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  • IT Services encourages student use of multiple, unique passwords.

    Posted on October 10th, 2012 admin No comments

    Password safety is a practice that is sometimes easily forgotten in a day and age where everything is computerized and requires a password. However, its importance is as relevant as ever.

    “Although we haven’t had a major breach that has affected over 100 people since 2005, we normally see about 30 individual Miami accounts compromised per month.” Joe Bazeley, Information Security Officer at Miami University, said.

    A compromised Unique ID password can result in grade, account and financial information being stolen, according to Bazely. However, he offered several easy ways that students can protect their passwords.

    “Two of the most common password mistakes students make are having weak passwords and only incrementing them when they need [to be] changed,” Bazeley said.

    Bazeley said most students simply choose a normal word, capitalize the first letter and put a number at the end when making their Unique ID password. This makes it easier to guess someone’s password, according to Bazeley.

    “This mistake can easily be prevented by using passwords that don’t spell out actual words and can easily be remembered by the student.” Bazeley said.

    For example, Bazeley suggests making a password something like “[email protected]” instead of something simple such as “Redhawk11.”

    The most common mistake, however, is using the same password for multiple sites, according to Bazely.

    “Then, if someone gets your password at one site, they can log in as you at many different sites. So if you use the same password at Facebook and at Miami, if I get your Facebook password then I can go into your Miami account.” Bazeley said.

    This can be prevented by simply coming up with a unique, strong password for each account, whether it be at Miami, on Facebook or on an online bank account.

    While these tips on creating a password can protect a student’s account, compromised accounts are often due to preventable circumstances, according to Cathy McVey, senior director for Information Technology communication.

    “[One example is] if you’re at the library and you login, but walk away,” McVey said. “If you don’t log out before you walk away, anybody can go onto your account. They can use your computer and have access to all your info.”

    “Also, one big problem on the internet is ‘Phishing,’” McVey said. “This is where somebody sends an email that claims and looks to be from a trusted source such as Miami University or a students’ bank in order to obtain private account information.”

    McVey said neither Miami nor a student’s bank will ever ask for password information. If a student receives an email that asks for such info, the email should be ignored and reported, according to McVey.

    While students must take an active role in the protection of their passwords and account info, Miami University also takes several steps to protect students, according to Bazeley.

    “Miami systems are configured with what we call the 10-10-10 rule, which means that if a user account enters 10 wrong passwords within a 10 minute period of time that the account will be locked out for 10 minutes.” Bazeley said.

    This prevents hackers from using systems that guess your password thousands of times per second until it’s discovered.

    Additionally, Miami University has a system that automatically disables spam, which protects students from Phishing attacks, according to Bazeley.

    Other preventative measures taken by Miami include mandatory password changes and logout times, according to McVey.

    “We also require students to change their password every 180 days,” McVey said. “Sites such a Niihka and Bannerweb automatically log out after 15 minutes of inactivity to ensure that nobody can get onto your computer if you leave it. However, people can still access your account within that time, so it’s important for students to log out before leaving their computer.”

    (original source)

  • Florida may hit the road with new license plates.

    Posted on October 10th, 2012 admin No comments

    Florida’s well-known license plate, featuring two oranges and an orange blossom, could be jettisoned in the next two years.

    State officials are drawing up plans for a redesigned plate intended to make it easier to catch scofflaws who go through toll booths as well as people who run red lights. The new plate would be rolled out to motorists in 2014 and 2015.

    Julie Jones, executive director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, said it is difficult right now for cameras to read the old license plates that feature raised lettering. Jones said so far this year that there have been 2.8 million unreadable tags.

    The effort to switch to a new flat plate so far appears to have the backing of Gov. Rick Scott.

    “It’s not fair if you pay for a toll and somebody else doesn’t,” Scott said Tuesday.

    Florida has roughly 18 million registered vehicles and most of them feature the basic Florida tag that says either Sunshine State or In God We Trust at the bottom. Some of the tags also feature the county that the motorist resides in.

    On the drawing board right now there are four different plates with a much simpler design containing black letters. Each of the four designs includes either an orange or orange slice on it, but at the top of the plate instead of in the middle of the tag. The county designation would no longer be included on the plate.

    The state plans to put the four designs on the Internet and let members of the public vote on which one they prefer.

    Jones said the $31 million it will cost to manufacture the new plates will not be passed on to motorists. She said that the state will recover the cost of the new plates from people who have not updated their tags as required under law.

    Tags currently cost $28, but motorists pay the cost of the plate over a 10-year period.

    Jones pointed out that Florida’s specialty tags — which include popular plates for the University of Florida and Florida State University — will not be replaced with the new flat tags until the existing plates are sold.

    The final decision on the new license plates still has a few more hurdles. Scott, members of the Florida Cabinet — which oversees the motor vehicles agency — and the Florida Legislature will have to give final approval to the switch to the new plates.

    (original post)

  • Disbarred Lawyer Turns Himself In On Grand Theft Charges

    Posted on August 31st, 2012 admin No comments

    A disbarred Sarasota personal injury lawyer turned himself in on 8/28/12 on eight counts of grand theft, allegedly victimizing a World War II veteran among others.

    Scott Schieb arrived at Sarasota Police Department headquarters for the charges, having bilked $200,000 from victims, according to the police department.

    Schieb was being investigated for seven months following his disbarment from the Florida Bar Association in October 2011, according to police.

    The Florida Bar filed a complaint with the Twelfth Judicial Circuit in November saying that as many as 12 victims had their injury settlement payments stolen by Schieb.

    Investigators determined that all 12 victims were misled, lied to or misrepresented by Schieb over a number of years, according to police.

    Schieb settled cases without notifying clients and kept their money, police said.

    Police were able to identify eight victims, including a World War II veteran. Police said that many of the victims still require more medical procedures and some have lost their homes, cars and jobs.

    Schieb’s troubles had first started in 2003 when law partner Richard Groner had committed suicide, The Herald-Tribune reported in November:

    “The partner, Richard Groner, handled the firm’s trust accounts — the place where, for example, an insurance company settlement check for either lawyer’s clients would end up until the time came to split the money up between client and attorney.

    But no money was left in trust accounts when Groner took his life. Under Florida Bar regulations, both partners had full responsibility for the trust account.

    The Florida Bar reprimanded Schieb in 2005, and put on probation for two years, requiring him to have a certified public accountant reviewing his trust account during that time.”

    Anyone with information about this case or if they believe they were a victim of Schieb is asked to call Detective Jack Carter at 941-954-7088.

    (original post)