CAT Prints - the online newsletter of the Department of Computers and Telecommunication Services


September, 2008

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Voicemail Tips and Tricks

Rewind and fast-forward:  While a message is playing press 1 to "rewind" the message in five-second increments.  Skip forward by pressing 3.

When you dial 436-3500 to get our Name Connect service, you can skip the preamble by pressing * (the star button).  The system will then say "Name, please?" and you can go from there.

Speaking of voicemail, did you ever wonder about the voice behind the system?

Since 1987 Californian Joan Kenley has been the voice of several voicemail and other automated telecommunications systems.  Nortel, Pacific Bell and Nynex all use her voice, and she can also be heard in elevators, alarm clocks, Verizon's 411 system and even airplane cockpits on bad days ("Pull up, Pull up, Terrain, Terrain").  Her voice is so well known that it has even appeared on episodes of the Simpsons.


More on PIN Security

As we work to make WebServices PINs more secure, we are also assessing the process for resetting PINs when they have expired or been forgotten.

We have learned that the process is sometimes confusing and we are exploring ways to clarify messages from the system and make it more user- friendly.  One feature that is already available is the security question.  This gives a user the ability to answer a question they have pre-configured and allow them to reset their PIN.  If you have not done so, log in to WebServices and set up a security question. Here are some tips on choosing a question:

  • Make your question something that you will remember but is not widely known by others – your coworkers probably know the name of your oldest child or favorite pet, making those much less secure verifications of your identity.
  • Choose a question whose answer is not ambiguous – you may have more than one pet or your mailing address may have changed since you created the question. Something like “What was your first car?” is a good choice as the answer will not change, you will know the answer and probably not very many other people will.
  • Make the answer easy to remember in that you will type it the same way each time you use it. If you configured an answer of “123mainstreet” to your question but enter “123mainst” when you try to reset your PIN, the process will fail.

The security question is a convenient tool - if you forget your PIN you can go to the WebServices web page and enter your A# or your Social Security Number and click the “Forgot Pin?” button. That will give you the option to answer your question and reset the PIN.  Don’t forget to enter your A# or your SSN before you click on “Forgot PIN.” 

Once you are finished be sure to close your browser.


Personal Call Policy

This is a reminder of the policy regarding personal use of college telephones by faculty and staff. This policy was established in 1992.

Telephones are provided by the campus and the State of New York for professional use in order to accomplish our work. As such, inappropriate and unreasonable usage of the telephone for personal business is discouraged.

The full text of the College's Personal Call Policy is available at

Web Development Keeping the Website Accurate and User-friendly

The Web Development Office continuously runs reports to optimize the colleges' website.  The office scans for broken links - normal procedure being first check for a misspelling and fix it if found, and subsequently contact the web author/person responsible. 

The office also runs reports on search terms submitted to the search engine.  These search terms allow them to create key matches within the system to offer highlighted suggestions within search results in the future.  The office can create key matches from individual requests as well.

The third report provides a relative idea of the number of hits the website receives. The reporting tool allows them to customize the pages that are included in a report.  If you have any questions or interest in more information on utilizing any of these reports specifically with your site, email or call Tracy ( at x2886.


Get ready for National Cyber Security Awareness Month!

Halloween is no longer the scariest thing to think about during October.

How about identity theft? Computer viruses? Spyware?

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. There are a number of fun traditions you can participate in to celebrate this annual event.

  • Read Oneonta’s security program here
  • Change those passwords that have been the same for years.
  • Check your credit reports.
  • Shred sensitive data that is no longer needed.
  • Visit On Guard Online – the government cyber security site designed to help people protect themselves against cyber crime. Here is great page with “7 Practices for Computer Security.”
  • Answer the Data Asset Classification Survey, if you haven’t already done so. If you have not received an e-mail inviting you to take the survey, contact Lesley Bidwell.
  • Contact the IT Security Administrator ( X2628) with any questions you have related information security.

Get ready – October will be here before you know it!

Shared Resources

As we have said many times before, you should never share your password with anyone – even in an effort to get work done.

We have configured our network so that users can log on to computers with their own credentials and get access to their own files.  But what if your office has shared files or other resources to which several people need access?  Or what if your department has a website that more than one person updates?  In that case, you can give your coworker your password or ask them for theirs so that you can all get your work done, right?


We must repeat; you should never share your password with anyone!  The best way to address this situation is to call the Information Technology Helpdesk and have them create a ticket to be assigned to the appropriate support staff.  Then, we can work with you to set up a network share that each person can connect to with their own username and password.  Or, we can give each authorized person access to the web space you need to maintain.

The added benefits are that the files are saved on a server which is backed up and accessible from anywhere on the network (or off the network with a VPN connection).  When someone joins or leaves your department, we can update the permissions to keep the access current.  Also, if someone changes their password, they are the only one who needs to remember it.

It’s hard to break those habits you learned in elementary school but when it comes to passwords, sharing is not caring, it's out of the question.

Cookies, on the other hand…


Wireless Networking on Campus

The Department of Networking maintains a pervasive wireless network to go along with our wired network.  We are constantly looking for ways to improve service and security for wireless users, and part of this is a campaign to educate the campus community on the subject.  We have created a webpage at to provide details on how wireless works, where and why it might not work so well, and how to best take advantage of it.


If you have a question for Computer and Telecommunication Services about:

Computer Problems or Related Issues - Call the Information Technology Help Desk at 436-4567

Telephone Service or Problems - Call the Office of Telecommunications at 436-2577

Directory Assistance - call 436-3500