Internet

Great Googling

March 9, 2017 • Written by

Who doesn’t use a search engine? In fact, a search engine is statistically the first web page most people see when they go online. An average user is not a search expert and they likely use a search engine in its simplest form… just typing in a few search terms and going from there.

But, search engines can do much more than you might think!

In this blog post we have posted a handful of really cool tips that we just know you will love. Please note: In these instructions we are primarily referring to Google.  However, these tips will work in other search engines as well.

Let’s get started!

Searching an Explicit Phrase:

Lets say you are looking for content about the Winnipeg Jets.  Instead of just typing Winnipeg Jets into the Google search box, you will be better off searching explicitly for the phrase “Winnipeg Jets”.  To do this, simply enclose the search phrase inside quotation marks.

Search phrase: "Winnipeg Jets"           --> try it

Using a Wildcard within Quotes:

Lets say you are searching for a quote (or a song lyric) and you are not sure of one of the words. Replace the part you’re not sure of with the wildcard character (* – an asterisk). For example if you knew only part of a quote “Life is wasted on” from an unknown source or the lyric “Heard it from a friend” from an unknown song, you could use this search method to discover the source.

Search phrase: "Life is wasted on *"          --> try it

Search phrase: "Heard it from a friend *"      --> try it

Excluding Words

Lets say you want to search for info about the name Justin, but you want to exclude the results that may be included that have info about Justin Bieber. Simply use the minus (-) sign in front of a keyword you want to exclude from your search results.

Search phrase: Justin -Bieber        --> try it

A Site Specific Search

Often, you want to search a specific website for relevant content.  Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the “site:hostname.com” modifier.  For example, to search the tsn.ca website for information about the Winnipeg Jets:

Search phrase: Winnipeg Jets site:tsn.ca        --> try it

A Synonym Search

Let’s say you want to include a word in your search, but you also wish to include results that contain similar words or synonyms.  To do this, use the tilde (~) character in front of the word. For example, you could search for “Winnipeg Jobs” and then also search for “Winnipeg Employment” and get two different results.  However if you search for “Winnipeg ~employment” you should get all results for Winnipeg and all synonyms of employment included.

Search phrase: winnipeg ~employment         --> try it

Searching for a Specific Document Type

Performing a Filetype Specific Search

Performing a Filetype Specific Search

If you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier “filetype:”.  For example, you might want to find only PDF files related to the Red River College:

Search phrase: Red River College filetype:pdf        --> try it

Searching for This OR That

By default, when you do a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search.  If you are looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator.  Please note that the OR has to be capitalized.

Search phrase: "winnipeg jets" OR "manitoba moose"         --> try it

Conclusion

There are dozens of tips which can be used with Google, but this is all for now!  We will post more in a future blog entry.

Using RRCWireless

September 3, 2015 • Written by

Wireless at RRCThe Red River College Library receives inquiries about the wireless network.  As usual we try to answer all of our Patron’s questions, though it must be said that we do not control or manage the wireless networks here at RRC.  At the Library we are users, just like you!

At RRC, the Information Technology Department manages the wireless networks. Even though we do not control the system,  the Library can still provide some assistance in this matter.

Reference: Library Help and Guides – Red River College Wireless

Lesson #1: If you can’t connect, make sure you are in an area where there is coverage

First of all, users should know where the wireless access points are located. Wireless is fully available throughout the Roblin Centre and the Patterson Global Institute at the Exchange District Campus.  In the Notre Dame Campus full wireless coverage is available in Buildings A, C, D, E, F and Z and certain common areas, such as the Library, the cafeterias (Buffalo, Voyageur, Otto’s, Hard Drive ), the Cave Lounge, and the North and South Gyms.  There is only partial wireless coverage in buildings M, J and B.

Lesson #2: Make sure you use your correct username and password

Windows 8 allows you to store your username and password

Additionally, Staff and students should connect through the Wireless Network named RRCWireless.  You should take note that this network does not operate like an open wireless, such as the wireless at “Starbucks” or “McDonald’s”. A user needs to enter their credentials to obtain a connection. When challenged, use your normal RRC network username and password to login.  If you are having troubles, please review more detailed instructions on our web page, as connections may sometimes be tricky.

