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Max Davis-Johnson Appointed to Governor’s Cybersecurity Cabinet Task Force

Max Davis-Johnson Appointed to Governor Otter's Cybersecurity Task Force

October is National CyberSecurity Awareness Month, and the state of Idaho recently committed to a new level of awareness and action when Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter created the “Idaho Cybersecurity Cabinet Task Force.”

Max Davis-Johnson, CIO and AVP for the Office of Information Technology, was appointed to the Idaho Cybersecurity Cabinet Task Force when it was created this summer along with chair Lt. Gov. Brad Little and representatives from state agencies.

The CyberSecurity Task Force met for the first time about two weeks ago to begin their work reviewing cybersecurity systems statewide in order to evaluate and develop policies, strategies and collaborations to more efficiently strengthen Idaho’s protection against online threats.

Read more about the Idaho Cybersecurity Cabinet Task Force on the Boise State Public Radio website.

Five Years of Accomplishments for National Cyber Security Awareness

Boise State is proud to be a National Cyber Security Awareness Champion, and as such we’ve promoted Stop. Think. Connect. each October since 2011.

In that time, the National Cybersecurity Alliance has produced more than 100 online safety resources, and we’ve worked to inform our University community how to identify and prevent threats to your data and privacy.

Five Years of Stop Think Connect


5 Top Reported Cyber Scams and What You Can Do About Them

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and throughout the month we’ll be featuring information and resources to help you protect your online identity and privacy.

First up, learn about the top scams and what you can do to report what you see, and how to get help.

Top five cyber security scams

For assistance or questions about cyber security, contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at (208) 426-4357, or email

Qualtrics Announces a New Interface


Last week, Qualtrics sent out an email to Qualtrics users announcing its new interface, coming October 6, 2015. They’ve made it more intuitive, easier to navigate, and improved how responses and results are viewed.

Rest assured, previously collected surveys and data will still be accessible and will not be affected by this change.

However, any reports you may have created in the View Results and Reporting sections, as well as public links to those reports, will need to be recreated.

For a guided tour of the new interface, please visit

Qualtrics is also offering live and recorded webinars to help you learn about the new interface:

Qualtrics Basic Training Webinar
Recorded | Live (Mondays 1:00 pm ET)

Qualtrics Advanced Training Webinar
Recorded | Live (Tuesdays 1:00 pm ET)

Qualtrics Responses and Results Webinar
Recorded | Live (Wednesdays 1:00 pm ET)

If you have questions about the new interface or need assistance re-creating reports in Qualtrics, please contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or

Changes to Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Google has implemented changes to Google Chrome that will improve its security, speed and stability. However, it also means that beginning with Chrome 45, Chrome will no longer support websites that use plugins like Java or Silverlight.

There has been a steady decrease of websites using these types of plugins over the years, so it probably won’t cause too many issues. For example, Pyramid Analytics ( and Help Desk Self-Service ( use Silverlight and may not work properly using Google Chrome.

If you use Chrome and do come across sites that aren’t displaying correctly, the Help Desk recommends using an alternate browser, such as Firefox or Internet Explorer.

To find out which version of Chrome you are using, click the Menu icon (the one with three lines) in the upper-right corner of Chrome, go to Help and About, and then click About Google Chrome.


If you have questions about this change, please contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or

A Silver Lining in Every Cloud

silver lining in every cloud

Max Davis-JohnsonMax Davis-Johnson, Office of Information Technology, presented a webinar hosted by Oracle on Boise State’s experience of moving to cloud-based technologies such as the Oracle Cloud Financials, Procurement and Project Management solutions. Max emphasized how moving to “the cloud” reduces our infrastructure and upgrade costs and allows OIT to reallocate staff to areas that provide direct impact to students, faculty and staff.

The webinar presentation is an expanded version of his recent “Max’s Minute: Clouds of Technology” video blog.

The move to Oracle’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud helps drive operational efficiency and organizational effectiveness by automating and transforming business processes across the entire ERP lifecycle, including financial management and billing, procurement, grant management, project management and reporting. Read more about the Boise State Oracle Financials Cloud project on the OIT website.

Listen to the recorded talk here (mp3). The webinar was presented on Sept. 17, 2015.

Increased Web Security on Campus


Recently, the Office of Information Technology rolled out new software, called OpenDNS, to better protect our systems from malware, viruses and phishing sites.

If you encounter a webpage that is blocked by OpenDNS, you’ll see a message that looks similar to this:

Image: Blocked Website Notification

The notification will tell you what site was blocked and why. (In the example above, the site is known to host phishing email forms.)

OpenDNS also provides other benefits that our old system didn’t have, including:

  • An additional layer of protection when personal devices are brought on campus
  • Blocking of more types of malicious traffic
  • Faster internet access for web traffic

There are some other changes planned with this service over the next few months to fine-tune it in order to provide us with better information about threats.  We are excited about these added benefits as OpenDNS continues to help improve our computer security on campus.

For more information about Internet security on campus, please visit the OIT Cybersecurity Department webpage.

If you have cybersecurity questions or concerns, please contact the OIT Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or

New Google Docs Features: Dictation, Revamped Forms, and More!

