Phishing isn’t just email … SMISHING!?

Smishing is a type of social engineering that targets mobile devices (image from https://www.threatcop.com/)

Please be vigilant in how and where you share your personal information. There are nefarious actors at work on the web and they will do their best to try and trick you into getting access to your money and more personal information.

The current wave of smishing is concerning. There are systems out there that focus on finding a name associated with an organization and a mobile phone so that they can text you to try to fool you into revealing more information that will compromise your secure services (banking, amazon, netflix, insurance, etc.).

If they can find the name of a co-worker or some other person associated with you they will use that name to make their attack seem like a request from a friend or colleague … or even a boss.

Like anything else that seems a bit “off” just delete and move on. Don’t give it second thought … definitely don’t click or respond to anything that gives you pause.

Below is some helpful information pulled from a web page hosted by Norton, a leading cyber security services firm:

Smishing attack warning signs

Use these smishing attack warning signs to know whether a smishing text made its way onto your mobile device.

Suspicious phone numbers

Smishing texts may come from phone numbers that don’t look normal at first glance. They may stray from the typical 10-digit layout or a series of the same number. If you see this type of number accompanied by a suspicious-looking message, don’t respond and delete the text immediately.

Smishing protection tip: Never respond to suspicious text messages.

Links and files from unknown numbers

Smishing texts are almost always paired with links to fake websites capable of recording your sensitive information. That’s why if you come across one, never click it. And in the event you do click one, look out for signs of an unsafe site, such as no “http” in the URL or small differences that you’re not used to seeing. 

Smishing protection tip: Avoid clicking on suspicious links and files.

Urgent requests

Most phishing emails and text messages feature urgent requests to frighten the receiver. But any legitimate company will give their customers ample notice about pressing issues. Delete these messages, and if you’re still concerned after the fact, contact the company directly. 

Smishing protection tip: Never cooperate with urgent requests sent via text.

Money requests

Like urgent requests, you should delete text messages asking you to wire or transfer money over the internet. The likelihood that these are hackers disguised to try and steal your funds is extremely high. 

Smishing protection tip: Never comply with urgent requests for money via text.

Prize notifications

The thought of winning a prize is exciting to anyone, but the chances of winning a sweepstakes you haven’t entered is incredibly low. If you receive messages about prizes you won from an unfamiliar contest, avoid clicking on any links attached and delete the text.

Smishing protection tip: Avoid clicking on suspicious links and files.

(taken from https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-emerging-threats-smishing.html# on 8/12/2022)

Pepperdine’s App!

Pepperdine’s App

Experience Pepperdine from Your Mobile Device

Available for free download on the App Store and Google Play, the Pepperdine mobile app is a go-to resource for all students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of Pepperdine. Gain instant access to Courses, the campus shuttle tracker, dining menus, library hours, a stunning Pepperdine Magazine mobile experience, the Virtual Campus Map, and more.

Click for more information or to get to the download links

Tech Advisory Group

Want to have an inside view of the tech at Caruso Law? Help guide the development of services and more?

Join our Tech Advisory Group…

TAG you’re IT!

Please send a note to phillip.bohl@pepperdine.edu and indicate which program you are in (JD, LLM, MLS, etc.), your expected graduation year and include a brief description of what interests you in tech and any background information that may be relevant. No experience with tech is required!

Running out of Room?

Space really is the final frontier... isn’t it?

Clearing out space on your computer’s main storage (hard drive) volume doesn’t need to be scary or difficult.

Most uses of your computer require significant “free” space on the hard drive. When you try to do something (like use ExamSoft Examplify) that requires some free space, you may run into some errors or worse, you may be blocked from using that software all together.

Here are a couple of sites that may provide you with some help in removing some of the extraneous contents of your computer’s hard drive.

For Windows Users: https://www.maketecheasier.com/recover-free-space-windows-c-drive/

For Mac Users: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206996

Caruso Law School Computer/Technology Recommendations

If you are just starting out at Caruso Law, or heading back to school and looking to upgrade your system, please review the below information before purchasing your new laptop!

Nearly all Pepperdine Caruso Law Students use laptops for class, exams, and homework. While laptops are not required, they can be a very valuable tool in law school.  The following recommendations take into account services and applications that are often used in conjunction with Caruso Law classes and other curricular and extra curricular activities.

The Information Services team at Caruso Law provides assistance in configuring your laptop for the network. Please think very carefully before choosing a laptop brand or other hardware/software choice outside the recommended list, as you may be limiting your potential sources of support.

As a law student your laptop computer is a key tool.  Please keep this in mind as you think about how you will use it, the software you install on it, the websites you visit with it, the files/attachments you choose to download and where you store it when you are not using it.  You will want it to be functioning at optimum levels.  Theft, drops, malware, and other untoward variables will detract from your laptop’s ability to help you succeed in law school.

