Agriculture Communication

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Agriculture Communication

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Multiple Authentication Options Help Reduce Security Headaches

NDSU requires employees to set up and use authentication to log in to websites that contain sensitive data. In many cases, we choose to install the DUO Push app to our smartphones. This allows us to simply tap a button when prompted to authenticate.

What we don't think about, however, is what to do if something happens to our phone (or other primary authentication method). How will you log in to these websites if you do not have that way to authenticate? When configuring authentication settings, make sure to add at least two different authentication methods to ensure you will always have access. 

To add a second option, visit the NDSU Account Management Page to log in and change your settings.

Once logged in, click on Multi-Factor Authentication in the left menu. You will see an authentication screen where you should see this:

Click on Add a new device. You may be prompted to authenticate again. A list of available options should be displayed.  Select a device, making sure it is not the same one you're already using for authentication, and click Continue. Follow the instructions and fill out any additional information, including phone numbers, of the new device. Once finished, you should see a screen confirming the setup of your second device.

Now, when prompted, you'll have multiple options to authenticate. Pay attention to any instructions that appear on the screen during the authentication process. For example, authenticating via phone call may be different between a land line and your mobile phone. Pne may use voice prompts in the call to tell you what number to press, and the other may display instructions on the login screen and use no audio at all. As always, it's a good idea to test each authentication method at least once so you are familiar with how each one works.

If you need assistance adding a second authentication option, please contact the NDSU Help Desk at 701-231-8685.

, IT Systems Specialist, Ag Communication  |  :  (701) 231-8685

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#InnovateNDSU on Storify

This article serves two purposes; One, you can check out all the Twitter and Instagram posts from Fall Conference that used the #InnovateNDSU hashtag. It's a great way to follow new people and fellow staff. Two, I used Storify to gather all social media posts into one "story" that you can scroll through. Storify also lets you create stories using keywords. Check out the #InnovateNDSU Storify.

Storify screenshot

Another example of a Storify is a summary of eXtension's #EdTechLn (Educational Technical Learning) Twitter chat

Ed Tech screenshot storify

, Web Technology Specialist, 701-231-6403

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Write the Right Word: e.g. and i.e.

Abbreviations and acronyms are commonplace in text messages, and they’re becoming more common in other writing as well.

Two of those abbreviations are e.g. and i.e.

E.g. means “for example.” I.e. is the abbreviation for the Latin term id est, or “that is to say.” The best way to remember that e.g. relates to “example” is that both start with an “e.”

Note that e.g. and i.e. require periods after each letter. They also must be followed by a comma in a sentence. “The producer raised several crops; e.g., corn, wheat, barley, canola, oats and dry edible beans.”

But I’d recommend you not use either of these abbreviations. Not everyone knows what they mean, and many people think they can be used interchangeably. Spell out “for example” instead: “The producer raised several crops; for example, corn, wheat, barley, canola, oats and dry edible beans.” Better yet, drop the “for example” and just use a colon (:) after crops.

You also don’t need to use “that is to say.” If you have to explain what you just said in another way, you shouldn’t be saying it the original way.

I.e. often is used in parenthesis: “Apply XYZ pesticides on a calm day (i.e., winds blowing less than 5 mph).” But you don’t need the i.e. because the phrase in parentheses is clear without it.

, Information Specialist, 701-231-5391

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Selling Digital Downloads on Catalog

Screenshot of Managing Farm Stress in the Catalo System

We have launched our first site selling digital downloads of NDSU Extension Service resources on the eXtension Catalog system.

Our pilot site provides access to program materials from “Managing Farm Stress and Promoting Wellness” for a $25 fee,

People can make their purchase through eXtension’s Catalog, https://catalog.extension.org. They can pay by credit card, PayPal or invoice. eXtension collects the money and sends it to us quarterly, minus transaction fees and a 5% eXtension fee.

The materials are contained in a Moodle "course," so each instance can contain one or several downloadable files. Here's a screenshot of what the "“Managing Farm Stress and Promoting Wellness” instance looks like to someone who has purchased access.

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, 701-231-7381

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Phishing Season Never Ends

Last year, IT Systems Specialist Jerry Ranum and helped roll out an anti-Phishing campaign to NDSU employees to protect them from fraudulent emails. After the campaign rolled out, we measured a sizable decrease in the number of people who "fell" for phishing emails. Unfortunately, scammers will always be one step ahead of us and try to take advantage of those who don't act safe online. Although the official anti-phishing campaign is over in terms of measuring, it's never really over because we need to remain vigilant against scammers. Just recently, an Extension colleague forwarded me a suspicious looking email and asked if it was a "scam".