As for devices, iPhones and iPads usually connect very easily.  Just enter your RRC username and password and you are usually connected in seconds.  Other operating systems, such as Android, may require additional settings.  Further, devices such as Kobo may have trouble connecting as they normally do not have the correct WPA2 protocol required for a connection.  Please refer to our webpage for more detailed info and instructions.

Lesson #3: Don’t use RRCGUEST!

Staff and students should connect through the Wireless Network named RRCWireless.  Do not connect to RRCGUEST.

A common problem that occurs is users try to connect to the network named “RRCGUEST”.  This network is for guests to the college and is not meant to be used by students and/or staff.

Connections to “RRCGUEST” require a special username and a password that must be obtained  in advance, by making a CASELOG request to Information Technology Solutions.  The Library does not know any of the usernames and/or passwords and we cannot issue you with one.

 

Lesson #4: Are you a Returning Student? Forget this Network!

forget

If you are, you likely had to reset your password over the summer. When you return to the college, make sure that any of your devices, such as cell phones or tablets, also have your new password in their settings.

Q: How do you do update your wireless password?
A: Forget this network!

Just ask your device to “Forget this Network” and then setup the network fresh.

Lesson #4: Lockouts

When you ask your device to “forget this network”, always keep in mind that it was likely trying to actively connect to the wireless with a bad password. This would have caused the college’s wireless system to lock out your device. So, when you reconnect with your username and your new password it may still not connect. It is probably locked out!

Wait 30 minutes after you “Forget this Network” for your locked-out device to be re-allowed to connect to RRCWireless.

Conclusion

Please note, those staff and students that have College-issued laptops and devices, should submit a Caselog if they have troubles connecting to the Wireless network.  However, the RRC IT Department cannot support those that have personal devices.  If you have a personal device and you just can’t seem to get it connected to the RRCWIreless then come to our Helpdesk in the Lower Learning Commons of the Roblin Centre, or to the Help Desk in the Library Computer Lab at the Notre Dame Campus.  Our staff is available from 8:00AM to 4:00 PM and they are great at helping students with these types of problems.

Reference: Library Help and Guides – Red River College Wireless

Safe Social Networking

September 4, 2013 • Written by

title-screenSocial networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are powerful, allowing you to meet, interact and share with people around the world.

However, with all these capabilities come risks; not to just you, but your family, friends and employer.

In this blog entry I will discuss what these dangers are and how to use these sites more safely.

PRIVACY

A common concern about social networking sites is privacy.

  • Potential dangers include:
    • Impacting Your Future: Many organizations search social networking sites as part of background checks. Embarrassing or incriminating posts, no matter how old, can prevent you from getting hired or promoted.
    • Attacks against You: Cyber criminals can harvest your personal information and use it for attacks against you. For example, they can use your information to guess the answers to your “secret questions” to reset your online passwords, create targeted email attacks or apply for a credit card using your name. These attacks can also spill into the real world, such as identifying where you work or live.
    • Harming Your Employer: Criminals or competitors can use any sensitive information you post about your organization against your employer. In addition, your posts can potentially cause reputational harm for your organization. Be sure to check with your organization’s policies before posting anything about your employer.
    • Harming others: We have to always remember that the things we post on social networking sites is very public and others may be offended by what we post. Sometimes this may be what we call Bullying; at other times it is more innocuous, however it may still be negatively received.

Privacy Advice

  • Limit the information you post. Don’t post anything personal. Yes, privacy options can provide some protection; however, keep in mind that privacy options are often confusing and can change frequently without you knowing. Facebook is notorious for doing this.
  • In Facebook, on the right side of your posts, is a security settings dropdown.  Check it and make sure it is set to at least "Friends".  Avoid "Public"

    In Facebook, on the right side of your posts, is a security settings dropdown. Check it and make sure it is set to at least “Friends”. Avoid “Public”

    In Facebook, the default is to give you minimum security.  In fact, currently, when a new Facebook account is created the user’s posts will be public.  This is not a good idea.  In fact it is recommended that users change their default settings so that ONLY FRIENDS see their postings.

  • The privacy of your information is only as secure as the people you share it with. Limit your friends.  In fact if someone is a stranger to you, then do not become friends with them.
  • Be aware of what information friends are posting about you. It can be just as damaging if they post private information or embarrassing photos of you. Make sure your friends understand what they can or cannot post about you.
  • You may change your settings so that posts and photos where you have been tagged are only seen by you and are hidden from your friends. If one of your friends posts something you are not comfortable with, ask them to take it down. At the same time, be respectful of what you post about others.