Google recently added several new features to Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms!

Some of the highlights include:

  • Dictate directly to Docs by selecting Voice typing in the Tools menu and clicking the microphone button.

  • Use the See new changes feature to look at the changes made to a Doc since the last time you viewed it.
  • Forms have new themes and color palettes to choose from. You can even add a photo or logo to your Form! It’s also easier to view Form responses. (This is a new opt-in version of Forms. You can revert to the old version at any time.)
  • The new Explore feature in Sheets will analyze data and automatically create charts.

For details about these new features, please read Google’s blog post.

If you have questions about how to use these new tools, contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at (208) 426-4357 or

Fall 2015 Learning Opportunities

Fall 2015 Training Classes

Want to learn more about WordPress, Camtasia Studio, Excel, or Google Apps? The Office of Information Technology’s Communications and Training department is offering free technology learning opportunities for faculty and staff. To register or learn more about these training classes, visit or click the class links below.

WordPress I – Introduction to WordPress at Boise State

Monday, November 2, 8:30 am – 11:30 am

WordPress II – WordPress for Site Administrators

Tuesday, September 29, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Tuesday, November 10, 9:00 am – 11:00 am

WordPress III – Using the Boise State WordPress Theme

Thursday, October 15, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

WordPress IV – This Old Website: How to Fix, Update, and Manage Your Website for Long-Term Success

Tuesday, October 20, 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Camtasia Studio Drop-In Labs

Friday, September 18, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Monday, October 19, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Friday, November 13, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Excel 2013: PivotTables

Wednesday, October 14, 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Thursday, December 3, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Excel 2013: VLOOKUP

Thursday, October 1, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Monday, November 9, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Gmail: Organizing Your Inbox

Tuesday, September 15, 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Monday, October 19, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Tuesday, December 15, 9:00 am – 10:30 am

Google Drive

Thursday, October 29, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Group Learning Opportunities

Office of Information Technology staff will evaluate your learning needs and create (or facilitate) customized training for Google for Education, Microsoft Office, and other enterprise applications. Visit the OIT Training website for more information.

For questions about technology learning resources at Boise State, contact the Office of Information Technology Help Desk at 208.426.4357, email, or visit our website at

What’s New in News for the New myBoiseState?


There’s a lot of news on campus. Whether it’s daily headlines in Campus Update, important information in Current Students, Athletics schedules, the University event calendar, or college and department news, the amount of information can be overwhelming.

We don’t want to overwhelm (or underwhelm) you with news in the new myBoiseState.

We want to whelm you just right.

To do that, we’re giving you the opportunity to decide what news is important to you.

We’ve divided news into three categories:

  1. Must know
  2. Should know
  3. Want to know

Must Know

Must Know news consists of information you have to know.

Whether it’s a cougar sighting on the Greenbelt, an electrical failure in a building that causes closure, or a major technology system that’s currently suffering an outage, we need to tell you about it.

Must Know information will appear as a black bar with white text at the bottom of each page:


You’ll see that black bar until you click the X at upper-right to dismiss the message, or until we turn it off.

Should Know

Should Know news will reside in the Announcements section on the right-side of the landing page, which you’ll see after you log in to myBoiseState.

This will be information about academic calendar deadlines, scheduled maintenance on University systems, or information from Student Financials, Office of the Registrar, or other Student Affairs organizations:


Everyone will see Announcements after logging in to myBoiseState. In fact, this Should Know information is why we switched up the login process for myBoiseState.

Today, people go to and immediately sign in to myBoiseState without reading any of the information on that page. For some people, they don’t want to take the time to read any information because the entire screen is loaded with information and pictures and boxes; it’s visual overload.

For others, they want to sign in quickly to access one or more systems.

By changing the login process to have you sign in first, and then reach a page with important information (and less noise), we hope Should Know information will catch your eye. Since, you know, you should know it.

Want to Know

What do you want to know? We don’t know what you want to know, nor should we decide. We’ll let you decide.

That’s what the My News feature is for.

Similar to the new My Resources feature, My News allows you to choose the campus news feeds that interest you, and view that news in a “mashup” of headlines:

News Headlines

In the example above, this student has subscribed to Campus Technology, Campus News, and Women’s Soccer.

This also gives University colleges and departments an opportunity to set up news feeds for students, faculty and staff to choose from. All it takes is a news feed delivered through your WordPress website, or another RSS source.

Also, on the right-side of the My News page, you’ll see the University’s official Events Calendar:


Other News

We consider Campus Update and Current Students to be the primary University news sources for faculty/staff and students, respectively. When you sign in to myBoiseState, you’ll always see the most recent headlines from these sources:

Campus News

And, depending on if you’re looking at Student or Employee information, you’ll see updates from Current Student or Campus Update on the right-side of those pages:

Current Students

Opportunities and Resources

You’ll see there are several opportunities for campus areas and departments to feed information to myBoiseState, whether through custom news feeds, submitting to Campus Update or Current Students, and/or making sure your events are published on the University Events Calendar.

For more information about these opportunities, contact the following resources:

For more information about the new myBoiseState, visit our myBoiseState Rewrite site