The email had an attachment and asked her to open it because it said she was getting money deposited into her bank account. I'm glad she asked me first instead of falling for it because I determined it to be a phished email because it displayed the following red flags:

  • Has an attachment. Were you expecting this attachment from this sender? If not, it's suspicious. Always be careful in opening attachments, especially if you don't know the sender or aren't expecting the email.
  • Addressed to "Dear Customer". Professional Marketers often take the time and have the software to use personal greetings.
  • A promises of a cash deposit to entice you to open the attached PDF. Who wouldn't want an unexpected deposit? Avoid the temptation to click on the attachment.
  • Not signed by a particular person or group and there's no phone number to call with questions. Anonymity doesn't belong in email.

Screenshot below of the actual email:

Sue M phishing screenshot

I'm glad the colleague hesitated to click on the attachment. If you get a suspicious looking email, the NDSU ITS Help Desk can help you decide if it's a phished email. Or if it's obviously a phish, please report it to .

, Web Technology Specialist, 701-231-6403
, IT Systems Specialist, 701-231-6395

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Write the Right Word: Affect or Effect

“Affect” and “effect” seem to give some writers a lot of problems. First of all, those two words do not mean the same thing and can’t be used interchangeably.

As a verb, “effect” means to cause. For example: “The new department chair will effect many changes in the next few months.”

As a noun, “effect” means result. For instance: “The effect of last weekend’s rain on crop growth was phenomenal.”

“Affect,” as a verb, means to influence. “The team’s loss on Sunday will not affect its standings.”

Avoid using “affect” as a noun. It's used occasionally as a noun in psychology to describe an emotion,

, Information Specialist, 701-231-5391

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More Organized Collaboration with Google Team Drives

Most of the collaboration and sharing happening on Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive is file or folder based. Someone creates a folder or file, then they share it with specific people or create a shareable link.

This "file first" approach creates a file ownership challenge. The person who creates the folder or file is the owner, and if they leave NDSU things can get complicated. In OneDrive file ownership cannot be transferred, so when the file owner no longer has an account, collaborators may lose access to that file.In Google Drive, file ownership can be transferred, but it could be burdensome for an outgoing employee to transfer ownership of all their shared folders and files.

To get around the file ownership challenge, teams have created SharePoint sites in Office 365. Files shared in a SharePoint site belong to the site, not to an individual owner, so they can survive any one team member leaving the organization or team.

Google Team Drives

Now there is a similar solution in Google Drive. Team Drives allow you to create a team first, then share folders and files with them. As in SharePoint, the files belong to the Team Drive, not to any one team member. Team Drives also help with the organization of Google Drive folders and files. Team Drives appear in a distinct section of Google Drive.

To learn more about Team Drives, check out this helpful article in the GSuite Learning Center.

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, 701-231-7381

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New Login for Google Apps for Education at NDSU

Google DriveYou no longer need to remember a separate username and password to access Google Apps for Education at NDSU (Google Drive, Docs, Sites and YouTube).

When you access the Google login page and enter your @ndsu.edu email address, you will be redirected to NDSU's login page and prompted for your electronic ID and password (aka Central Authentication System username and password).

Your NDSU Username and password are the same credentials that you use to log into Qualtrics, Blackboard, NDSU computer labs, and the on-campus WiFi. If you forgot your username or password you can recover it at Accounts or contact the IT Help Desk by phone or in person for assistance.

Bob Bertsch, Web Technology Specialist, 701-231-7381

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Options for Sharing Your Skype for Business Recording

So you've recorded your Skype for Business meeting or webinar, but what do you do with it now?

In the video below, I share how to find your recording, and how to use your NDSU Google Drive or YouTube account to share your Skype for Business recordings with others.

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Write the Right Word: Among and Between

Are you confused about whether to use “among” or “between”? You aren’t alone.

“Between” generally refers to a relationship involving two people, animals or things. For example: “Let’s keep this news between you and me.” Or: “I have to choose between going to the movie and going to the mall.”

“Among” refers to a relationship involving three or more people, animals or things. For example, “Researchers found no differences in yield among the three wheat varieties they studied.”

Following those same rules, “between” is correct when three or more people, animals or things are considered one group. For instance: “Salary negotiations are underway between the company and its janitorial, secretarial and mailroom staff.” The three types of staff are considered a single unit.

One other note: Avoid using “amongst” for “among” in the writing we do. “Amongst” is considered archaic and overly formal.

, Information Specialist, 701-231-5391

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