Tag Archive: Security

Windows 7 Update Possible Problem


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.

Spamfilter at Pepperdine

Spam is every bit the reality in our email inboxes as the junkmail that comes in our postboxes; though often more obnoxious and potentially more dangerous. The University has made great improvements in the last few years to protect users from spam.

If you suspect that you’ve missed a message because it was blocked by the spamfilter, or if you’d like to customize the features of the anti-spam services here at Pepperdine, log in to spamfilter.pepperdine.edu. Provided by a company called Sophos, this system will allow you to retrieve any messages that might have been incorrectly labeled as spam as well as manually add email addresses that you wish to allow to email you, by-passing the filter, or block from sending you email.

Additionally, University Information Technology provides a list of Frequently Asked Questions with answers. However you may wish to review all their help files concerning spam to educate yourself fully.

Finally, Microsoft Outlook also has Spam/Junk E-mail controls. Here’s an excellent overview video (approx. 6mins):

Backup Your Data Right Now

Since I’m passing on good material from other blogs, here’s another. Legal Geekery has a great post entitled Backup Your Computer Right Now. He recommends SugarSync. If you want a personal service, I’d recommend Mozy or DropBox (which I personally use).

Most law students take all of their notes and compile their outlines on laptop computers. However, it seems few law students bother backing up their data. Without backing up, law students are gambling with all of that irreplaceable data. Some people back their data up using a thumb drive which they then keep in their laptop bag. This is insufficient. If you keep your backup data in the same place as your laptop, they could both get stolen or ruined at the same time. Not backing up your data? You’re playing Russian roulette with your data and most likely your grades. Don’t do it.

We recommend that you do more than just use a digital backup.  You should also print out your outlines periodically and yes, USE A SERVICE.

But you don’t need to go out and get your own service. Here at Pepperdine we offer UNLIMITED online storage available anywhere by using your Pepperdine Google Drive. You can access it from google.pepperdine.edu


More info on Google Drive as well as all the Pepperdine Google Services can be found here: http://community.pepperdine.edu/it/tools/storage/googledrive.htm

Security: Protect Your Laptop

sophosbadgeViruses, worms, ad-ware and spyware, and theft, are examples of SEVERE risks to your computer in a public, networked environment. You MUST PERFORM THE STEPS LISTED BELOW if you wish to use your computer at Pepperdine or you could face repercussions including loss of network access, data loss, and system failure.

  1. Maintain up-to-date virus protection software on your computer. The University’s IT department supports Sophos for faculty and staff for students, University IT recommends Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows and Sophos AntiVirus for Macs.
  2. Regularly install all Critical Updates from http://update.microsoft.com. You should begin checking Microsoft Update constantly, starting now. You can also configure your Windows computer to check automatically for updates every time you connect to the Internet.
  3. Keep Adobe Flash & Reader and Java Updated. A great browser-based tool for checking how current your web-related tools are is Qualys Browser Check.
  4. Keep your computer’s operating system and office products up-to-date
  5. Do not install peer-to-peer file-sharing software or other high-risk programs. Attempt to eliminate any programs that might already be installed by running a spyware/adware removal product such as Spybot Search & Destroy or Ad-aware.
  6. Buy and use a computer security cable for your computer to lock it down when it is not attended. (Alarm-equipped cables are NOT recommended.) We highly recommend that you never leave your belongings alone, especially in quiet areas like the Law Library, as the School of Law is open to the public.
  7. Do not click on links in unsolicited email messages
  8. Do not open an email attachment unless you are expecting it or have checked with the sender.

Remove Personal Info

Need to remove Personal Information (aka Metadata) from your Word documents before sharing with others? It’s easy to find and remove hidden data and personal information

You can use the Document Inspector to find and remove hidden data and personal information in Word documents.

  1. Open the Word document that you want to inspect for hidden data and personal information.
  2. Click the File tab, click Save As, and then type a name in the File name box to save a copy of your original document.

 Important   It is a good idea to use the Document Inspector on a copy of your original document, because it is not always possible to restore the data that the Document Inspector removes.

  1. In the copy of your original document, click the File tab, and then click Info:


  1. Under Prepare for Sharing, click Check for Issues, and then click Inspect Document:


  1. In the Document Inspector dialog box, select the check boxes to choose the types of hidden content that you want to be inspected. For more information about the individual Inspectors, see Information the Document Inspector finds and removes
  2. metadata3Click Inspect.
  3. Review the results of the inspection in the Document Inspector dialog box.
  4. Click Remove All next to the inspection results for the types of hidden content that you want to remove from your document.


Forgot Your Password? MyID Reset

The MyID PIN Reset outlines the process for resetting a forgotten password via MyID:

1. Go to: https://myid.pepperdine.edu

2. Click Option 2: Click “Forgot Password”
myid13. Enter your NetworkID.
4. Type the letters displayed in the picture.
5. Select the check box (to allow PIN text message)
6. Click “Request PIN” myid2

7. You will receive a confirmation message, click “Close”
myid38. Retrieve the PIN from your alternate email or mobile phone. Enter it here and click “Validate”
myid49. Enter your new password twice and click “Reset Password”
*Please Note: If your password does not meet our complexity requirements, you will see a red X next to the issues that need to be fixed.myid5
10. Password reset was successful. Please close your browser.
myid6Password Tip: Don’t Get Locked Out!
Update passwords you stored on your mobile devices, too!

