Widespread internet outages caused issues Friday with UABbox, Qualtrics and the Alys Stephens Center ticketing system today. 

Find Box status updates here. Box assured its users that there had been no impact on customer data or the integrity of the service.

Qualtrics assured its users that although accessibility was affected, data was secure and had not been impacted. 

Learn more about the internet outages — caused by an apparent cyber attack — here. Popular sites like Twitter and Netflix were also impacted.
A new phishing attempt claims itself to protect email users from spam email. The phishing email, which comes from "UAB Admin Help," is an attempt to steal UAB users' information.

The email looks similar to the one below:

Phishing email 101216The email directs users to this page:

Phishing screen 101216

This email is not related to the campus-wide simulated phishing campaign that UAB IT is launching this month as a tool to educate campus users about phishing attacks that attempt to steal personal or financial information. Please visit uab.edu/phishing to get up-to-date information about the latest phishing attempts and tools to help you protect your information. Campus users can also download the PhishMe Reporter tool for one-click access to report phishing attempts. Follow UAB IT on Twitter for alerts on phishing attacks.

If you receive an email with a link such as “Click Here,” do the hover test. Hover your mouse over the link and look at the lower left pane to see where the link leads. Even if the page looks familiar, verify the URL or type in a URL you know before entering your information.

Look at the URL of the website you are visiting. 

To report suspected spam to AskIT, please follow the instructions here or download the PhishMe Reporter button for one-click reporting.

Follow these additional tips to avoid being a phishing victim:

  • Do NOT click links in messages that ask you to log in. Type a trusted Web address in your browser or Google for the Web site if you don’t know the address.
  • Never type personal, sensitive information (such as passwords or account numbers) on Web sites without verifying the Web site’s authenticity and security — look for an “https” in the address bar.
  • Verify the address. Malicious web sites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the address may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (.com vs. .edu).
  • Misspellings and grammatical errors can be a dead giveaway in phishing emails and subject lines.
  • If you are unsure whether a request is legitimate, contact the company directly. Do NOT use contact information provided in the request.
  • Don’t open attachments. They may contain viruses or malware that can infect your computer.
  • Protect your password. Information security and IT officials at both the university and UAB Hospital will never ask users for passwords or any other sensitive information.
  • Report suspicious activity. If you have any questions or you receive a suspicious email that you want to report, university employees and students can call the AskIT Help Desk at 205-996-5555. Hospital employees can call the HSIS Help Desk at 205-934-8888.
A new phishing attempt circulating to UAB inboxes asks users to update their email.

The phishing email looks similar to the one below:

Phishing alert 101116

This email is not related to the campus-wide simulated phishing campaign that UAB IT is launching this month as a tool to educate campus users about phishing attacks that attempt to steal personal or financial information. Please visit uab.edu/phishing to get up-to-date information about the latest phishing attempts and tools to help you protect your information. Campus users can also download the PhishMe Reporter tool for one-click access to report phishing attempts. Follow UAB IT on Twitter for alerts on phishing attacks.

If you receive an email with a link such as “Click Here,” do the hover test. Hover your mouse over the link and look at the lower left pane to see where the link leads. Even if the page looks familiar, verify the URL or type in a URL you know before entering your information.

Look at the URL of the website you are visiting. 

To report suspected spam to AskIT, please follow the instructions here or download the PhishMe Reporter button for one-click reporting.

Follow these additional tips to avoid being a phishing victim:

  • Do NOT click links in messages that ask you to log in. Type a trusted Web address in your browser or Google for the Web site if you don’t know the address.
  • Never type personal, sensitive information (such as passwords or account numbers) on Web sites without verifying the Web site’s authenticity and security — look for an “https” in the address bar.
  • Verify the address. Malicious web sites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the address may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (.com vs. .edu).
  • Misspellings and grammatical errors can be a dead giveaway in phishing emails and subject lines.
  • If you are unsure whether a request is legitimate, contact the company directly. Do NOT use contact information provided in the request.
  • Don’t open attachments. They may contain viruses or malware that can infect your computer.
  • Protect your password. Information security and IT officials at both the university and UAB Hospital will never ask users for passwords or any other sensitive information.
  • Report suspicious activity. If you have any questions or you receive a suspicious email that you want to report, university employees and students can call the AskIT Help Desk at 205-996-5555. Hospital employees can call the HSIS Help Desk at 205-934-8888.
A number of phishing scams have targeted UAB email inboxes in recent weeks, and scammers are faking UAB login pages such as the web email login page, UAB Security Challenge and Central Authentication System.

