Need a computer? There’s an app for that!

Are you neck-deep in study and need a studious place with a studious computer to get it done? Need to know where computers are available at a campus near you? Good news everyone! There’s an app for that.

Common-use computers are available in all campus libraries and in our aptly-named computer labs. Some labs are open 24/7 and you can check out the library hours to see how long you can hang out.

You can even check if there are computers available in your favourite library or lab, before you trek all the way to uni.

If your assignment is a doozy that requires all sorts of specific software, you can find out if the lab you’re heading for is the best option by checking available software. More good news? All common-use computers come with Google, for any truly curly questions!


myGriffith: it’s your student portal

Photo of a girl sitting on the floor with a laptop

If you’re a current student, you’d be well aware of myGriffith. However if you’re starting this trimester, there are a few things you need to know about this key portal.

myGriffith is the starting point for everything at Griffith. It’s your student portal which is personalised to you and can be accessed on any device, anywhere, anytime.

It provides a homepage with links to all the Griffith sites you’ll rely on while studying at Griffith. These include

  • A link to your Student Email
  • Your student timetable
  • Feedback
  • Campus maps
  • Transport and parking
  • Learning@Griffith
  • Griffith Library
  • My courses
  • Study support
  • Personal support
  • Student life
  • Employment
  • My key contacts

Take a look around – you’ll find some links are essential (like your timetable and student email), while some are just super handy (such as study support and employment).

Why not even customise it? You can add a photo and edit your quick links to ensure they display the most appropriate links for you.

If you’re feeling a bit confused with your myGriffith, check out the myGriffith user guide for students, or the further support resources available.


Get Microsoft 365 for free!

Are you studying in Trimester 3?

If so, you’re probably taking this time now to ensure you’re fully prepared for the coming trimester. Enrolling in classes, buying notepads, ensuring your personal computer has all the software you need.

But, before you go buying Microsoft Office for your computer, did you know that as a Griffith student you can get Microsoft Office 365 for Education, free?! Yes. Completely free. No strings attached!

Enrolled Griffith students can download Office 365 for Education directly from Microsoft and install it on up to five devices. These include PCs, Macs and mobile devices including Android, iPad and Windows tablets.

Microsoft 365 for Education includes:

To download, simply go to the Microsoft Office website, type in your Griffith email address, and click get started. Then follow the prompts to download onto your personal device.

Super enthusiastic about Microsoft Office? Once it’s installed, you can access free training to learn how to use the products or improve your existing skills.

There’s also a handy Student Resources centre where you can access an array of templates to make putting your document together easier. Want a schmick resume, poster or report template? #sorted. The Student Resources centre also has training tutorials and blogs with handy tips.


Are you a cyber security warrior or sleepwalker?

It’s already October and it would be easy to ask where has the year gone?

But we’re pretty excited because this month, the world is celebrating National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

We are hearing almost every day in the news about the latest breach or hack (not to mention the foreign prince who wants to marry me). So it’s time to brush up on some good practices around passwords, data protection and your online identity.

‘Too hard basket’ you say? Not now we’ve found the perfect place to start with some easy basics: Australia’s Stay Smart Online website.

Tips to protect yourself online
This isn’t just for your desktop, don’t forget you need to protect all your devices: laptop, mobile, tablet.

Passphrases

  • Use different, strong, hard-to-guess passphrases on all your devices.
  • Don’t arbitrarily mix letters, numbers and symbols to make a password. Instead, create passwords that are more memorable.
  • Don’t use your street address or numeric sequences such as 1234567.

Protect your stuff

  • Griffith students get free anti-virus software, so download or update it now!
  • Install adequate firewalls.
  • Set a password or pin; make sure they are different.
  • Install reputable anti theft/loss protection—your device’s retailer or service provider can provide recommendations.
  • Use your device’s automatic update feature to install new applications and operating system updates as soon as they are available.
  • When you get rid of a computer or device, make sure you have removed all your personal data and try to clean the hard drive.

Be cautious with emails

  • Be suspicious of emails from people you don’t know or that look unusual—it may be spam email with malicious software attached.
  • Don’t share your email address online unless you need to and consider setting up a separate email address just to use for online forms or shopping.
  • As much as possible, have separate email accounts for personal and business use.
  • Use a spam filter to catch dangerous messages before they get to your inbox.
  • Delete spam messages without opening them and never reply to them.
  • Do not open any attachments if the source of the message is unknown or suspicious—do not enable macros on documents from an untrustworthy sender.

