Category Archives: Tech Tips

Tech Tip: What is phishing and how to report it?

By: Ryan Johnson

phishing graphic

Phishing is the act of attempting to deceive a user into divulging personal or confidential information such as login credentials, credit card information, etc., to gain access to resources that enable them to steal your identity.

Phishing scams usually come in the form of email messages and false websites. Cyber criminals use social engineering to learn about their targets and then use that information to try and gather your personal information.

Things to look for to identify that you may be targeted include:

  • Spelling and bad grammar: Phishing emails are commonly plagued with spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Links in emails: Links in emails may appear as though they are taking you to a legitimate website however they can be disguised. Hover over (DO NOT CLICK)  links and see if you are being re-routed to some other page.
  • Threats: Some emails contain threats to include legal action, time sensitive materials, etc. These are designed to convince you to make a hasty decision and click a malicious link or open an unsafe attachment.
  • Spoofing a legitimate website or company: Some emails will appear to come from a legitimate company. However that is far from the case. Again, attackers will try to make everything appear to be legitimate but things such as suspicious URL’s (pages with names not associated with the website or company), or outdated information can be tell-tale signs something is not right.

If you believe you have been sent a phishing scam, forward the original phish as an attachment in a new message addressed to

For more information on how to report a Phish or view recently reported phishes, please visit here.

Tech Tip: Improvements to Penn State email protection beginning Oct 1

By: Ryan Johnson

Beginning on Oct 1st, all email sent to Penn State Email addresses will begin to flow through the Office 365 Online Threat Protection. Office 365’s Advanced Threat Protection scans inbound email for spam, malware, phishing and viruses completely.

This protection features:
• Deep inspection of all attachments.
• Safe Links/URL inspection
• Spoof intelligence
• Anti-phishing
• User Self Service – users can mark email as spam, “not spam,” block senders, or whitelist senders.

This change should improve the email experience for all Office 365 email users as the ability to train your email for what is junk or not will start working after this change.

If you notice that email is not being delivered properly after this change, please call the IT service Desk at (814)865-4357 or send an email to

Tech Tip: Web Access and 2FA – “Software is out of Date notification” – please dismiss or skip

By: Ryan Johnson

The message you see below should be dismissed or skipped when logging into WebAccess and 2FA.

Enterprise IT recently updated the 2FA screen to include such enhancements including a “Remember my Device” feature.  It also included a prompt if your web browser, operating system(Windows or Mac) or other software is out-of-date.

I-Tech pushes out all updates to your machines (including browsers) after thorough testing.  These updates are sent to your machines periodically during non-working hours.  Browsers such as Firefox and Chrome update sometimes 3-4 times a month, which doesn’t allow the latest version to be on your machine after testing in most cases.  However, if a critical security update is required, I-Tech will push it out immediately to your machine.

To receive these and other updates, please remember to sign out (log off) of your machine every day, please don’t lock or power-down your machine.

"Authentification Requited" screen shot for tech tip

Tech Tip: Update on library communication tools and listservs

By: Ryan Johnson

The University Library Listserv application has been retired.  In its place, new Distribution lists, Office 365 Groups and User Managed Groups(UMG)  have been setup.  Below are how these new email lists will be managed:

Department/Unit/Library listservs (e.g., ul-Abington; UL-Lending; UL-Business-Office, etc.)
We are taking advantage of work that we do every day to maintain Enterprise Active Directory as part of providing network access to library employees (adding/modifying/deleting users from security groups by work area).  Penn State listservs can be populated with members through these same groups.  This means that with no additional work, we get both network security and up to date listservs for all work units in the library.

All non-student employees will automatically be part of these lists.  Student employees – a list of all student part time employees is maintained in AD to allow network access to this group of employees and is also used to populate a listserv.

To see what lists are maintained by EAD, please click on the following page.

UL-University-Park; UL-CCL; UL-ULIBS
Penn State Listserv will build these three aggregate lists automatically from members of the Department/Unit/Library listservs mentioned above.

All-Faculty, UP-Faculty, CCL-Faculty, All Staff, UP Staff, CCL Staff, UL-Campus Heads, UL-FT-Supervisors, UL-PT-Supervisors, UL-PT-All
These lists cannot be derived from Enterprise Active Directory but will be maintained centrally through information provided on the Computer Access and Employee Directory Information: Add or Modify Form.

