Tips & Tricks

Potential issues with HOD and UIS with tips to resolve

March 12th, 2014 in Incidents, News, Tips.

Recently, UIS users began experiencing access issues that were related to Java configurations on their systems.  Either they were unable to access Host On-Demand (HOD) at all due to error messages (located at, or the UIS terminal would simply load to a black screen and not bring them to the login screen.  The usual fixes we had implemented in the past to solve Java issues with UIS would allow them to proceed to this black screen in many cases, but no further.

To resolve this issue if you experience it, try the following:

  1. On a PC, locate the application called “Configure Java.”  In Windows 7, you can search for it using the search bar in your Start menu.  It is located in “All Programs” within a folder called “Java.”  On a Mac, open System Preferences and click on Java (towards the bottom).
  2. The Java Control Panel application should open in the “General” tab.  Under the heading “Temporary Internet Files”, click the button that says “Settings…”
  3. A window will open called Temporary Files Settings.  Uncheck the box that says “Keep temporary files on my computer.”  Then click “OK” to close the window.
  4. Go to the “Security” tab.
  5. Click on “Edit Site List…” (towards the bottom).
  6. Ensure that and are in your site list.  If they are not, you can add them using the “Add” button.  Then click “OK” to close the window.
  7. Click the “Apply” button in the Java Control Panel.  Then click “OK” to close the window.
  8. Quit any browsers you have open, then reopen them and try to access UIS again.

BUMC IT believes this may resolve the black screen issue for many users.  If you still experience issues after trying these steps, or if you have any trouble following the steps and want our help, feel free to contact BUMC IT at 617-638-5914 or at


The phishing scammers are at it again!

January 13th, 2014 in Featured, Information Security, News, Tips.

As described last week in a BU Today article, members of the BU community were recently victims of phishing; and IS&T has again received several reports of a phishing message being received by members of our community like the one below.

January 14 Phishing Attempt


We believe the scammers are trying to use the fact that they were successful last time to continue and extend their crime. The message to watch out for claims to be from BU Security and talks about protecting you from the evils of phishing. You can tell the message is a fake because it claims to be from BU, and even uses the BU logo, but it is pointing you to a link that is not a link.

A real BU link will always have “ ” in it. There is always a dot before bu and a slash after edu, as shown below.

Other things to watch out for:

  • If you are prompted to Web Login, make sure it is the authentic BU Web Login page which begins with
  • Remember that BU will NEVER ask you for your password or ask you to “verify” it; nor would any other legitimate business or institution. It is important that you safeguard your passwords and never give them to anyone.

For more good ways to detect phishing, go to:

Additional information on phishing is provided by IS&T at

Making your spam/phishing filter more effective
Mail that is clearly spam is filtered for you, automatically. However, one person’s spam might be another person’s research project, so other messages are simply tagged as suspicious and then allowed to go through. You can decide how to handle suspicious mail that does get through, following the tips for Managing Spam provided by IS&T at

Report phishing
If you see a phishing message, please send it and full headers to For details on how to do this, see

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (for cyber criminals, too)

December 7th, 2012 in Featured, News, Tips.

This time of year is wonderful.  People are thinking of others a little more and reaching out to them again if they haven’t talked in a while.  Unfortunately, as with any other time when behavior can be predicted, the bad guys are working overtime to try to take advantage of it.  This year has seen record levels of malicious activity online and via email as they are taking advantage of all the shopping being done online.

This is a quick reminder to be extra careful this time of year with your email. 
We have been seeing many, many malicious messages

  • pretending to be receipts for purchases that you didn’t make or
  • offers for discounts on products you like, or
  • pretending to be complaints from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or
  • notifications of a lawsuits against you, etc.,
  • anything to try to goad you into clicking the link

These emails are trying to:  (1) trick you into following a link to a fake site pretending to be someplace you normally go so you give them your password or (2) infect your computer with malicious software, or both.

 Here are a few simple tips to avoid being hooked by a phisher:

 1.      If the email asks for your password, it is a scam.  Delete it. 

2.      If the email is about an order that you don’t know anything about, it is almost certainly a scam.  It may thank you for purchasing something that you know you didn’t order and then either include a PDF attachment as a receipt or give you a “Dispute” link.  If you click the link or open the attachment, it will almost certainly infect your system.

  • If you want to confirm if a purchase was made without your authorization, DON’T CLICK THE LINK IN THE EMAIL.  It is completely possible to make a link lie to you.   Instead, call the number on the back of your card or use your browser to go to the known and trusted website by typing in the URL/Web Address yourself. 
  • General rule: if the email message is lying to you about where it wants to send you, it is a scam.
    For example, take this link:  http;//  If you click this, it will not take you to Google, it will take you somewhere completely different.  Scammers use this trick all the time to trick you to going to malicious websites.   You can tell where a link is going to take you by hovering over it with your mouse.  DON’T CLICK.  Hover.  If you do this for the link above you will see a completely different link pop up in a box by your pointer or in a space at the bottom of your email client or browser. 

3.      Forward scam emails to and then delete them. If in doubt, call the IT Help Desk  (617) 638-5914.

 For more information visit:
(The above link was sent in clear text and is pointing to a domain you trust,  But if your browser made the link clickable, you should still get into the habit of not clicking it, but copying and pasting the link into your browser.)

Keep your eye out for scams, and best wishes to you all,

Best Regards,
Quinn R Shamblin
Executive Director of Information Security, Boston University

iPad Split Keyboard

November 13th, 2012 in Tips.

If you have an iPad and wished you could type with your thumbs like you do on your phone, try out the split keyboard!

Mac Users: Scan Signature to Mac

September 4th, 2012 in Tips.

Mac Users: Did you know you can easily scan your handwritten signature to your Mac using OS X Lion’s Preview app? Find out how at

Need SAS for a course but can’t download it?

September 4th, 2012 in Tips.

Are you a student currently registered for a course that requires SAS but cannot download it? Have your professor e-mail us at and confirm that you are enrolled in the class to gain access to the SAS download. More information about SAS:

Get Technology Training

September 2nd, 2012 in Tips, Training.

Check out to view course descriptions and register for classroom tutorials. Some notable course options include training for Outlook 2010, Blackboard and Scientific Visualization software.

Avoid Being a Victim of Phishing!

September 2nd, 2012 in Information Security, Tips.

Avoid being a victim of phishing! If you are ever unsure whether an e-mail you receive is legitimate or if you receive an e-mail messages that is abusive or harassing in nature, you can forward it to for verification. Read the following tips to protect yourself from phishing…


Configure Your iOS device for BU Email, VPN and WiFi in Seconds!

August 30th, 2012 in Tips.

Configure your iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) for BU e-mail, VPN and WiFi in SECONDS! Open on your iOS device and download the appropriate configuration file.

Prevent Laptop Theft

August 24th, 2012 in Information Security, Tips.

Prevent laptop theft by registering your laptop with the BUPD. Find out more: