Kansas State University


IT News

Tag: laptop

Laptop thefts increasing

K-State and the surrounding neighborhoods have seen a significant number of laptop thefts in 2010. K-Staters need to take precautions to prevent opportunistic theft and protect K-State and personal information when computers are stolen.

  1. Never leave a mobile device unattended and unsecured, even if it’s in your office or behind a closed door. (Laptops have been stolen in less than a minute, when students went down the hall or employees stepped out of the office just for a moment.) Continue reading “Laptop thefts increasing”

Q/A: Parents' IT questions at New Student Orientation

Q. My student just got their eID. How soon will it be activated?
Almost immediately.

Q. How many students are using laptops in classes?

  • In the residence halls, about 98 percent of students have laptops.
  • Less than 25 percent of K-State students overall are using laptops in classes.
  • More students are starting to use laptops in K-State’s technology classrooms.

Q. Will K-State faculty/staff ever ask for my student’s eID password?
Never in an e-mail, and only rarely under other circumstances. The IT Help Desk or any IT staff member would only ask for the password as a last resort or in an extreme situation to get the user up and running as soon as possible — and only when the user has initiated the request for help.

Q. How are security cables used to protect laptops?
Continue reading “Q/A: Parents' IT questions at New Student Orientation”

Tips for buying a Netbook computer

A new computer craze has been hitting the IT world over the last year. It’s called Netbooks. These tiny, ultra-portable computers are attractive for those looking for inexpensive, ultra-portable computing power. The concept appears to have evolved from the One Laptop Per Child initiative that sought to make small, portable, cheap, kid-friendly computers. A promotion during the 2007 Christmas shopping season gave one computer to a child in need and one to the purchaser for $400 total. This promotion was met with strong enthusiasm from the media and had mobile workers excited about the possibility of small, cheap computers.

The excitement turned to frenzy when Asus announced their consumer-oriented Netbook–the Eee PC. This Linux-powered computer sold for around $250 and is the catalyst for the current Netbook boom. In a span of a little over a year, we have gone from one manufacturer making Netbooks to nearly every computer manufacturer offering  some version of a Netbook. With the proliferation of the Netbook platform,  a rough guide to help with the quest for that perfect Netbook is provided below.

Continue reading “Tips for buying a Netbook computer”

Reminder to departments: PGP encryption purchase commitments due Dec. 5

The impending bulk purchase of PGP Whole Disk Encryption software for K-State laptop and desktop computers was announced in last week’s InfoTech Tuesday.  K-Staters are reminded that this Friday, Dec. 5, is the deadline for reserving licenses for your department at $38 each.  Campus departments interesting in purchasing licenses must send the following information to Harvard Townsend (harv@k-state.edu) via e-mail by 5 p.m. Friday: Continue reading “Reminder to departments: PGP encryption purchase commitments due Dec. 5”

Q/A: Time required to install Vista service pack?

How much time does it take to install Microsoft’s Vista Service Pack on my PC?

Installing the Microsoft Vista Service Pack is a task best approached with planning and 1.5 hours of time. The Vista service pack provides critical protection for your computer from unwanted security risks and improves performance.

Users often come to the IT Help Desk asking for assistance installing the Vista service pack. Read on for a checklist to follow for installation. Continue reading “Q/A: Time required to install Vista service pack?”

SIRT selects PGP for laptop encryption; purchase commitments needed

After an extensive evaluation, K-State’s Security Incident Response Team (SIRT) has selected PGP Whole Disk Encryption (PGP WDE) as the recommended product for protecting data on laptops. Given the propensity for laptops to get stolen (another faculty laptop was stolen out of a K-State lab this week), whole disk encryption is a critical tool for protecting data stored on laptops. Also, a draft data classification policy being reviewed by IRMC this fall will require whole disk encryption on K-State laptops that store confidential data. Continue reading “SIRT selects PGP for laptop encryption; purchase commitments needed”

McAfee Safeboot laptop encryption demo Friday, Sept. 5

A subcommittee of SIRT has been evaluating whole disk encryption software for laptop computers and is close to making a product recommendation.  One of the candidate products is McAfee Safeboot, and SIRT has arranged a WebEx demonstration of the product so others can learn about it and provide feedback.

The WebEx demo will take place 9:30-10:45 a.m. this Friday, Sept. 5, in Union 213. During the first 15 minutes, Harvard Townsend, K-State’s IT Security Officer, will provide an overview of the project — the motivation, requirements, evaluation process, and cost estimates. McAfee representatives will then join in at 9:45 a.m. via WebEx and phone for the demo. Some subcommittee members will be available after the demo to receive  feedback and answer questions.

Hardly a day goes by without hearing news of the theft of a laptop containing confidential data.  Should a laptop get stolen, encrypting the data protects it from being misused for things like identity theft or financial fraud.

SIRT intends to recommend an affordable standard encryption product that departments or individual faculty/staff can buy for their laptops to provide another layer of protection and keep K-State’s sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands.

Airports a major threat to laptops

According to recent studies, about 16,000 laptop computers are lost or stolen in airports in the United States and Europe EVERY WEEK. That translates into nearly 900,000 per year and, according to the studies conducted by the Ponemon Institute on behalf of Dell, about 60 percent of the laptops are never recovered or reclaimed. Continue reading “Airports a major threat to laptops”