Two emails pretend to be notices about payroll and appear similar to the emails below: 

phishing payroll 3 100816

These emails are not related to the campus-wide simulated phishing campaign that UAB IT is launching this month as a tool to educate campus users about phishing attacks that attempt to steal personal or financial information. Please visit uab.edu/phishing to get up-to-date information about the latest phishing attempts and tools to help you protect your information. Campus users can also download the PhishMe Reporter tool for one-click access to report phishing attempts. Follow UAB IT on Twitter for alerts on phishing attacks.

If you receive an email with a link such as “Click Here,” do the hover test. Hover your mouse over the link and look at the lower left pane to see where the link leads. Even if the page looks familiar, verify the URL or type in a URL you know before entering your information.

Look at the URL of the website you are visiting. 

To report suspected spam to AskIT, please follow the instructions here or download the PhishMe Reporter button for one-click reporting.

Follow these additional tips to avoid being a phishing victim:

  • Do NOT click links in messages that ask you to log in. Type a trusted Web address in your browser or Google for the Web site if you don’t know the address.
  • Never type personal, sensitive information (such as passwords or account numbers) on Web sites without verifying the Web site’s authenticity and security — look for an “https” in the address bar.
  • Verify the address. Malicious web sites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the address may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (.com vs. .edu).
  • Misspellings and grammatical errors can be a dead giveaway in phishing emails and subject lines.
  • If you are unsure whether a request is legitimate, contact the company directly. Do NOT use contact information provided in the request.
  • Don’t open attachments. They may contain viruses or malware that can infect your computer.
  • Protect your password. Information security and IT officials at both the university and UAB Hospital will never ask users for passwords or any other sensitive information.
  • Report suspicious activity. If you have any questions or you receive a suspicious email that you want to report, university employees and students can call the AskIT Help Desk at 205-996-5555. Hospital employees can call the HSIS Help Desk at 205-934-8888.
A new phishing attempt that directs users to a fake Blackboard Learn login page is circulating in campus inboxes.

The phishing email looks similar to the one below:

phishing 100816


The phishing page users are directed to looks like this:

phishing2100816

This email is not related to the campus-wide simulated phishing campaign that UAB IT is launching this month as a tool to educate campus users about phishing attacks that attempt to steal personal or financial information. Please visit uab.edu/phishing to get up-to-date information about the latest phishing attempts and tools to help you protect your information. Campus users can also download the PhishMe Reporter tool for one-click access to report phishing attempts. Follow UAB IT on Twitter for alerts on phishing attacks.

If you receive an email with a link such as “Click Here,” do the hover test. Hover your mouse over the link and look at the lower left pane to see where the link leads.

Look at the URL of the website you are visiting. 

To report suspected spam to AskIT, please follow the instructions here or download the PhishMe Reporter button for one-click reporting.

Follow these additional tips to avoid being a phishing victim:

  • Do NOT click links in messages that ask you to log in. Type a trusted Web address in your browser or Google for the Web site if you don’t know the address.
  • Never type personal, sensitive information (such as passwords or account numbers) on Web sites without verifying the Web site’s authenticity and security — look for an “https” in the address bar.
  • Verify the address. Malicious web sites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the address may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (.com vs. .edu).
  • Misspellings and grammatical errors can be a dead giveaway in phishing emails and subject lines.
  • If you are unsure whether a request is legitimate, contact the company directly. Do NOT use contact information provided in the request.
  • Don’t open attachments. They may contain viruses or malware that can infect your computer.
  • Protect your password. Information security and IT officials at both the university and UAB Hospital will never ask users for passwords or any other sensitive information.
  • Report suspicious activity. If you have any questions or you receive a suspicious email that you want to report, university employees and students can call the AskIT Help Desk at 205-996-5555. Hospital employees can call the HSIS Help Desk at 205-934-8888.
PhishMe LogoPhishing emails put UAB IT students, faculty and staff at risk, so UAB IT is launching a new program that simulates such attacks to help educate the campus community about how to recognize suspicious messages.

