February 2024

Tool Spotlight: LastPass

illustrated image of a computer and phone with password locks and checks

Recently, Clark University has partnered with LastPass, a password management application, to help students, staff, and faculty on campus protect their passwords and keep their accounts secure. There are multiple ways to access LastPass on your device or phone for ease of use.  

Why should I use LastPass?

We’re often told to create strong, complicated passwords and avoid reusing the same ones for different sites and apps in order to make our online lives more secure. Since most of us have so many accounts for different purposes, however, it can be difficult to create and remember so many passwords. 

Fortunately, LastPass can store all your passwords securely, so you don’t have to worry about remembering them. This allows you to use unique, strong passwords for all your important accounts (rather than using the same password for all of them, which you should never do). 

In addition, many password managers are helpful because they can: 

  • synchronize your passwords across your different devices, making it easier to log on, wherever you are, and whatever you’re using 
  • help spot fake websites, which will protect you from phishing attacks 
  • let you know if you’re re-using the same password across different accounts 
  • notify you if your password appears within a known data breach so you know if you need to change it 
  • work across platforms, so you could (for example) use a single password manager that would work for your iPhone and your Windows desktop 

How secure is LastPass?

Clark’s implementation of LastPass has been designed to maximize the level of security, to the highest possible. Multiple departments, including ITS, rely on LastPass to protect credentials. The combination of LastPass and its integration with your existing Clark credentials in Microsoft, required password complexity, and multifactor authentication offers enhanced security of your content within LastPass. This architecture requires both LastPass and Microsoft be compromised to access our Vaults.   

Is there a difference between letting my browser save my passwords and letting LastPass save them? 

Yes. Because “very few people ever log out of their browser profile,” passwords stored in your internet browser such as Chrome, Safari, or Firefox are left “decrypted and available” most of the time, according to LastPass employee Amber Steel. With a password manager, “encryption and decryption happen locally on the device” and therefore provide an extra layer of security.  

How can I learn more?

Click here to check out the Lastpass page on the ITS website! 

Technology Training Spring Workshop Schedule

Coffee cup with the words "Time for Training" laid over white paper with doodles, charts, and academic symbols in bright colors.

File Management 101 

Monday, March 11 at 2 PM – Zoom  

Feeling file fatigue? Join ITS to learn strategies and best practices for organizing and managing files, clearing digital clutter, and determining storage solutions. In this workshop, we’ll go over: 

  • Naming conventions 
  • Sorting file/folder hierarchy 
  • Pros/cons of different storage solutions 
  • Guidelines for file retention and deletion 

Click here to register!

Adobe Acrobat Basics 

Thursday, March 28 at 10 AM – Zoom  

Learn how to edit, create, annotate, organize, and digitally sign PDFs with Adobe Acrobat. Powerful and user-friendly, Acrobat is one of the most popular PDF apps on the planet, with built-in text recognition, drag-and-drop editing, easy page organization, and file compilation. PDFs are ideal for public-facing communications or forms as their formatting stays consistent across different applications, browsers, and devices. 

In this workshop, we’ll go over: 

  • Combining PDFs 
  • Creating fillable PDF forms 
  • Adding your digital signature to a PDF 
  • Making PDFs more accessible 

Click here to register!

Setting Up Shared Libraries in OneDrive & Teams 

Wednesday, April 10 at 1 PM – ASEC 111 or Zoom (Hybrid) 

Harness the power of cloud computing to take control of project or departmental documentation, collaboration, and file storage. Shared libraries allow you and your colleagues increased storage capacity, seamless collaboration, and greater permission control over documents, folders, and changes.  

In this workshop, ITS will go over:

  • Differences and similarities between OneDrive and Teams
  • Permission management
  • Document retention
  • Best practices for file transfer/migration

Click here to register!

Tool Spotlight: Microsoft Sway

Lesser known than its older siblings such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Sway joined the Microsoft family in 2014. Since then, it has grown substantially into an intuitive and unique app perfect for newsletters, announcements, portfolios, and presentations.  Sway is an online app that can be accessed through your Clark Microsoft account.  

How do I access Sway? 

  1. Log into you.clarku.edu
  2. Under Web Services, click Email
  3. Click on the grid of dots in the upper left corner of the screen
    1. Screenshot of Outlook for Web application
  4. From the listed apps, select Sway. If you don’t see Sway in this list, click Explore all apps at the bottom of the pane.
    1. Screenshot of Microsoft 365 apps pane

How do I create a Sway?

Once you open the Sway app in your internet browser, you can create a Sway based on a template, or view tutorials to get started.

Screenshot of Microsoft Sway homepage in internet browser  

What makes Sway unique?

Sways are designed to be viewed online, unlike most documents or presentations, so no software is required to open, edit, or view them. Each Sway has a specific, stable, and user-friendly link you can share with students or campus partners so they can follow along or revisit your presentation, article, or report later on. Best of all, it’s easy to embed media like images, videos, links, and documents within the Sway itself  

How can I learn more?

Check out this sample Sway from ITS below, or Book an appointment with the technology training specialist!


Educause’s 7 Things You Should Know About Generative AI


Wires leading to a glowing computer key labeled AI

In 2024, generative AI is on track to become more powerful and more present in our daily lives. You may have noticed Amazon now uses AI to summarize customer reviews of its products; or heard that AI might be integrated into Google Maps soon. While AI undoubtedly affects the ways we interact with the internet in our personal lives, it also creates unique challenges and opportunities within the field of higher education.  

EDUCAUSE, a national organization for the advancement of technology in higher education, recently evaluated academia’s relationship to generative AI. A year after the media frenzy that marked early 2023, EDUCAUSE summarizes what you need to know about AI and its implications for institutions like Clark University moving forward.  

Click here to read this highly recommended article: 7 Things You Should Know About Generative AI 

Special thanks to Alexander Magid, Clark’s Information Privacy and Compliance Analyst and member of EDUCAUSE’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Advisory Committee, for recommending this article. 

Get to Know Us: Lara Winter

A woman with red hair, dressed in a blazer, smiles at the camera

This month, we say hello to Lara Winter, ITS’s Business Analyst and Report Writer.  

A native New Englander, Lara Winter recently returned to the East Coast after spending 7 years in the Twin Cities at the University of Minnesota in the Technology Commercialization office, which allowed her to get a first look at all the fascinating inventions spinning out of the U. Her curiosity also extends to other fields; she has a criminology master’s degree in Transnational Crime, Justice & Security from the University of Glasgow. 

In her work, Lara helps people help themselves: she spends time automating and standardizing processes so her team can focus on solving problems creatively. Her favorite part of her job is solving those puzzles and building new processes piece by piece. As she says, “It’s satisfying seeing a slogging process turn effortless and streamlined.” 

Outside of work, Lara enjoys exploring and collecting relics in her favorite video game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and competing with her sister to learn Swedish on Duolingo. This winter, she’s hoping to try snowshoeing and share her favorite horror movie recommendations with other aficionados of the genre.  

If you’d like to chat horror movies, video games, or learn more about the puzzles Lara solves in ITS, contact her here!