March 27th is Law Student Mental Health Day

lawstudent-vert-blackDo you know what doctors, lawyers, and CEO’s all have in common? These professions have the highest levels of stress among all occupations. Similar stress rates are also true of students in these professions.

However, not to fear… help is here! Take a deep breath, relax, and check out these helpful resources available from the ABA Law Student Division and the Dave Nee Foundation. Together, these sites are dedicated to raising awareness and providing support to law students under stress… so pretty much all law students.

Take a break from studying and devote a few moments to checking out the above resources. And remember, take time to relax and unwind today, maybe go for a walk outside or speaking of checking things out, maybe check out one of the movies from the library while you’re at it. Enjoy! Happy Friday!

Don’t Let Phishing emails Catch You Off Guard

2015-02-13_1435We’ve all heard the news about the computer hacking incidents at Sony, Anthem, and even the Department of Defense. What you may not know is that hackers often take advantage of the heightened fear over protecting sensitive information that follows these types of incidents by soliciting victims’ passwords and other account info via phising emails.

Many of you have seen these types of emails before. Some are easy to spot, such as those promising millions of dollars from a long-lost relative if you simply supply your bank account information for the wire transfer. (Trust me, if I had a rich relative, I’d know about them already.) Or how about the one requesting that you wire money immediately to help one of your friends who was mugged while traveling abroad? (Were we really that good of friends anyway?)

On the other hand, some of these emails may appear very legitimate. They usually arrive in your inbox with an alarming subject line warning that your password has expired or is not strong enough to protect your account. These emails encourage victims to click on a link to update their password immediately. However, victims who fall prey to this scheme are actually providing hackers access to their login info.

Many victims often remark how convincing the emails were (some emails, like the one above even contain official company branding). Most victims say they merely trying to protect their account and follow instructions. After all isn’t that what us IT guys always say? “Update your passwords often!” However, if you follow the following 2 rules, you should be able to avoid getting hooked in a phishing scam.

1. If in doubt, DELETE it! – If something looks suspicious, just throw it away. It is always best to play it safe and err on the side of caution. If you think it might be real, check the sender’s address. If you don’t recognize the sender, delete the email or contact the sender to verify the validity of their request.

2. Check Before Entering Your Password – Don’t ever enter your password, unless the website has the following:

  • Encryption – the web address must show https or the lock icon
  • Matching Domain – the web address should match the organization

While it is perhaps best to simply never supply sensitive information over email, we are fortunate enough to belong to a small community here at Pepperdine where it is easy to verify if someone legitimately needs your personal info. I personally abide by the old adage “if someone really needs my information, they’ll call (or write) back.” So please help protect yourself and Pepperdine’s network by following the above guidelines to avoid phishing scams.download (9)

If you would like more information on how to recognize and eliminate phising email, please visit Pepperdine Univeristy’s Phishing Information Page, check out the phishing FAQ, or view Examples of Phishing and suspicious emails.

TIP: Remember, you can always view the full address of a hyperlink by simply hovering over the link without clicking on it. If the address isn’t linking to a trusted site, DON’T CLICK!

Copyright and File Sharing

NOTE:  It is illegal to share copyrighted materials outside the permission(s) granted by the copyright holder.

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Source: Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement


To: All Pepperdine University Faculty, Students, and Staff

From: Jonathan See, Chief Information Officer

Date: January 12, 2015

Re: Your PERSONAL legal risks related to sharing of copyrighted files

The purpose of this memorandum is to notify you of your personal legal risks related to the sharing of copyrighted files. In short, if you download or share copyrighted files without the owner’s permission, you are breaking the law. These actions place you and your family at risk of facing serious consequences.

To that end, all Pepperdine faculty, staff, and students are responsible for knowing and understanding the contents of this memorandum on file sharing risks.

Some people may believe that recreational file sharing is likely to go unnoticed and that their activity on the Internet is largely anonymous or untraceable. This is not the case. It is illegal to share copyrighted music, videos, computer games, and software files over the Internet without the owner’s permission.