“If a phishing email lands in one of our inboxes, we’re just a few clicks away from compromising UAB’s security,” said Dr. Curt Carver, vice president for information security. “This means UAB students, faculty and staff are an integral part of our information security posture.”

Beginning Oct. 5, UAB IT will be working with PhishMe Inc. to send fake phishing emails to students, faculty and staff. These emails will imitate phishing attacks and are designed to give users a realistic experience in a safe and controlled environment.

UAB IT will not be receiving or storing any passwords as part of this simulation.

There is no penalty for falling for one of the simulations, and users will not be singled out. However, users who have fallen victim to the phishing email will be asked to take 30-60 seconds to review the education material that is presented afterward.

“As the program progresses, users should be able to better spot phishing attacks, both at home and in the workplace,” said Brian Rivers, chief information security officer.

Users are encouraged to report suspicious emails to AskIT. To make that process easier, UAB IT is making available PhishMe Reporter, an add-on software plugin for Mac and Windows users who use Microsoft Outlook for email. Learn how to download PhishMe Reporter here.

You can also report spam or suspected phishing emails to AskIT via email. Learn how here.

For more information about phishing, visit uab.edu/phishing. UAB IT will also be updating that site with alerts about new phishing attacks. You can also follow UAB IT on Twitter for up-to-date phishing alerts.
CellPhones Onepagerv2UAB IT is debuting new cell phone rate plans that are designed to be more economical and easier to understand.

UAB has moved to the state cell phone rate plan. The new plans use shared minutes to eliminate overage charges and reduce overall costs, which will save the institution more than $70,000 over the next year. Users will be mapped to the appropriate plan based on a six-month average of their usage. New rate plans will be on the November bills.

Plans are priced by minutes needed, with an additional $4 administration fee, using the state contract rates.

View the current cellphones and rate plans UAB offers here.

Basic plans include unlimited Verizon to Verizon calls; unlimited night and weekend calls; and up to 100 text, photo and video messages. For an additional $12, basic plan users can add unlimited text, photo and video messages.

Smartphone plans include unlimited text, photo and video messaging; unlimited data; unlimited Verizon to Verizon calls; and unlimited night and weekend calls.

International usage will result in additional charges.

Data-only device plans are also available.
Cyber security is our shared responsibility — particularly at UAB, as we work to protect our personal information and university data.

NCSAM LogoOctober is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and UAB IT has a number of activities planned to boost awareness of what students, faculty and staff can do to protect themselves and our institution.

Did you know that 93 percent of Americans believe their online actions can help make the web safer for everyone — but 28 percent of Americans say they lack knowledge about ways to stay safer online. 

It is important for each of us to be aware of the increasing security risks of mobile devices, from laptops and tablets to smartphones and wearable technology, and 24/7 access to our personal data.
  • Protect Your Device: Add a passcode to your cell phone, tablet, or laptop right now!
  • Use Strong Passwords or Passphrases: Especially for online banking and other important accounts.
  • Check Your Social Media Settings: Review your social media security and privacy settings frequently. Enable two-step verification whenever possible.
  • Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest technology trends and security issues such as malware and phishing.
  • Get Trained: Contact your institution’s IT, information security, or privacy office for additional resources or training opportunities.

Among the activities planned this month:
  • Laptop Checkup for students: A free two-day security fair at which students can get help with malware removal and antivirus software; security checks and consultations and general troubleshooting on their personal laptops. UAB IT technicians will be at the Hill Student Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 4-5 to assist students on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • New phishing web site: UAB IT has launched a new phishing web site — uab.edu/phishing — that details tips to avoid being caught by a phish, and links to tools, such as Keeper password manager, that can help protect you. The site also has a feed of the latest stories about phishing attempts on campus.
  • PhishMe campaign: This campus-wide campaign will send simulated phishing emails to students, faculty and staff to help educate the UAB community about the dangers of phishing attacks. Students, faculty and staff can also download the PhishMe Reporter plugin for Microsoft Outlook to give them one-click access to report phishing emails.
  • Cyber security awareness: UAB IT will be distributing posters and other information with cyber security tips that can help protect your information and your devices.
  • Security training: Campus IT professionals will be invited to a cyber security training session.
Some UAB email users have been hit by two malicious attacks — a phishing scam and a ransomware attempt. UAB IT advises faculty, staff and students to be wary of suspicious emails. Do not click links or open attachments in emails you receive unexpectedly.

The phishing email claims a user's account was logged into from an unknown location. It looks similar to the email below:

Phishing 092816
The ransomware attempt includes an attached "proposal" that, when clicked, can cause a ransomware attack, which is designed to install software that can block access to a computer system until money is paid to the scammers. The current ransomware attempt looks similar to the email below:
Ransomware 092816
If you get ransomware
  • If a computer or device that is owned or managed by the university or is used to access or maintain sensitive UAB data, take action immediately.
  • Report it to UAB Information Security by calling 205-975-0842 or by emailing datasecurity@uab.edu
  • Don't pay the ransom. There are no guarantees when you are dealing with criminals.

What Is Ransomware?
  • Ransomware is malicious software that infects and encrypts your computer and its files, as well as other devices. 
  • Victims are asked to pay a ransom to get their folders, files, and devices unlocked.
  • Criminals use ransomware to extort money from individuals and organizations. A number of large health care providers and universities have been targets.

How Ransomware Typically Gets on Devices
  • You open an email attachment that downloads the malicious software, which then infects your device.
  • You open a shared document link in an email message, and the document contains ransomware.
  • You click a link in an email message that takes you to a malicious website where you are deceived into clicking on a link and downloading malicious software.
  • Once a computer or other device is infected, the malware begins encrypting files and folders on the device, local drives, any attached drives, backup drives, and potentially other computers on the same network.
Avoid phishing emails
If you receive an email with a hidden link such as “Click Here,” do the hover test. Hover your mouse over the link and look at the lower left pane to see where the link leads. 
Look at the URL of the website you are visiting. 

To report suspected spam to AskIT, please follow the instructions here.

Follow these additional tips to avoid being a phishing victim:

  • Do NOT click links in messages that ask you to log in. Type a trusted Web address in your browser or Google for the Web site if you don’t know the address.
  • Never type personal, sensitive information (such as passwords or account numbers) on Web sites without verifying the Web site’s authenticity and security — look for an “https” in the address bar.
  • Verify the address. Malicious web sites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the address may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (.com vs. .edu).
  • Misspellings and grammatical errors can be a dead giveaway in phishing emails and subject lines.
  • If you are unsure whether a request is legitimate, contact the company directly. Do NOT use contact information provided in the request.
  • Don’t open attachments. They may contain viruses or malware that can infect your computer.
  • Protect your password. Information security and IT officials at both the university and UAB Hospital will never ask users for passwords or any other sensitive information.
  • Report suspicious activity. If you have any questions or you receive a suspicious email that you want to report, university employees and students can call the AskIT Help Desk at 205-996-5555. Hospital employees can call the HSIS Help Desk at 205-934-8888.
Some members of the UAB campus community have reported phishing phone calls from scammers who indicate there are IT problems.

One call indicated the user's IP address had been compromised. This is a common phone scam designed to try to get users to give personal information or to give access to their computer to the malicious callers. 

If you receive a suspicious call, please contact your departmental IT representative or AskIT at 205-996-5555. On-campus IT representatives can help determine if there is truly a problem with your computer.
As a result of malicious phishing attacks, the UAB IT email system has had a large influx of spam over the past couple of days. 

The large volume of email generated resulted in congestion of message queues, causing some messages to be delayed for retransmission. Some other systems have blacklisted UAB addresses because of the spam.

The message retransmissions will be processed soon to address the delays. UAB IT has also taken action to have the UAB email system removed from blacklists.

UAB email users are urged to take precautions when clicking on links in email messages. Often malicious phishing attempts mimic UAB login screens. Check the URL to make sure you are logging in to an official UAB address; type a known address into your browser instead of clicking a link in an email. Learn more tips about avoiding phishing here.
A new phishing email that purports to be a message about changing your password is circulating among email users at UAB.

