March 2019

Preventing Identify Theft

The first week of March is National Consumer Protection week, which is designed to help people understand their rights as a consumer, and learn ways to prevent identity theft.

Below are some tips and tricks from EDUCAUSE about how you can help to prevent identity theft. They discuss managing your paper data, your digital data, and other things to think about.


Identity theft has become commonplace during the past decade. If you are reading this, it is a safe bet that your data has been breached in at least one incident. Does that mean we are all helpless? Thankfully, no. There is a lot we can do to protect ourselves from identity theft and to make recovery from incidents quicker and less painful.

One of the first things that you should consider doing, when looking to protect yourself from identity theft, is to take control of your credit reports. Examine your own report at each of the “big three” bureaus. Make sure there’s nothing inaccurate in those reports, and file for corrections if needed. Also, keep an eye on your credit report all year, space out your credit bureau requests by requesting a report from a different credit bureau every four months. You can request your report free once a year from each of the three agencies.

Next, practice good digital hygiene. Just as you lock your front door when you leave home and your car when you park it, make sure your digital world is secured. Some things that you can do to help keep your digital world secure are:

  • Keep your computer and smart phone operating systems up to date. When OS updates are released, make sure you apply them. They often fix errors in the code that could let the bad guys in.
  • Do the same for any of the applications that are on your computer or smartphone. Web browsers, plug-ins, email clients, office software, antivirus/antimalware, and every other type of software has flaws. When those flaws are fixed, you are in a race to install that fix before someone uses the flaw against you. The vast majority of hacks leverage vulnerabilities that have a fix already available.
  • Be careful about what you share on social media. Some of those fun-to-share-with-your-friends quizzes and games ask questions that are similar to “security questions” that can be used to recover your account or compromise your credentials.
  • Consider using a password manager for your personal accounts and keep a strong, unique password for every site or service you use. That way a breach on one site won’t open you up to fraud at other sites. For instance, if someone gains access to your social media account, if it has a different password than your other accounts, they would not gain access to your online banking account.
  • Check all your account statements regularly. Paperless statements are convenient in the digital age. But it is easy to forget to check infrequently used accounts such as a digital bank or credit card statement. Make a recurring calendar reminder to check every account for activity that you don’t recognize.
  • Manage those old-style paper statements. Don’t just throw them in the trash or the recycle bin. Shred them with a cross-cut shredder or deposit them in a secure shredding bin on campus. Data that is stolen from a trash bin or dumpster are just as useful as data stolen from a website.


EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit organization that provides information technology based articles to its members to increase the use and understanding of technology in higher education.

If you would like to read the tips from EDUCAUSE on its original web page, click here.


Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive is a file storage solution that is available to all Clark students, faculty, and staff. Microsoft OneDrive allows you to store documents, photos, and other files in the cloud for easy access. It also allows you to share those files with peers and colleagues both inside and outside of the Clark community. With 1TB of storage available for each community member in OneDrive, you can use this service for many different projects.

Remember though, while OneDrive is great for most of your files, not all information should be stored in the cloud. Click here to read about what information is protected by Clark’s Information Security Policy and shouldn’t be uploaded to OneDrive.

If you would like to learn more about how to use Microsoft OneDrive, here are some video tutorials from Microsoft about how to upload, organize, and share files with your OneDrive.

If you have any additional questions about your OneDrive, please contact the ITS Help Desk.


Using SmartArt to Share Your Ideas

Finding impactful ways to present our ideas is an important part of the storytelling process. This is especially important when we introduce new ideas, analyze challenges, and discuss the projects and processes that we are working on with our audience. Sometimes spreadsheets, PowerPoint slides, and pages of written text are not the right visual solution for our audience, the story we are telling, or the ideas we want to share.

However, there are additional features in Microsoft Office that can help us to present our ideas through customizable graphics. One such feature that is available in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, is SmartArt.