It is critical that you understand the following:

  • Pepperdine University cannot protect you from potential copyright-holder lawsuits, nor can it defend or represent you if a lawsuit is filed.
  • Illegal sharing using Internet access provided by Pepperdine violates the University’s Computer and Network Responsible Usage policy. When Pepperdine receives notice that you have used the University’s network to engage in unlawful file sharing, disciplinary action will be taken.
  • If you send or receive copyrighted files using peer-to-peer file sharing programs, you are most likely breaking the law. This is true even if you do not know you are sharing files; most file-sharing software uploads files from your computer by default.
  • You cannot have anything on your computer for which you do not have the legal rights. Before you download anything for free, research whether the copyright owner has licensed you the right to download the file.

What should you do today?

  1. You should delete any illegally obtained files and any file sharing software from your computers and devices.
  2. You should always use legal download or streaming services to obtain music, videos, and software.

Included below is information that you should know about copyright infringement and the associated legal and University penalties for engaging in it.

Thank you for your attention to this information.

***

What Constitutes Copyright Infringement?

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Act (Title 17 of the United States Code). These rights include the right to reproduce or distribute a copyrighted work. In the file sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without authority constitutes an infringement.

The laws that govern copyright are not specific to any one technology or type of work. For example, file uploading and downloading can result in a violation of copyright law, which protects songs, videos, games, textbooks, and any other type of creative content.

Any of the following activities can be violations of copyright law:

  • Uploading (or downloading) images, music, movies, television shows, E-books, or other copyrighted material through the use of peer-to-peer technology
  • Converting copyrighted material, such as videos found on YouTube, to an MP3 file
  • Purchasing a CD or DVD and then making copies for others.

You cannot have anything on your computer that you do not own, and you cannot share any file for which you do not have the legal rights. Before you download anything for free, you should research if the source provides material licensed by the copyright owner.

Civil and Criminal Penalties for Violation of Federal Copyright Laws

Individuals who engage in copyright violations, even unintentionally, can be subject to civil and criminal penalties. Anyone found liable for civil copyright infringement can be ordered to pay either actual damages or “statutory” damages affixed at not less than $750 and not more than $30,000 per work infringed.

For “willful” infringement, a court can award up to $150,000 per work infringed. A court can, at its discretion, also assess costs and attorneys’ fees. For details, see Title 17, United States Code, Sections 504, 505. Willful copyright infringement can also result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense. For more information, please see the website of the U.S. Copyright Office at http://www.copyright.gov, especially their FAQs at http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/.

University Penalties for Unauthorized File Sharing

Unauthorized distribution or receipt of copyrighted material is a violation of Pepperdine University’s Computer and Network Responsible Usage policy (http://community.pepperdine.edu/it/security/policies/usagepolicy.htm). Upon receipt of a copyright violation notice, the computer sharing the copyrighted files will be blocked on the Pepperdine network and the individual’s dean or supervisor will be notified; additional violations can result in further academic and/or administrative disciplinary action. Technical staff members are required to review the computer and certify that sharing of copyrighted materials is stopped and that all file sharing programs are removed.

For more information about the legal and policy issues surrounding file sharing and for information regarding legal alternatives for downloading copyrighted materials, please visit http://filesharing.pepperdine.edu.

Windows 7 Update Possible Problem

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The recent Microsoft update (Dec 10) has been reported as causing problems with some video drivers. There are some reports of system instability as well. At this time we are still recommending that users continue the best practice of keeping Windows auto-update enabled; however, if you’ve recently had trouble with video drivers it is recommended that you remove KB3004394.

Unconfirmed reports include problems with USB 3.0 drivers, the User Account Control (UAC) system, and Windows Defender service being disabled by the update.

Why wait for Exam day? Take a MOCK EXAM with SofTest TODAY!

2014-12-04_1021We highly recommend taking a Mock Exam with SofTest to verify the software is working properly on your laptop. Although SofTest should run fine on any computer you have taken an exam with before, it is always wise to test the SofTest software once again prior to exam day. You don’t want to run into any issues during the exam that you could have discovered if you had only taken a mock exam. It only takes a few minutes and its well worth the time to double check your system before it’s too late.

So why wait? Test out your SofTest environment TODAY!

For directions on how to take a Mock Exam, please visit the below ExamSoft tutorials:

How to Download a Mock Exam

How to Take a Mock Exam