Below are the minimum Computer/Technology Recommendations:

  • Internet: Strongly recommend a rock solid internet connection with a minimum 20 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up.  This exceeds the minimum requirements for synchronous Zoom sessions (the absolute minimum is 600 kbps in both directions while recommended minimum is 1.5 mbps) but note that if you share your internet connection you will need more bandwidth to ensure a reliable, continuous connection.  Also please note that the age of your hardware (router, modem, cabling, computer) will play a significant role in reliability.
  • Manufacturer/Model: Dell Latitude Series/Apple MacBook Pro or MacBook Air
      • NOTE: We strongly discourage the use of Microsoft Surface computers.  Microsoft Surface systems may provide some challenges with ExamSoft software, this software is used by most students to take exams at Caruso Law and is used by the California Board of Bar Examiners for the state bar exam … along with most other state jurisdictions. 
  • Display: Minimum 11” screen – for improved readability, consider 13” or larger
  • Operating System: Windows 10 /Mac OS 11 or better
  • Processor: Intel i5 processor, Apple M1 processor, or greater (Make sure your system is compatible with ExamSoft)
  • RAM: 12GB – 16GB is recommended
  • Solid State Drive (SSD): 120GB or higher
  • Integrated WiFi or WiFi adapter: Newer is often if not always better
  • Media Drives: None necessary, but it’s always good to have a few flash drives handy. Keep in mind that these don’t last forever, don’t rely upon one flash drive to keep your work safe. AND have a backup solution.  LESS DOWN TIME
  • Battery Life: 4-6 hours, much longer is much better.  MORE UP TIME.
  • Spare Laptop Charger: If you plan to bring your laptop with you, keep one for home and one for travel.  If you lose one you have a spare.  NO DOWN TIME.
  • Warranty: 3 year parts/on-site labor. LESS DOWN TIME.
  • Security Lock: Don’t ever walk away from your laptop if it isn’t secured.  LESS DOWN TIME
  • Malware Protection Software: Make sure you have Anti-Malware installed.  Use the firewall that is build into your computer’s operating system.  MORE UP TIME.
  • Personal Printer: We strongly recommend HP Printers with an extra toner cartridge.  NO DOWN TIME.

Please visit the Minimum System Requirements page for the ExamSoft/Examplify system requirements to ensure that your system is compliant.

The Dell Latitude series is designed for a professional enterprise user and is not what you will find in a consumer-focused retail store.  We have found these systems to be very reliable and strongly recommend them to both students and faculty for their personal computing needs.  This recommendation is not meant to dissuade you from other manufacturers or even other lines of Dell computers, however, we know this line to be a great fit for a law student who needs a solid, reliable system for three years of challenging work (plus the Bar exam).

We do not recommend tablet-based systems. Nor do we recommend netbooks or Chromebooks.  You are certainly welcome to buy them but we don’t believe they will meet your needs in law school.  In fact, these systems do not work with ExamSoft Examplify at all so that should be a compelling reason to avoid the Chromebook/tablet acquisition unless you already have a serviceable laptop that meets the ExamSoft minimum requirements. Essentially, you can bring any device you want to law school. However, if you want to take exams and keep pace with the challenges of law school, you should purchase a high-quality, business class laptop, not a cheap off-brand version found on sale at a big box retailer. Remember, you want a system that is reliable and will last you through completing the BAR exam. You don’t want a machine that may crash in the middle of an exam!

MacBook ProThe Pepperdine University Computer Store (an online referral site) offers generous discounts to Pepperdine University students on software (MS Office is no cost to Pepperdine students and employees) and hardware. These discounts are often more than the typical education discounts that you will find online. The Computer Store can be accessed 24/7 online.

For purchasing as an enrolled Pepperdine student, please visit the Pepperdine University IT Department’s discounts for students web page or call Pepperdine University Tech Central at (310) 506-4811.

Please note that using a computer on the University network requires that you agree to the University Computer and Network Usage policy.

Graduation and Email

Hurray! You’ve graduated (or will soon graduate) from Pepperdine Caruso School of Law! The last thing on your mind is your Pepperdine Email account, but there are some things you need to know…

NOTE: You may have heard that Pepperdine had a service through the Alumni office that provided a Pepperdine Alumni branded email account for life from Google. This service has recently changed a bit in that it will not include the entire Google Suite.

