing. Phishing, is no day at the lake. Instead, it is a type of cyber-attack that utilizes techniques known as social engineering that attempt to trick you into giving the attacker protected information. This typically comes in the form of an e-mail, though social engineering can occur via phone or in person. Generally, e-mail phishing attempts follow a fairly predictable format. First, they bait you with a seemingly credible threat or promise that can range from a literal threat on your life to a promise of a huge monetary reward. Then, they ask for something; usually usernames and passwords, or personally identifying information such as social security numbers, account numbers, or pins. Under no circumstances should you provide such information through e-mail to anyone.

You said do not provide personal information to anyone through e-mail? What about for legitimate purposes?
You still should not provide sensitive data to third parties through e-mail. Generally speaking, e-mail traffic is transmitted over networks "in the clear," meaning that your messages are unencrypted and readable by anyone who happens to intercept your data in transit. Though many e-mail servers now support encrypted connections, it is still best to assume that e-mail can be intercepted and read. If you must send sensitive information via e-mail, consider using an encryption package like PGP, or its open source alternative, GnuPG.

I am having computer problems. How do I get help?
For assistance with computer problems, you should submit a trouble ticket through the University Help Desk. Tickets can be submitted either by calling the Help Desk at (318) 257-5300 or through the ticketing Web site at http://tickets.latech.edu.

I have a University owned laptop. Can I take it off campus?
University owned laptops (or other equipment) can be removed from campus after you have submitted an off campus use form.

Can I get Microsoft Office, SPSS, or other software installed on my personal computer?
No. University software can only be installed on computer systems owned by the State of Louisiana.

But I used to be at a University that allowed us to install software on personal computers. Why can I not do it here?
It is possible that your previous institution had difference licensing agreements. Currently, none of our software licensing agreements allow us to install University software on personal computers, and so we do not install University software on personal computers.

But it I swear it's only going to be for University work! Can I please have University software installed on my computer?!
Persistence does not change the answer to this question. Surely you have other questions.

Should I use Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird for my e-mail client?
Currently, we support either program in our environment. Which program you use is largely a matter of personal preference and individual needs.

What Internet browser should I use? Internet Explorer? Chrome? Firefox? Safari on my Mac?
The truth is that it is difficult to recommend a specific browser, as each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, it is difficult to say which one is more secure than another at any given time, as frequent software updates are continually plugging old vulnerabilities and creating new ones. What is important is that you ensure you keep your chosen browser, as well as any plugins it uses (Acrobat, Flash, Shockwave, Java, etc.), up-to-date and secured. For general information on how to secure your web browser, see http://www.us-cert.gov/publications/securing-your-web-browser.

I am teaching a class in another building. Is there a list of classrooms containing technology?
Yes. The Center for Instructional Technology maintains a list of classrooms containing technology across campus. Please note, however, that this list may not be current and is provided for informational purposes only.

What is the difference between a Smart Classroom and an "ActivClassroom"?
Smart Classrooms are classrooms designated by the University Smart Classroom Committee to be outfitted with instructional technology. ActivClassrooms, are classrooms unique to the College of Education that feature Promethean interactive whiteboards and other instructional technology.