 Lists used by library systems (e.g. ILL lists, circ and reserves lists, symphony report lists, etc.)
These lists will remain as listservs with the same names that they have today.  ILL will maintain the ILL lists, Circ and Reserves will maintain their lists, I-Tech will maintain the remaining systems lists.  The lists that will be maintained are located here.

 What lists have been deleted?  
Various lists have either been permanently decommissioned or may have been replaced by an office 365 group/list,  transferred to a listserv managed by library employees or to a user managed group maintained by library employees. To see a list of those listservs, please review the following page.

 How do I find out if a list still exists or if it has changed?

  • Ask the point of contact for the group represented by the list or your peers.
  • Check the list of lists that we maintain centrally.

What do I need to do?

  • If you are managing an Office 365 group/list, listserv or UMG it is your responsibility to communicate the new address to your team and update webpages to change the address when necessary, enter a website feedback request to have public pages updated.
  • Update your address book.

 How do I find a New Distribution List or Group?
To find some of the new Distribution lists that are using the UL prefix, you can search by typing umg-psu.ul  in To: field.  This will display what new email lists have been created with this prefix.

screen shot for tech tip 9/16/19

You can also select the People icon  at the bottom of the page in Outlook on the Web and search umg-psu.ul in the top search bar .

 How do I find out who is on a group or list? 
When searching for a Distribution list or Office 365 group, the members of a list can be dispalyed by selecting the list/group in the People section of outlook by selecting the list.  The membership will be displayed:

screen shot - group or list- tech tip 9/16/19

Note: You can filter your search to just lists or Office 365 Groups by selecting the filter icon in the search bar.  If the name of the list or group doesn’t contain the UL prefix, search for name of the list group.

Is there a naming convention for new listservs, lists, groups or UMGs?
We recommend using the prefix ul- when making all new lists/groups/UMGs.  If the name doesn’t contain this prefix, search for the name being used (if known).

How do I get on or off of a Distribution list/Office 365 group?
Email the point of contact for the group or ask your colleagues who this might be or email the list/group.

Note: You cannot be removed from permanent auto groups such as ULIBS.

Tech Tip: How to view what distribution lists (Groups) you belong to

By: Ryan Johnson

With University Library Listservs (ULL’s) being retired and Distribution Groups becoming the new way to send emails to groups, how do you know which ones you are a member of or groups you own?

screen shot for tech tip

To view Distribution Lists in Outlook, click on your settings icon and type Distribution Groups in the search box.

outlook settings screen shot for tech tip

Select Distribution Groups.  This will display all groups you are a member of or own.

Tech Tip: Penn State Wireless reminder for returning students and staff

By: Ryan Johnson

Penn State Information Technology made changes to its secure wireless networks “psu” and “eduroam” in May, and wireless users returning to campus who haven’t updated their settings since will need to do so in order to connect.

Apple, Windows, and Linux users who manage their own devices or manage others’ devices must download the update from which includes device-specific
instructions to complete the process.

Note: All Libraries Machines have been updated.

Android devices do not require an update and Penn State’s visitor network will not be affected.

Tech Tip: Update your links to LinkedIn Learning

By: Ryan Johnson

On Aug. 16, Penn State Information Technology upgraded all accounts to LinkedIn Learning. links will work differently in LinkedIn Learning depending on how you shared the course, videos, or playlists.

In order for your old links to work, you will need to replace the old link with this new one in any course materials or correspondence.

In order for embedded videos to work after the upgrade , you must replace the embed code with code from LinkedIn Learning. After the upgrade, simply log in to LinkedIn Learning then click ‘share’ to copy the highlighted code and paste it over the existing code.

Tech Tip: Grid vs. List View in Microsoft Teams

By: Ryan Johnson

tech tip screen shot

Microsoft Teams recently changed the default view for your teams to a grid view.  You can change your view by clicking on three dots next to “Join or Create a team”.

Tech tip screen shot

Note: this option can appear in the bottom left or top right of the Teams application based on your view.