The fake email is likely an attempt to steal user information and should be deleted. Users who click on the link are directed to a site that mimics a UAB login site but has a non-UAB URL. A copy of the email is below:

Phishing password 092016
A similar fake email circulated recently with a message about payroll. UAB IT's Information Security division is actively working to block the phishing attempts.

If you receive an email with a hidden link such as “Click Here,” do the hover test. Hover your mouse over the link and look at the lower left pane to see where the link leads.


Look at the URL of the website you are visiting. 

To report suspected spam to AskIT, please follow the instructions here.

Follow these additional tips to avoid being a phishing victim:

  • Do NOT click links in messages that ask you to log in. Type a trusted Web address in your browser or Google for the Web site if you don’t know the address.
  • Never type personal, sensitive information (such as passwords or account numbers) on Web sites without verifying the Web site’s authenticity and security — look for an “https” in the address bar.
  • Verify the address. Malicious web sites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the address may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (.com vs. .edu).
  • Misspellings and grammatical errors can be a dead giveaway in phishing emails and subject lines.
  • If you are unsure whether a request is legitimate, contact the company directly. Do NOT use contact information provided in the request.
  • Don’t open attachments. They may contain viruses or malware that can infect your computer.
  • Protect your password. Information security and IT officials at both the university and UAB Hospital will never ask users for passwords or any other sensitive information.
  • Report suspicious activity. If you have any questions or you receive a suspicious email that you want to report, university employees and students can call the AskIT Help Desk at 205-996-5555. Hospital employees can call the HSIS Help Desk at 205-934-8888.
A phishing email purporting to be from a notification about payroll has hit several email inboxes among faculty and staff at UAB.

The fake email is likely an attempt to steal user information and should be deleted. Users who click on the link are directed to a site that mimics a UAB login site but has a non-UAB URL. A copy of the email is below:

Phishing 091916


If you receive an email with a hidden link such as “Click Here,” do the hover test. Hover your mouse over the link and look at the lower left pane to see where the link leads.

Look at the URL of the website you are visiting. 

To report suspected spam to AskIT, please follow the instructions here.

Follow these additional tips to avoid being a phishing victim:

  • Do NOT click links in messages that ask you to log in. Type a trusted Web address in your browser or Google for the Web site if you don’t know the address.
  • Never type personal, sensitive information (such as passwords or account numbers) on Web sites without verifying the Web site’s authenticity and security — look for an “https” in the address bar.
  • Verify the address. Malicious web sites may look identical to a legitimate site, but the address may use a variation in spelling or a different domain (.com vs. .edu).
  • Misspellings and grammatical errors can be a dead giveaway in phishing emails and subject lines.
  • If you are unsure whether a request is legitimate, contact the company directly. Do NOT use contact information provided in the request.
  • Don’t open attachments. They may contain viruses or malware that can infect your computer.
  • Protect your password. Information security and IT officials at both the university and UAB Hospital will never ask users for passwords or any other sensitive information.
  • Report suspicious activity. If you have any questions or you receive a suspicious email that you want to report, university employees and students can call the AskIT Help Desk at 205-996-5555. Hospital employees can call the HSIS Help Desk at 205-934-8888.
UAB IT wants to help protect students’ computers — for free.

The first Laptop Checkup for undergraduate students will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 4-5 at the Hill Student Center. Check-in will be in the front of the TechConnect store on the first floor, and the laptop security checks will take place in room 220.

Students are invited to bring their personal laptops for free security checks at the event, which helps kick off Cyber Security Awareness Month on campus. NCSAM

Volunteer technicians will provide security checks as well as free virus and malware removal for personal laptops. They will also install software and security updates, ensure that firewalls are enabled and update antivirus and operating systems. 

Students who participate will also learn best practices for protecting their personal computers against security threats.

Technicians will meet with students on a first-come, first-served basis; comprehensive checkups can take from 30 to 60 minutes. Students may have a short waiting time to see a technician.

For issues that may take more than an hour to resolve, students will be referred to TechConnect, UAB IT’s technology storefront at the Hill Student Center.

University-owned computers will not be checked at the event.