SECURITY

In addition to privacy concerns, social networking sites can be used by cyber criminals to attack you, your workstation or your device (Smart Phone). Here are some steps to protect yourself:

  • Login: Protect your social networking account with a strong password and do not share this password with anyone or re-use it for other sites. In addition, some social networking sites support stronger authentication, such as two-step verification. Enable stronger authentication methods whenever possible.
  • Variety of Passwords: Try not to use the same password for all your sites. Try to vary the password in some way. When one site gets hacked, then the hackers may try to use the same password to break into your other accounts. Don’t use the same password for banking as you do for facebook!
  • Encryption: Many social networking sites allow you to use encryption called HTTPS to secure your connection to the site. Some sites like Twitter and Google+ have this enabled by default, while other sites require you to manually enabled HTTPS via account settings. Whenever possible use HTTPS.
  • Email: Be suspicious of emails that claim to come from a social networking site; these can easily be spoofed attacks sent by cyber criminals. The safest way to reply to such messages is to never click the link in an email, but to go to the website directly, perhaps from a saved bookmark, and check any messages or notifications using the website.

SCAMS

Look out for certain types of scams:

  • Twitter Scams:
    • Users sending you a direct message such as “Did you see this picture someone posted of you”. This is a scam. Don’t click the link! The user may even be a colleague or friend. The reason they are sending you these messages is because they have been scammed.
    • If you click something and then you are asked to login to Twitter, be careful. Check the address bar of your browser and make sure you are actually providing your username and password to the real twitter.com web site.For example if you see something like the picture below you will know that you are not giving your information to the REAL twitter.com: (look carefully at the address!)
Note that the address is not exactly Twitter.com.  This is a Phishing attempt.  Don't login!

Note that the address is not exactly Twitter.com. This is an attempt to steal your password (Phishing). Don’t login!

  • Facebook Scams:
    • Malicious Links/Scams: Be cautious of suspicious links or potential scams posted on Facebook. Cyber criminals can post malicious links and if you click on them, they take you to websites that attempt to infect your computer. In addition, just because a message is posted by a friend does not mean it is from them, as their account may have been compromised. If a family member or friend has posted an odd message you cannot verify (such as they have been robbed and need you to send money), call them to confirm the message.
    • Apps: Facebook give you the ability to add or install third-party applications, such as games. Keep in mind there is little or no quality control or review of these applications; they may have full access to your account and private information. Only install apps that you need, that are from well-known, trusted sites and remove them when you no longer need them.
    • This is not a real warning. It is an Advertisment for virus-like software.

      This is not a real warning. It is an Advertisment for virus-like software. Ignore it!!!

      Confusing Ads that are scams: You may see an ad that tells you that your computer is at risk, however clicking on the ad will prompt you to download and install malware. Don’t click it. Ignore it!

    • Like and Share Scams: Did you know that these viral Facebook photos and posts that implore you to Like or Share them are often posted on Facebook for one single purpose? …to make scammers money? Just ignore them.

CONCLUSION

Social networking sites are a powerful and fun way to communicate with the world. If you follow the tips outlined here, you should be able to enjoy a much safer online experience. For more information on how to use social networking sites safely or report unauthorized activity, be sure to review the security pages of the sites you are using.

REFERENCE

OTHER RECOMMENDED LINKS

Are we losing it? Thoughts on “Digital Records Dilemma”

June 17, 2013 • Written by

In the June 15th Winnipeg Free Press, it was discussed (http://tinyurl.com/n6f3f7r) that some government emails are irreversibly deleted. Keeping digital records is important because they provide evidence of how government conducts its business.

Good recordkeeping requires a lot more effort than just ensuring crucial records are not deleted, whether intentionally or not. Essentially, digital records need to be maintained so that they can be accessible and usable over time. Physical artifacts may exist for thousands of years, and paper records could stay for decades, but digital records do not have such robustness. Digital carriers have short longevity, both media and file format obsolete in fast fashion (see Chamber of Horrors), digital data is vulnerable to damage (see Atlas of Digital Damages), can be altered with great ease, all of which could render digital files unreadable in a few years. Stated simply, digital records won’t survive benign neglect.