  • The following information applies to all students graduating from any program at Pepperdine: Student email accounts, WaveNet, and other network-related resources are governed by university policy and managed by the university IT department. Student email accounts, WaveNet access, printing, Zoom, etc. will be deactivated 90 days after the date of the commencement ceremony.  That’s the actual graduation ceremony, not your official graduation date (that will be printed on your diploma). Note that in Spring 2020, the graduation ceremony was delayed by the COVID-19 Pandemic until Spring 2021 but those graduating in Spring 2020 still have a May 2020 graduation date on their diplomas.
  • Recent graduates will receive automated notifications in their student email inboxes 90, 60 and 30 days before account deactivation.  
  • After graduation a process starts that begins with your status changing from student to alumnus.  This process involves a file transfer that takes place sometimes several days (up to four weeks) after graduation.  Sure, you have the diploma but the system doesn’t recognize you as an alumnus until that file is transferred from the student system to the alumni system. Typically this takes place about a month after the date of your graduation.  That’s when all the automated stuff starts up.
  • On the fifteenth day of the month immediately after your graduation date you will get an email to your student email account.  This is a reminder message to encourage you to move out of your student email account and other Google-based services hosted for you by Pepperdine.
  • Note again, that student email accounts are disabled 90 days after the student’s commencement date (the day of the graduation ceremony).
  • Once an account is deactivated the data/emails in that account it is not recoverable.
email

You will want to use a personal email address going forward. We recommend that you use something professional, perhaps you already have such a personal email address. If you don’t, we recommend creating an email account on Google’s Gmail service.

If you plan to migrate your email from your Pepperdine Google email account to a personal gmail account you will want to ensure that you have a personal gmail account set up first. Then review these instructions all the way to the end before moving forward with the migration.

Part of this process should include your migration of the data from your Pepperdine Google Drive to your personal drive space. If you are migrating to another Google account, keep in mind that you may run into space limits on your targeted storage system.

Resources from Pepperdine’s IT department on this topic:

Account Changes When Transitioning from Student to Alumni Status
https://community.pepperdine.edu/it/alumni/
Transfer or Download Your Google Workspace Data(for new graduates)https://community.pepperdine.edu/it/alumni/email/datatransfer.htm

Alumni Email
https://community.pepperdine.edu/it/alumni/email/

After your student email address expires, no mail will be received at your student address. To make a smooth transition, we recommend:

  1. Set up your new personal (and professional) email address immediately when you get that email noted above.
  2. Forward your mail in Wavenet to a new email address — that new personal gmail address or another one you prefer. (Note that forwarding will only work up until your student email account is suspended.)
  3. Set up an out-of-office message in your Pepperdine Student Email (accessed through Wavenet) account informing all your contacts of your graduation and of your new email address. Log into Wavenet click on Options, and then update your Out of Office Assistant.

Just Do It: Mock Exam in Examplify

Don’t forget to do at least one Mock Exam in Examplify.

Note: Like potato chips, more is better. So you can do as many as 20 Mock Exams if you like. So do more. It’s better. Just remember, when you upload your new mock exam answer, it overwrites your previous submission.

The Mock Exam not only tests whether your laptop is ready for exams using the ExamSoft Examplify software, it will increase your familiarity with the Examplify software and how and where to find the various features of this product. It is not intended to be used as a study tool. You can type study answers in a word processing software of your own choice.

Mock Exam – scroll down to the video — it’s keyed so you can go directly to the Mock Exam part of the video.

Exam Instructions

Adobe Acrobat Pro and Editing PDFs

We are often asked about a reduced cost or free license for Acrobat Pro for students, faculty and staff.

If you are using a Pepperdine University-owned computer, chances are it already has Acrobat Pro installed according to the University’s site license with Adobe.

If you are not using such a computer (note that the Law Library lab computers and the CDO student computers have Acrobat Pro installed), and you need/want to edit PDFs, you will need to find/install your own PDF editor.

Pepperdine University does not have special pricing for Acrobat Pro for use on a personally-owned computer.

HOWEVER, there is a regular Adobe educational discount that students, faculty, and staff would qualify for. That product is significantly reduced from their regular pricing. 
You can link to the educational pricing for Adobe Acrobat here:  https://www.adobe.com/acrobat/pricing/students.html

Note that Adobe has made their entire Creative Cloud product very attractively priced when compared with the price for just Acrobat alone. For just a few dollars more a month you can have access to many more premium products from Adobe. If that isn’t interesting to you… then you will probably want to investigate other solutions…

You should also note that most word processors and other software will output in PDF format.  Granted, that won’t help much when you want to edit or modify PDFs but there are alternatives to Acrobat Pro that may be helpful to you and will be much cheaper.

There is a free service from Adobe called Acrobat online where you must create an account with Adobe to use their “free” software.  We have not tested this but it appears that they will use your Adobe account information to market paid services to you: https://www.adobe.com/acrobat/online/pdf-editor.html

Finally, you may find some success in online guides/websites that review PDF editors. As an example, Toms Guide is a pretty well established site that we refer to now and then.  They have a guide to PDF editors that may be helpful to you if you don’t want to pay for the Acrobat Pro subscription or sign up for Adobe marketing with their “free” offering: https://www.tomsguide.com/best-picks/best-pdf-editors

Finally, if you have a Mac, you will find that the built-in product “Preview” is a great tool for annotating your PDFs if that is all you need to do.

Free and discounted software for students: https://lawtech.pepperdine.edu/free-and-discounted-software-for-students/