Click on Switch View and a new window will appear:

screen shot - tech tip

Select Grid or List to change your view.

Tech Tip: Microsoft adds suggested replies to the Outlook Android app

By: Ryan Johnson

suggested reply screen shot - Outlook app

Gmail’s Smart Reply feature can be pretty handy for short responses, saving you a little bit of time and effort. The web version of Outlook has had a similar feature since last summer, called Suggested Replies, but it hasn’t officially been available in the Android app — until now.

If you head to the Account Info screen in the app (Settings > tap on your email address) you’ll see the “Suggested replies” toggle (it may already be turned on). This new feature will only show up for certain emails, though, presumably those that Outlook deems to be conversational rather automated.

If the response is selected, you’ll have the chance to edit your response before its sent.

Note: This feature is not currently available for iOS users

Tech Tip: Mark a message as important or urgent in Microsoft Teams

By: Ryan Johnson

If you want to make sure people pay attention to your message, mark it as important or urgent.

Microsoft Teams urgent screen shot

To begin, select Set Delivery Options  beneath the compose box, and then select Important or Urgent. That adds the word “IMPORTANT!” or “URGENT!” to your message. Once in the message, you’ll be able to include files, links, or pictures—whatever you need to get your point across!

Microsoft Teams urgent screenshot

To undo this option, select Standard from your delivery options, and the message will be sent as usual.

Tech Tip: Microsoft rolling out new Outlook on the web beginning this week!

By: Ryan Johnson

After several months of testing with customers such as Penn State(currently a toggle exists to switch back and forth), Microsoft will begin rolling out the new Outlook on the web to its Enterprise customers beginning this week (July 22).

According to Enterprise IT (EIT) while an exact date is not confirmed, this new experience could roll out anytime beginning next week to Penn State. All Microsoft customers will be updated
by September. When the new version rolls out, you will not be able to switch back.

Read about some of the new features in the article HERE:

Some of the highlights include:

Categories: It’s now easier to identify , right from your message list. Categories make it easy to tag, find, or organize your messages. Add multiple categories to a message, add a category as a favorite, or use Search to find it.

Dark mode: Personalize your inbox with dark mode for those times when your eyes are a little tired. Don’t worry, you can “turn on the lights” when you want to read a specific email or when
composing one.

Expressions: Sometimes you are out of words, luckily, images are worth a 1,000 of those. Add emojis and GIFs to your messages right from Outlook.

Favorites: Favorite what is most important to you and put it front and center in your inbox. You can favorite a contact, a group, or a category by to them so you can have easier access and see the message count for each. Once you favorite them, they sync to Outlook mobile too!

Quickly get to the emails you are composing or reading: When you create new messages Outlook will keep a tab for them at the bottom of the reading pane, so you can start as many as you need, go back to reading a previous email, and still find the one you were writing.

Calendar Search: Now you can search across multiple calendars. Search for a person, keyword, or location and Outlook will show all the matching events across your calendars. You can also use the filters to adjust which calendars you’d like to search, or the timeframe you’d like to search in.

Quickly create events: Creating a meeting is now easier. Right from the calendar surface with one click bring the quick compose form, invite people, find a room, and even get suggested times for when everyone is available.

Focus on today: There is just so much you can pay attention during the week. In order to help you with that, we are making today and tomorrow front and center by dedicating more surface in your calendar to them so you can easily identify your upcoming events with a quick glimpse at your calendar.

Snooze an email: There are moments in which you don’t have time to properly address an email and wish it would have arrived at a different time. For those moments when the time is not right, Outlook now allows you to snooze an email for a more convenient time. When you snooze an email, it leaves your inbox and re-appears as an unread message at the top of your inbox on the time and date you selected.

Upcoming events in month view: Seeing your calendar in month view gives you a good sense of what days or weeks are busier, and now it’s also easier to keep track of your day’s events while still seeing the big picture. In month view, Outlook also shows you how long you have until your next event.

Create an online meeting: We’ve updated our backend to more closely reflect your organization’s online meeting policies. Depending on what services you are enabled for, you will see 1 of 3 options: i) A drop down menu to “Add online meeting” where you can select between a Skype or Teams meeting, ii) a toggle to create a Skype meeting or iii) a toggle to create a Teams meeting.