SmartArt allows you to use a variety of templates to present and visualize your data and ideas in more dynamic ways. Some of the templates that are available can help you visualize processes, hierarchies, relationships, matrixes, cycles, and lists. Each template, once inserted into your Microsoft file, can be customized. For instance, the color, size, font, and levels of a template can be changed. You can even switch layouts after you have entered your data, and SmartArt can be copied and pasted from one Microsoft file to another, such as from Microsoft Word to PowerPoint.

To learn more about what SmartArt can do, and how to use it, click here.






Using Moodle for Digital Assignment Submissions

Did you know that you can have your students submit their assignments digitally via Moodle?

At this point in the semester, you may find that your email inbox is beginning to fill up with a number of student assignments. Or perhaps you collect your assignments on paper and have stacks piled around your office. If you find these unwieldy, and if you want to be able to provide digital resources and feedback to your students, you should consider using the Moodle Assignment activity.

Some of the benefits of using the Moodle Assignment activity are:

  • It provides a space where students can submit work.
  • It allows you to collect all of the instructions, rubrics, examples, links or any other resource connected to an assignment in a single place. This can help your students keep track of all of the requirements and allow them to have quick access to the resources.
  • You can require students to submit one or several files, and they can submit files of many different types (Word, Excel, Powerpoints and many more). It’s is possible to have them submit work as a group.
  • Assignments can have deadlines and cut off dates.
  • Student submissions are together on one screen, which makes for a more organized grading experience for you and your TAs.
  • It is also possible to create Moodle marking guides or rubrics, which can make grading even more efficient.

Interested in using the assignment activity in your course? Click here to contact the Academic Technology team for more information.


Managing Clutter Email in Outlook

Reading and sorting through email can sometimes be the most time-consuming task during the day. It is all-too-easy for important messages to become lost and unread in the midst of other emails that aren’t junk, but just aren’t as important or urgent as others. The “Clutter” tool can help you solve this problem.

The “Clutter” tool in Microsoft Outlook is designed to help you automatically sort low priority email out of your inbox so that your most important messages are what you see first. The “Clutter” tool can be turned on and off in your Microsoft Outlook settings. If you turn the tool on, it will begin to monitor which email messages you read and which you don’t. Then, as the system learns about what types of email messages are important to you, it begins to filter messages you do not typically read into your “Clutter” email box. You can always read a message in Clutter, or remove it from the “Clutter” mailbox, and the system will continue to learn about which emails it should sort and which it should not.

Click here to learn more about the Microsoft Outlook “Clutter” tool, and to learn how to turn the tool on and off.


Clark University Bulletin Board System

Do you need to get the word out about your group, event, service, or anything else Clark related? CUBBS (Clark University Bulletin Board System) is a great way to get your message out the community, and it’s free.

CUBBS is an electronic signage system dedicated to promoting community events and campus-related communications. Any department or registered Clark organization is welcome to submit a message. CUBBS boards are located in prominent, high traffic locations such as the Academic Commons in the Goddard Library and in the University Center. Messages or “slides” posted on CUBBS play for about 10 seconds each on a continuous loop.

To learn more about the CUBBS digital signage service, please visit:


Get to Know Us: Sharon Griffin-Edson

Sharon Griffin Edson has been a part of the Clark community for an amazing 34 years, in a variety of roles in ITS. She is currently the Help Desk Coordinator.

Image of Sharon

When asked about her job, Sharon describes her work as supporting the Clark community with a wide range of IT issues with help from her colleagues and team of 25 student support staff. She also shares that the best part of her job is interacting with lots of different people, helping them solve problems and discover all the wonderful resources that IT offers.

Sharon is a Worcester native with strong community ties and close family nearby, including a daughter and two step-sons. She has a degree in Mathematics and secondary education from Merrimack College.

Outside of Clark, Sharon enjoys watching The Great British Baking Show and playing board and card games  – Rummikub is currently her  favorite. Beyond that, a perfect day for her would be a warm, sunny day on the beach with a good book and friends.

Are you interested learning more about the resources IT can offer? Click here to find Sharon’s contact information.