Network ID Services

Important update:

Password resets are now being handled by MyID.pepperdine.edu rather than NetworkID.pepperdine.edu. Email redirects, directory preferesnces and contact information will still be updated through NetworkID.pepperdine.edu for a few months while those services are migrated to the new MyID.pepperdine.edu platform.

If you haven’t ever setup your NetworkID Services, there’s no better time than now.

Password resets are the number one call we receive at the Help Desk. By logging in now and setting up a NetworkID profile you can later reset your password using either your cell phone, a non-Pepperdine personal email account or the more familiar secret question methods commonly available on websites.

A NetworkID profile provides critical information to verify the identity of any user who has forgotten or needs to change their password.

Benefits of a NetworkID profile:

  • Self-Service Password Reset
  • Change Verification Method
  • Change Email Delivery Options
  • Edit Directory Preferences and Contact Information

In addition you can find access to the new Google Apps at Pepperdine. Signing up for this service enables your Pepperdine Email via the popular Google Gmail system as well as offering access to other great Google Apps: Drive (for online collaberation), Calendaring (for scheduling), Google Talk (for chat) and more. Please note that if you chose to use Gmail to manage your Pepperdine email account your email will no longer be available via Webmail.Pepperdine.Edu

Google Drive Storage Increase



Pepperdine has just received the official upgrade to unlimited storage for Google Drive. Now is a great time to look into how this tool can help you make your data more available across more platforms, provide backup and additional security for your cloud based applications.

Our friends at University IT have put up some helpful guide information. Check it out today. Note that they haven’t updated the page to reflect the new limit increase.

Here’s another great article on Google drive with helpful video. Anson Alexander has done great work to make the product accessible to new users–very thorough.

Change Your Password

Login Form Image

You’ve probably seen or heard of the myriad of recent news headlines where popular organizations like Twitter or Evernote have been hacked. These organizations assure us that our data is not compromised, and advise us to change our passwords or they promptly change our passwords for us to reduce the amount of damage a hacker can do. There is often more to the story, and even passwords we think are quite clever may be cracked with relative ease. The blog Ars Technica featured a couple of stories recently about passwords, which I recommend you read. There are a few examples of presumably safe passwords that were cracked with relative ease. The first article described how a blog editor managed to crack passwords with some basic tools, and can be found here. The second is a follow-up article, where the consulting hackers took a shot at the same list. You can view that one here. They are both fairly detailed but I encourage you to read all the way to the end.

There is a convenient graphic that illustrates the complexity of certain passwords, which I also encourage you to read. It can be found here.

Safe passwords are hard(er) to crack. You cannot rely on a website to properly encrypt your password, as we have seen in the news so often lately. Password managers can be a useful tool to generate random passwords for you, if you are concerned you cannot come up with a good password. The downside is that these passwords will be nearly impossible to remember, which then requires a master password that you can remember. There are a number of password applications out there, KeePass and LastPass among the more popular options. Which one you choose is up to you. Be sure to look for apps for your chosen smartphone as well, so you can be safe from whatever device you are using.

Our own Julie Tausend also recently wrote a post on information security. In it, you’ll find links to university services and policies that can be useful to you in securing your information. You can also go straight to the source for passwords and other types of security at community.pepperdine.edu/it/security.

Be safe out there, and be sure to CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS!

Microsoft Adds 2-Step Authentication

Microsoft Logo

Microsoft has implemented an important security measure that you should know about. Other services like Google (and recently Apple) have already offered similar security measures, making Microsoft a little late to the game. Microsoft had used this feature in specific instances in the past, but now offers it across all your accounts. If you use Hotmail, Outlook, or other Microsoft services, you now have the ability to secure your account with 2-Step authentication. 2-Step authentication, in short, is a way to ensure that the person logging into the account is the actual owner, and requires an additional step to log into an account.

If it has been a while since you last logged in, Microsoft will first require you to authenticate yourself by submitting a code they will send. The form is pre-populated to ensure the code is sent to an account you own.

MSN Authentication Setup

When you receive your code, you need to enter it in the form and click submit. If you are on a personal computer that isn’t shared with anyone else, you might check the box to avoid adding the code in future visits. If your computer is shared, or you are on a public computer, do not check this box.

MSN Authentication Setup Security Code

Once you submit your code, you should be taken to your account page. From there, you can choose to set up 2-Step authentication.

MSN Authentication Setup Complete

Setting up 2-Step authentication is pretty straightforward. If you’ve gone through the previous steps, the process should look familiar.

MSN 2 Step Verification Start

You will need to choose where the code is sent, and then submit the code to verify your account belongs to you.

MSN 2 Step Backup Code

MSN 2 Step Enter Code

Once you’ve submitted your code, you are done. 2-Step authentication is now set up.

MSN 2 Step Complete

While this may seem like a lot of trouble, and adds a bit of nuisance to your log-in process, the effort is worth it – particularly with Microsoft accounts. I use an old account with my various MSN services, and it is frequently being locked out by people who share a similar name. This will ideally reduce the number of times I have to reset my password due to lock-outs. Other than this convenience, the account is that much more secure. It is a good idea to keep your important information as secure as possible. 2-step authentication is one of many avenues available to you.

Google users have had 2-step authentication for some time now. Apple recently added 2-step authentication to iCloud and Apple ID. Now that Microsoft is using 2-step authentication, all three major mobile device brands are helping you secure your information. It is up to you to let them help.

As always, you can find helpful security tips here on LawTech, or on the Information Security site. Let us know if you need any help getting started.