Join an online meeting from the event peek: Joining an online meeting from the place where you keep track of your day should be easy. And now it is, just go to the meeting event and you can join in one click right from the event peek.

See attendees’ responses to a meeting: You can now easily identify who is invited to the meeting and see everyone’s response. We’ve added a quick summary in the event peek and in
the full meeting invite attendees are grouped attendees by their response. If you use the event peek, you can see attendees’ details if the meeting has less than 3 attendees or a summary of
responses if there are more.

Tasks now sync with To-Do: The new Tasks experience now syncs your tasks with To-Do and across some Office apps like Planner in your “Assigned to me” list. Do you flag emails to remember to follow up on them? Now when you flag an email, it will be created as a task in its own “Flagged email” list in To-Do!

Tech Tip: Update your information for the website directory, including adding educational credentials

By: Ryan Johnson

Employee directory screen shot

If you go to the Employee Directory Maintenance Site, you’ll see what information is stored about you in LDAP. You’ll also see that you can edit some of the fields.
Fields you are not able to edit include First Name, Middle Initial, Last Name, Access ID, PSU ID Number, PSU E-mail Address, Official Job Title, Employee Type, Faculty Type and Primary Department.
Fields you can update here include Office Address, Office Phone, E-mail Alias, Preferred Display Name, Chat Name, Office Hours, Teaching, Research Interests, Liaison, Web Page URL. Note that staff will not see Liaison.

You can use the Preferred Display Name to add your credentials like Dr. Jane Doe or Jane Doe, Ph.D.

The remainder of your information is stored in Drupal and can be updated by submitting a request at the Libraries’ Website Feedback Form.
This information includes About Me, Profile Picture and Subject Expertise.

    • Note: Subject Expertise was initially gleaned from the experts listed for a given Subject Guides in LibGuides (example History Subject Guide).


For more information on how the directory works, please see the following staff site page.

Tech Tip: Who is the Captain?

By: Ryan Johnson

Tech Tip: The Captain screenshot

Have you ever come back to your desk and noticed something called thecaptain is logged into your machine?  The captain is simply I-Tech’s name for an admin account on your machine.  This account is typically used to log into your machine when you are not available to troubleshoot an issue or update a program on your machine.

To log back into your Libraries account, simply click Other user located in the bottom left hand corner of the login screen and enter in with your Penn State ID along with and your password.

Tech tip: Other user screnshot


Tech Tip: Redesigned 2FA launching in June

By: Ryan  Johnson

tech tip: 2FA redesign screen shot

Later this month, users of WebAccess—the University’s authentication system that protects University email, Canvas, LionPATH and more—will notice a slight redesign to the system’s two-factor authentication (2FA) prompt. The change follows last year’s more significant interface redesign and is triggered by an upgrade to the system.

The new 2FA prompt will look different from the current prompt but be functionally the same. However, the upgrade to the 2FA service will increase security and allow for new features to be enabled, including a “Remember my device” feature that will allow users to log in with 2FA less frequently.


Tech Tip: Time to update your University Libraries listservs, what are my options?

By: Ryan Johnson

tech tip graphic, collaboration and communications in the Libraries

The current ULL list management interface is being retired in July.

I-Tech will maintain short list of essential and aggregate listservs (ULIBS, etc).  But responsibility for creating and managing communication for committees, working groups, etc. is being handed over to you, the end user.  You now have several options for group communication and the freedom to use what works best for your need.

For most areas, Microsoft Groups will be the preferred choice.

To learn more about what options are available, please visit the new Communication and Collaboration page available on the staff site.

Tech Tip: Learn about Microsoft Groups and Teams at Discovery Day

By: Ryan Johnson

Microsoft Groups and Teams is the communication and teamwork hub of Office 365. Teams helps users meet, connect, and share their knowledge with others. Penn State University is now using teams to for projects, committees and communication sharing.

In this session, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about using Teams, starting with how to set up and join existing teams. We will cover how to organize teams and engage in
conversations. In addition, we will cover how to add extra functionality using apps, connect Box and use video chat.

Presenter: Ryan Johnson
Location: W211A Pattee