“Secure computing is our top imperative at UAB IT,” said Brian Rivers, chief information security officer for UAB. “The Laptop Checkup is a way for us to raise awareness of information security and help serve students and protect their data.”
BlazerWelcome

As students move back to campus and fall classes begin, we have some common answers to tech needs — and the places to go when you need help.

EMAIL
Every student has access to a free 50 GB e-mail account through Office 365. Students UAB email address (BlazerID@uab.edu).  They can access this through login to BlazerNet and select the email icon or go directly to the Office 365 website and login (outlook.office365.com). Through Office 365, all students get Microsoft Office software for free.  Log in to your email, select “Office365,” and the next screen will show the available office products.

WIFI
  • UABStarthere – Use this WiFi network first to connect and run the software install. Once you are connected, switch to the UABSecure network and “forget” UABStartHere; click here details on how to forget the network on each device.
  • UABSecure – This is the network to which you should connect to so you have a secure connection and faster speeds.
  • Dorm Wifi – If you live in a dorm, contact Apogee 866.578.8865 for assistance with dorm WiFi.
SECURITY
UAB Mobile App: We recommend you download the free UAB mobile app, which provides access to class schedules, Blazer Express schedules, maps, campus directory, news and athletics and Canvas Mobile.  Works with iPhone and Android mobile devices.
Rave Guardian: One of the best ways to improve your personal safety and protect your friends by building your own private safety network. This free app provides instant communications with friends, family, co-workers, UAB Police, and even 911 in the event of an emergency.  For information and access visit: uab.edu/emergency/rave-guardian.
Scams: UAB will never ask for your password via email or phone call. If you suspect you have received a phishing email, you should contact AskIT. If you suspect you have received a scam phone call, you should contact UAB Police.
Passwords: All students can get a free Keeper account to safeguard  passwords, including BlazerID passwords. Learn more from the UAB IT web page.

GET HELP
TechConnect is your on-campus tech store, located in the Hill Student Center, first floor room 135 (directly in front of the food court).  Visit the store for assistance with your computer, mobile device, or email access, or to purchase a new laptop and other essential computer items.  Access the TechConnect website uab.edu/techconnect to receive educational pricing on computers, laptops, tablets, accessories and more.
Contact AskIT to report problems or get help.

Download the full TechList here.
A faster, more convenient method for UAB faculty and staff to access software for UAB business purposes will debut Sept. 6.

The new solution will allow users to immediately install no-cost software and will quickly redirect users to the fee-based software purchase request.

More detailed instructions on how to use the new software download system will be available on Sept. 6. UAB IT will offer a software distribution process demonstration on Wednesday, Sept. 7, from 10 to 11 a.m. in Hill Student Center room 203. The demonstration is open to all UAB faculty and staff.

IT professionals across campus have worked with UAB IT to co-design the new solution for institutional software downloads.

The new solution uses Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), which is installed on most UAB-owned computers. If you have questions about SCCM, contact your department’s IT professionals.

When the new download solution debuts next month, the current software download site will remain live as UAB transitions to the new system for UAB-owned computers.

For software downloads for their personal home computers, students, faculty and staff can go to On the Hub.
If you call AskIT in the near future, you might receive help from Vice President and CIO Dr. Curt Carver.

Department leadership will be taking an active role in assessing how AskIT can improve how UAB IT serves campus — in some cases by answering calls and helping customers.

Curt HelpDeskCIO Dr. Curt Carver takes calls at the AskIT Help Desk.“This is one of our top priorities. I’m personally going to work to get this fixed,” Carver said. “We want you to experience quick, reliable service that enables you to get back to doing great work that helps change the world.”

Developing a responsive, proficient and courteous help desk is among the objectives in the IT Strategic Plan. Help desk improvements are part of an overall plan to create a world-class IT organization that builds trust with its customers and offers reliable services to exceed their needs and expectations.

In recent, weeks, a team from HDI, an association of technical support professionals, has been auditing AskIT to make recommendations on improving service. The goal is to improve AskIT’s maturity as a help desk to a 3-plus rating, on a scale of 0 to 4, in 24 to 30 months.

Over the next year, UAB IT will take several steps to making those improvements, including:

  • Updating equipment for technicians
  • Offering standardized training and customer service classes to AskIT staff
  • Hiring an associate director to focus on increasing customer service
  • Supplementing the current staff with additional technicians with customer service experience

UAB IT will also assess customers’ calls to help answer their questions and solve their problems more accurately and quickly.