Wifi

  • Protect your wireless connection with a strong password.
  • Make sure remote management on your modem or router is disabled.
  • If you are using public wifi, make sure your computer has its firewall enabled, your software is up-to-date and you have a good anti-virus program installed.
  • Don’t use public wifi for sending sensitive emails, accessing your online banking or using your credit card while connected (and make sure your apps with this information are closed).

You can also visit Griffith University’s Cybersecurity website for more info and tips.


Protect your computer against viruses

As a uni student, your computer possibly contains 1353 words of your essay due next week (eeek!) and three gazillion gigabytes worth of photos from your entire life (well, this semester anyway).

With great love comes great responsibility. You need to take care of your computer so it doesn’t catch a virus.

According to PC Mag: ‘The effect of the virus may be a simple prank that pops up a message on screen out of the blue, or it may destroy programs and data right away or on a certain date. For example, the famous Michelangelo virus contaminated the machine on Michelangelo’s birthday’ (PC Mag Encyclopedia).

The sad face emoji isn’t sad enough to express how crummy it would be to lose all the data on your computer.

So, what can you do to protect against these viruses? Well, most importantly, ensure you have anti-virus software installed on your computer!

As a Griffith student, you can download Symantec Endpoint Protection through our Software Download Service for free. Yes, it’s free! So there’s no excuse not to do it.

Just follow our instructions to access the Software Download Service, select the Symantec Endpoint Protection folder and your operating system, and run the executable file.

If you want further protection, you could also download Norton 360 or Norton Internet Security. While these incur a fee, Griffith Students get 50% off, and we reckon that’s an alright saving! You can find out more about Norton Student Savings here.

Once you’ve gotten your anti-virus software sorted, there are a few more things to you can to do protect against computer viruses, so check out our post on how to secure your virtual world, and keep yourself protected online.


Use WhatsApp? You better read this

Where would we be without modern technology?

Probably getting lost a lot more frequently (no Google Maps to save us), not nearly as connected socially, likely going outside more often, and we’d have a lower chance of developing arthritis in our hands from excessive texting.

Modern technology helps us stay connected and on top of things. But just as fast as technology is evolving, hackers and cyber security threats are evolving too.

Now, we don’t suggest you put on a tin-foil hat and revert to using an old Nokia block phone. But you do need to be mindful of information security threats.

WhatsApp is a useful app; it allows us to easily stay in contact with friends around the globe. You know what’s not so great though? When things go wrong and a phising scam steals your bank details and personal information.

A new scam sent by an unofficial ‘The WhatsApp Team’ claiming ‘your subscription will be ending soon’ is currently in circulation.

The fake message warns that in order to continue to use the service, you need to update your payment information. The email includes a link for victims to sign in to a customer portal and update their details.

Warning: it’s a trap! If you follow this link, your personal and financial details can be exploited by cyber criminals.

So, if you receive this message – ignore and delete!

And stay safe: online, in bed, on the roads, in general.

Find more information at the Stay Smart Online page.


Is your email address safe?

You shop online using PayPal with complete confidence, don’t click on funny looking attachments, and are pretty certain that no, that Nigerian prince does not want to marry you.

You may think, ‘yeah, cyber hacks happen, but I’m careful, so they won’t happen to me.’ But, we ask you, please: be vigilant like Batman. Make your cyber world Batman’s Gotham City.

Recently, a cybersecurity researcher discovered a ‘spambot’ (tool for sending spam), comprising of an open and accessible server in the Netherlands which contains 711 million credentials including email addresses, some with passwords, collected from various data breaches.

Obviously you want to be like Batman (who wouldn’t?), so of course, you should be vigilant and check that your email address isn’t on this list.

It’s easy too – just visit Have I been Pwned and type in your email to check.

We’re also quite aware that it’s the 21st century, and most people have more than one email (personal, uni, your old hotmail from high school with a username you’d like to forget). Again, be vigilant – check them all!

Griffith is being vigilant too. Our Cybersecurity team has investigated and no Griffith University system has been compromised in this attack. However, a number of Griffith University email addresses were found on the Spambot list.

What does this mean? Basically, your Griffith account should be safe, unless you are in the habit of using the same password for Griffith systems as you use for external sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, web forums etc, or are in the habit of reusing the same password or a small group of passwords in rotation over and over again.

If this is the case and you do use the same password at Griffith as you do for other non-Griffith systems, please change your Griffith password immediately.

For more information on how to stay safe online, check out our Cyber Security webpage.