Microsoft Office 2016 for PCs will be available for download for faculty and staff in early October.

Office 2016 will be available for download from the UAB IT software site, after Microsoft releases it to volume licensing customers.

Office 2016 has new versions of applications including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Outlook. The Office 2016 apps are designed for collaboration, with new features that remove barriers for team success and allow co-authoring and Skype in-app integration.

Quick Start Guides for Office 2016 are available here.

Office 2016 is already available for Mac users and is available for UAB students through Office 365.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015 19:11

Tech support phone scam targets UAB

UAB staff should be aware of a potential scam in which a caller posing as tech support staff asks for the IP address of office printers — possibly to try to gain access to recently printed documents or to try to scam you into paying for unnecessary support.

A UAB staff member recently fielded such a call.

Similar scams have occurred around the country in recent years. In some scams, the caller is attempting to gain access to the printer or other systems. In others, the caller pretends to offer support for a fee — which can rack up unnecessary charges.

The Federal Trade Commission offers tips for what to do if you suspect you are a victim.
The Administratrive Systems page, which many UAB staff and students use to access systems and applications across campus, is becoming interactive. Those who want to test the new site can access it here; that temporary link is not available off campus. When the new site goes live, it will be available at the current Administrative Systems page link.

UAB Web Communications and UAB IT collaborated to redesign the page so that users can custom configure the buttons that access various systems, from Banner to Oracle to Xtender.

The default layout shows the systems in alphabetical order, but users can click the “Configure Layout” button to rearrange the buttons, add or remove them.

A user’s customized layout is retained in the web browser when he or she returns.

Active system alerts and other important messages will also be displayed on the page.

Redesigning the Administrative Systems page was an idea proposed on SPARK, UAB IT’s platform for crowdsourcing innovation.

UAB IT recommends as a best practice that campus users access systems through the Administrative Systems page, rather than bookmarking systems, so that they can get up-to-date information and alerts as well as the correct links to those systems.

Fiber cables serving Denman Hall were accidentally damaged by a construction crew Thursday, affecting service to the UAB network, physical security network and Apogee ResNet at the residence hall.

Telephone service at Denman was not affected.

Construction crews have begun replacing the conduit and fiber cables, with service estimated to be restored by early next week.

We apologize for the interruption of service, which was out of our control.
UAB faculty members have a new online tool to help them manage their professional information — a place to document grants, publications, professional activities and teaching.  The Faculty Profiles system is currently being rolled out across the UAB campus.

The tool automatically downloads publications from eight major indexing sources into each individual profile. Grants data is downloaded from IRAP.  Publications that are not captured automatically or grants that are not included in IRAP can easily be manually entered. Two additional features document teaching activities (drawn from Banner, the student system) and other professional activities, as selected by each faculty member. Altogether, the Profile provides each faculty member with a single system in which to manage their accomplishments.

Faculty Profiles is also designed to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations, while standardizing reporting of faculty activities. The tool creates a profile page for each faculty member, viewable by other UAB faculty members. No confidential information is posted to the profile.

“This is a wonderful tool that centralizes our accomplishments,” said Dr. Midge Ray, associate professor of Health Services Administration, School of Health Professions and faculty coordinator for the UAB Faculty Profiles tool.

“The new Faculty Profiles system is a great tool for compiling a list of publications for our quarterly department faculty meeting, our annual report and our faculty pages for the departmental web site,” said Dr. Cynthia Owsley, the Nathan E. Miles Chair of Ophthalmology and Vice Chair for Research Administration, UAB.

Faculty in Health Professions, Engineering, Optometry and the Libraries have been trained on the tool, and it is currently being rolled out to the Schools of Dentistry and Medicine and College of Arts and Science. The School of Education is on target for training in fall 2015, Ray said.

The development and implementation of Faculty Profiles, a Symplectic Elements software, has been overseen by the Faculty Activities Committee, which includes representatives from all of the schools and the college and libraries.
Adobe Acrobat Pro X will reach “End of Core Support" on Nov. 15, 2015.

"End of core support" means that Adobe will no longer provide patches for this version, and any exploits discovered will not be corrected. Since Adobe will not support this version after November, it will become a security risk.

UAB IT strongly encourages users to upgrade to a newer version of Adobe Acrobat. 

Adobe subscriptions are available under the IT Software Library website under Adobe Software. You may also submit a request to AskIT directly from this website.
A new phishing email is hitting UAB users' inboxes, purporting to be from "Staff Portal." 

phishing staffportal
Users should not click the link in the email. The URL has been blocked from campus, but the login page is a replica of a UAB page with university branding. Phishing emails are usually an attempt to gain access to steal your personal or financial information.

phishing fakelogin

If you receive an email with a hidden link like “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. 

You should only enter your UAB credentials at UAB .edu web sites.

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.
SignageScreens copy

Digital signage offers a dynamic, vibrant and even interactive way to deliver targeted messages to campus audiences.

UAB IT now provides campus departments with a comprehensive digital signage solution. All customers have to do is manage their message.

Campus customers can order one or multiple signs, and UAB IT will handle the purchase and installation of the signs as well as host the content management platform. Departments will manage their own signage content, which can range from slideshows, video, web pages, RSS feeds, weather and more.

Digital signs can be used to publicize campus or department events, share information, promote recognition and provide directions.

Integration with campus-wide emergency management alerts is coming soon to UAB IT’s digital signage solution.
Wednesday, 05 August 2015 19:18

Office 2016 for Mac available for download

Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac is licensed for faculty and staff to install on UAB-owned machines at no cost.

The software can be downloaded from the IT Software Library

Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac comes with new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and adds OneNote.

UAB IT highly recommends users look at the Office 2016 for Mac Quick Start Guides.

Before installation:
  • Please make sure your Mac has all of its operating system updates installed.
  • Check to make sure the needed hard drive space is available (2.5GB for download and 5.6 after install) of approximately 8.2GB.
  • Close all Office applications before beginning the installation.
It is recommended that users uninstall Office 2011 by following these steps on the Microsoft site.

  • Download the linked .ISO file.
  • Open the ISO and launch the package.
  • Follow the prompts in the Office installer package, taking the defaults.
  • Run Microsoft Office updates.
The new versions of the Microsoft Office 2016 applications will be located in the root of applications and not in an Office folder as they are in Microsoft Office 2011.

Current Office 2016 Preview users do not have to uninstall the preview version before installing the release version.
Wednesday, 05 August 2015 15:22

Phone scams continue to target UAB students

ScamAlertUAB students continue to be targets of phone scammers who impersonate law enforcement officers or IRS representatives.

Students at universities across the country have been targets of similar scams, in which malicious callers make threats about alleged debt. Although the phone scammers often know personal details about students -- such as their majors -- students should know there has been NO breach of protected information at UAB. Such information is often publicly available in student directories or social media.

 According to UAB IT’s Information Security division, students need to know:
  • No law enforcement body will call them and threaten to arrest them over the phone.
  • The attackers can spoof a police station phone number or a government number so the call will look like it is coming from such an office.
  • UAB has not suffered a breach that resulted in this scam.

More information about IRS scams is available here.

  • Do NOT provide Social Security numbers, birth dates or any other personal information.
  • Ask to call the “officer” or "IRS representative" back, take down their number and call the number back.
  • Ask them to meet you at the police station in question, if they claim to be from a police department.
  • When in doubt, hang up and call the UAB Police Department at 205-934-4434.
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