“We’ll be looking at the top 10 reasons customers call us,” said Scott Sorenson, assistant vice president for process and quality management. “We’ll look at ways we can automate processes so we can answer customers’ questions faster.”

As customer service maturity improves, UAB IT will analyze the results to ensure continuous improvement.
Browsing web sites, shopping online, playing Pokemon Go — there are dozens of ways we go online every day. While no browser, app or device can be perfectly secure, learning safe browsing habits and practicing them every day can help you be safer and more secure online.

When you are reading e-mail or browsing online, be on the lookout for suspicious links and deceptive web pages, which are major sources of malware. CyberSecurityTip Icon

Also be careful when selecting browser plugins, apps, or other downloadable files since they can introduce new vulnerabilities.

Here are some suggestions to make your day-to-day online browsing more productive, safe, and secure.

  • Keep your browser software up-to-date. Be sure to install antivirus updates and regularly check for and install browser plugin (e.g., Adobe Flash and Java) updates.
  • Be more secure! Make sure a URL includes HTTPS before entering any personal information.
  • When in doubt, ignore. Don't click on pop-up windows or extraneous ads.
  • Keep your private information safe. Use a strong, unique password or passphrase for each account, and avoid storing account information on a website. Consider using separate browsers for sensitive logins and general web browsing. UAB IT offers a free password tool, Keeper, to help students, faculty and staff keep their passwords secure.
  • Use private networks for sensitive transactions. Avoid checking your bank account, making purchases, or logging in to other websites that include sensitive information when using public Wi-Fi. Make sure that on campus you use the UABSecure WiFi network, rather than UABStartHere.
  • Go stealth when browsing. Your browser can store quite a bit of information about your online activities, including cookies, cached pages, and history. To ensure the privacy of personal information online, limit access by going "incognito" and using the browser's private mode.
A $2.5 million investment in the university’s research network will improve network speed not only researchers but also for faculty, staff and students.

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees has approved $2.5 million for the project, which includes $500,000 from the National Science Foundation and $2 million in UAB institutional funds.

The research network upgrade will create a significant competitive advantage for researchers in genomics, personalized medicine, cyber security and other disciplines, as it couples with high performance research computing expansions to allow the transport of very large data sets.

The upgrade will include installation of a 100G edge upgrade with a science DMZ, border firewall and intrusion prevention system. The investment would speed network connectivity at least 20-fold.

“This upgrade is a critical strategic investment that will greatly facilitate high performance research in a number of areas,” Vice President and CIO Dr. Curtis A. Caver Jr. said.

Improvements in the research network will also benefit the network across campus. UAB IT has been working on a number of initiatives to strengthen network connectivity:
  • Increasing raw fiber bandwidth from 10 to 100 GBps to Nashville and Atlanta, which increases capacity for the campus community and helps facilitate the use of cloud storage systems like UABbox and OneDrive.
  • Partnering with content delivery network Akamai to deploy an internet caching switch, which will increase internet bandwidth 20 to 60 percent across campus.
  • Deployment of a separate 40 GBps network and associated science demilitarized zone dedicated to research centers and traffic.
TechConnect's new Notebook Program offers students lower prices on a laptop they want, bundled with the on-campus service and support they need.

Through the TechConnect Notebook Program, students can purchase one of three Dell laptops at up to $238 off retail prices, along with a service program that allows them to get support at the on-campus TechConnect storefront in the Hill Student Center. For a limited time, each Notebook Program purchase is also eligible for a $200 gift card from Dell, increasing the savings.

If a computer needs to be serviced for a prolonged period, students in the program are furnished with loaner laptops so that their studies can continue uninterrupted until their regular device is functioning properly.

Students or parents can purchase from TechConnect's web site or in the store. The storefront takes a variety of payment options, including credit cards, Blazer Bucks, Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Products can be ordered and paid for online now, with pickup available prior to the start of the fall term.

More information about the Notebook Program is available here.

TechConnect also offers affordable tablets that have been tested by UAB IT to work in the university's learning environment and that can complement students' primary devices.