One might think about printing out and keeping paper records instead. This is definitely not an ideal solution—the benefit of digital format such as links, searchability, and certain functionalities will be lost. Digital records need to be refreshed and migrated on an on-going base. Till today, migration is the most commonly used digital preservation method followed by emulation. Neither of them is straightforward and can be costly. For example, when files are transferred to a different format, errors could be introduced. When it comes to proprietary software, when the vendor is out of the market, support is likely to be discontinued.

Digital preservation is at its infancy. Strategies and methodologies are yet to be developed! One thing is certain–we need to consciously and actively maintain our digital records to avoid leaving a black hole in our society’s collective memory.

Google More, Google Better!

May 1, 2013 • Written by

search-icon-512Many of us use search engines.  In fact, a search engine is often the first place a user heads to when they begin their online session. However most people are not experts and they probably use a search engine in its simplest form.

I’m here to tell you that Search Engines will do much more than you think, and we have posted a handful of really cool tips below that we just know you will love!

Please note that in these instructions we are primarily referring to Google.  However these tips will work in other search engines such as Bing.

Let’s get started!

Searching an Explicit Phrase:

Lets say you are looking for content about the Winnipeg Jets.  Instead of just typing Winnipeg Jets into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase “Winnipeg Jets”.  To do this, simply enclose the search phrase inside quotation marks.

Example: "Winnipeg Jets"

Excluding Words

Lets say you want to search for info about Justin Trudeau, but you want to exclude the results that may be included that have info about Justin Bieber. Simply use the minus (-) sign in front of a keyword you want to exclude from your search results.

Example: Justin Trudeau -Bieber

A Site Specific Search

Often, you want to search a specific website for relevant content.  Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the “site:hostname.com” modifier.

Example: Winnipeg Jets site:winnipegfreepress.com

A Synonym Search

Let’s say you want to include a word in your search, but you also wish to include results that contain similar words or synonyms.  To do this, use the tilde (~) character in front of the word. For example, you could search for “Winnipeg Jobs” and then also search for “Winnipeg Employment” and get two different results.  However if you search for “Winnipeg ~employment” you should get all results for Winnipeg and all synonymns of employment included.

Example: winnipeg ~employment

Searching for a Specific Document Type

Performing a Filetype Specific Search

Performing a Filetype Specific Search

If you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier “filetype:”.  For example, you might want to find only PDF files related to the Red River College:

Example: Red River College filetype:pdf

Searching for This OR That

By default, when you do a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search.  If you are looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator.  Please note that the OR has to be capitalized.

Example: "winnipeg jets" OR "manitoba moose"

Conclusion

There are dozens of tips which can be used with Google, but this is all for now!  We will post more in a future blog entry.

The Invisible Web: Web Resources You Didn’t Know About

April 19, 2013 • Written by

By Lsmpascal [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Lsmpascal [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that search engines such as Google and Yahoo! don’t deliver all that the Web has to offer? In fact, most of the Web is hidden from plain view. You don’t see it because general search tools are unable to index it. It is called the “Invisible Web” or “Deep Web” and contains a treasure trove of info you might find useful, including:

  • the content of databases
  • websites that are deep and rich in content
  • forms to be completed (e.g. sites offering job descriptions, travel directions, etc.)
  • non-text files (e.g. multimedia, images, software, documents)
  • content requiring password access or other restrictions
  • full text articles and books
  • content with continuous updates (e.g. news and airline flights)

There are a ton of search tools to help you access these resources – below are just a few samples. You are encouraged to seek ones that cater to your interests. For example, specialized databases can be found by searching a general search engine using a subject term and the word “database” (e.g. economics database). Check out the links at the bottom of the page for more search tips and background information on the Invisible Web.

Sample Tools for Searching the Invisible Web: 

Librarians’ Internet Index
Infomine
Directory of Open Access Journals

CompletePlanet: The Deep Web Directory
Scirus for Scientific Information Only 
TechXtra 

Learn more…

What Is the ‘Invisible Web’? : The Content That Goes Beyond Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask.com…
(by Paul Gil, About.com Guide)

The Deep Web
(by Laura Cohen, webmaster of the Internet Tutorials: your basic guide to the Internet)

From RRC Library:

Going beyond Google : the Invisible Web in learning and teaching
(by Jane Devine and Francine Egger-Sider)

Internet research
(by Melissa Barker, Donald I. Barker, Katherine Pinard)