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Communication and Technology Services

CaTS Quarterly Winter 2015

 

Think Before You Click

 

You’ve likely seen them even if you didn’t know what they were.  Perhaps you deleted them without giving much thought.  Maybe you clicked on a link or attachment that on the surface didn’t appear to do much.  By now most people have seen or heard about an email request promising a share of a financial windfall from a deceased overseas relative.  While most wouldn’t fall for that, today email scams and phishing attempts are getting more difficult to identify.  Many are well-disguised to appear as legitimate messages from various banks, UPS, FedEx, PayPal, Amazon, and especially this time of year, the IRS.  They even go so far as to use company logos or email addresses that appear to come from the company they represent.

 

Unfortunately, because they are so well-disguised, many of these emails are able to pass through our email filter and appear in your Inbox.  Clicking on a link or attachment could have serious consequences. An attachment could install a virus or malware on your computer, which could then be used to potentially steal your username, password and other sensitive information. Clicking on a link could potentially do the same or take you to a very legitimate looking page that asks you to verify your personal information.  Here are a few examples that we’ve seen recently.

 

Note the attachment in the email below that includes zip.txt in the file extension, a pretty good indicator that it includes files that could be dangerous if opened.

   

  

 

News 10 recently did a feature on the email below regarding child predators.  These emails provide links that could install malware on your computer.

 

  

 

One of the more troubling schemes that has been spreading quickly is called “Ransomware”, an attachment that when launched locks the documents on your computer, rendering them unusable until you pay a ransom to get the key to unlock them.  The ransom can be as much as $1,000. 

 

So how do you know what’s real and what’s not? 

·         Be skeptical of any and all email that contains links or attachments. 

·         Make sure you know who it came from and that the link or attachment is consistent with the context of the message

·         When in doubt, delete the email

·         Just opening the email itself is generally not a problem.  Clicking on a link or attachment is usually required to do harm.

 

Keep in mind most banks and companies will not ask you to submit personal information via email.  Do not respond to unsolicited emails or telephone calls from an unknown or untrusted source.  Verify the identity of an individual claiming to represent an organization by contacting the organization directly.

 

If you accidentally click on a link or attachment, don’t panic.  Call the help desk and provide them with as much information as possible to determine whether a threat exists.

 

 

A Closer Look at CaTS Services

 

The CaTS Print Shop provides a full range of services including graphic design. Our team of graphic designers can turn text, photographs, charts and more into an attractive design and layout. We produce newsletters, calendars, posters, signs, pamphlets, brochures, logos, notecards, letterhead, curriculum and classroom materials, event programs, invitations, electronic resources for web and social media and even special packaging. From large jobs to small, simple to complex, our designers approach every task as a challenge no matter how unusual.

 

Here are a few examples of the work we do.

   

 

Projects can come into the shop in any state; from nothing more than an idea you have in your head, to raw materials, to partially-finished documents, to items that just need a touch-up.  Digital files may also be turned directly into plates for printing on offset presses.  Digital files are reviewed for accurate preparation or hidden problems to ensure there is no loss of time, money or quality in the printing process.

 

For more information about our graphics service or to explore ways our printing and graphics team can help you, please call 349-9074 or email us at printshop@monroe2boces.org.

 

 

Did You Know?

 

The CaTS building serves as a central mailroom and hub for BOCES and district interoffice mail.  Our couriers travel between BOCES sites each day to collect and drop off mail and other items circulated between BOCES and district staff.  District couriers also stop at CaTS on a daily basis to do the same.  We do our best to sort the mail to get it where it belongs but it is not always as easy as it sounds. 

 

Many interoffice envelopes have incomplete information making it difficult to determine where they should go.  It’s not unusual to get an envelope labeled with only a name, or addressed to “high school” with no district.  We’d prefer not to do so but occasionally we need to open the envelope and look at the contents in an attempt to determine where it belongs. 

 

To help us ensure mail gets to the appropriate destination as quickly as possible, please label envelopes and other items with complete information including:

·         the full name of the person you are sending it to,

·         the district (or BOCES), and

·         the building, site or department name 


Please avoid using acronyms if possible.  In addition, including the name of the person it is from will allow us to contact them should there be any questions. 

 

 

How Do I?

 

The Snipping Tool, available in the more recent versions of Microsoft operating systems, is a simple yet powerful tool that can be used in a number of very practical ways.  The Snipping Tool allows you to capture all or a select portion of your screen viewing area.  You can access the Snipping Tool by clicking on your start menu, selecting “All Programs” and looking in the “Accessories” folder.  You can also click on the start menu and type “Snipping Tool” in the search bar.  Once you find it, I recommend right clicking on it and adding the Snipping Tool to your taskbar for easy access. 

 

  

 

Yes, I used the Snipping Tool to quickly create the image above.

 

When you open the Snipping Tool, your screen will dim and a small box (see below) will pop up.

 

 

 

For most purposes the “Rectangular Snip” will meet your needs, but you do have other options you can experiment with.  Selecting “New” activates your pointer to begin the screen capture.  With the Rectangular Snip, it’s best to start in the top left corner of your image, click and drag your pointer to stretch the rectangle around the area you wish to capture. When done your image will open into a new window where you have options to save, send via email, draw, highlight or erase.  Again, I recommend you experiment with some of these options to learn how they can be used.

 

Here are some practical tips for how the Snipping Tool can be used in your daily work.

 

How many times have you received an error message or pop-up window on your computer that you’re not sure what to do with?  When you call the help desk, generally they will ask you to describe what you see or tell them what the message says.  By that time the message may have disappeared so you’re only able to give them bits and pieces of what you recall.  My advice, click on the Snipping Tool, drag your pointer to capture the image and send it via email directly to techsupport@monroe2boces.org.  Now they can see exactly what you see.   

 

Perhaps you’ve found a website with a small piece of content you would like to share with your class but the entire webpage may not be entirely appropriate to display.  Use the Snipping Tool to capture and display only what you need.  Once an image is captured, it can be inserted into a Word document or PowerPoint presentation like any other image. 

 

Finally, for Wincap users, it’s not always easy to print what you see on your screen.  The Snipping Tool will allow you to capture only the part you need, save your image to a file and print like you would any other image. 

 

These are just a few examples but I’m sure you’ll find many more uses for the Snipping Tool. 

 


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