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Social Impact Initiative

American University News - Mon, 01/30/2017 - 00:00
Univision, Fusion Media Group (FMG) and American University’s Center for Media & Social Impact (CMSI) today announced the launch of a new research-based initiative.
Categories: University News

AU’s Creative Caucus Spurs Collaboration

American University News - Fri, 01/27/2017 - 00:00
AU Professor John Simson believes in the power of synergy. This conviction inspired him to found AU's Creative Caucus--an interdisciplinary artistic forum for faculty across campus.
Categories: University News

Securing Your Drupal Site

The George Washington University - Thu, 01/26/2017 - 13:40
January 26, 2017Christian Aldridge, Web Developer for Libraries & Academic Innovation

If you’re patching your Drupal installation regularly (core and module updates) you’re halfway there.

An important disclaimer: I’m not addressing the server environment (LAMP stack) in this post, which is critical to security. If you’re using a hosting service, be sure to check on their security policies and makes sure they’re updating your server.

Part 1: Secure Your Connection

Make sure you’re configured to pass login and form submissions over a secure connection. If you’re using a hosted service, check their options for adding a certificate to your site: on some services (like Dreamhost) it’s as simple as checking some boxes.

In a future post I’ll address adding certificates to your site in detail (configuring Apache and generating certificates) so you can run connections securely over https using SSL (Secure Socket Layer).

If your site accepts both http and https requests (instead of routing all requests over https), I recommend the Secure Login module (https://www.drupal.org/project/securelogin). This will let you force login requests and form submissions over https. Why is this important? If you don’t use a secure connection for logins or forms, all the submitted information (including passwords) is sent using clear text (unencrypted plain text) and can be intercepted.

These are the settings I tend to use, which include forcing forms of any kind to submit over a secure connection:

Note: if you’re using the Drupal login block on a page and you’re using Secure Login, that page will load over https. By default new Drupal 7 installations include the login block on the home page.

A last point on securing your site: it’s good for SEO! Google ranks secure sites higher, so you can check off another box on your Search Engine Optimization to-do list.

Part 2: Accessible Spam Protection

On my sites I use the aptly-named Honeypot module (https://www.drupal.org/project/honeypot), a simple and effective way to catch spam in forms (comments, contact forms, anything that allows an anonymous user to submit something). I prefer Honeypot over Captcha because (a) it’s invisible to the user and (b) it meets accessibility requirements.

Comment sections tend to be hit the most on the Drupal sites I’ve built, and with Honeypot I’ve reduced spam to very manageable crumbs. If new comments from anonymous users are set to require approval (which I highly recommend) this will keep your site “spam free” on the user side and limit the spammed comments to a trickle that are easily deleted.

Once you install the module, you can adjust the settings from the configuration page:

I’d start with the default settings and then adjust from there if anything is getting through. I recommend starting with the time limit setting first, then tinkering with the element name if spam is still managing to get through. And remember to check the logs!

These two easy steps will help make your Drupal site both more secure and less of a headache.

Securing Your Drupal Site

The George Washington University - Thu, 01/26/2017 - 13:40
January 26, 2017Christian Aldridge, Web Developer for Libraries & Academic Innovation

If you’re patching your Drupal installation regularly (core and module updates) you’re halfway there.

An important disclaimer: I’m not addressing the server environment (LAMP stack) in this post, which is critical to security. If you’re using a hosting service, be sure to check on their security policies and makes sure they’re updating your server.

Part 1: Secure Your Connection

Make sure you’re configured to pass login and form submissions over a secure connection. If you’re using a hosted service, check their options for adding a certificate to your site: on some services (like Dreamhost) it’s as simple as checking some boxes.

In a future post I’ll address adding certificates to your site in detail (configuring Apache and generating certificates) so you can run connections securely over https using SSL (Secure Socket Layer).

If your site accepts both http and https requests (instead of routing all requests over https), I recommend the Secure Login module (https://www.drupal.org/project/securelogin). This will let you force login requests and form submissions over https. Why is this important? If you don’t use a secure connection for logins or forms, all the submitted information (including passwords) is sent using clear text (unencrypted plain text) and can be intercepted.

These are the settings I tend to use, which include forcing forms of any kind to submit over a secure connection:

Note: if you’re using the Drupal login block on a page and you’re using Secure Login, that page will load over https. By default new Drupal 7 installations include the login block on the home page.

A last point on securing your site: it’s good for SEO! Google ranks secure sites higher, so you can check off another box on your Search Engine Optimization to-do list.

Part 2: Accessible Spam Protection

On my sites I use the aptly-named Honeypot module (https://www.drupal.org/project/honeypot), a simple and effective way to catch spam in forms (comments, contact forms, anything that allows an anonymous user to submit something). I prefer Honeypot over Captcha because (a) it’s invisible to the user and (b) it meets accessibility requirements.

Comment sections tend to be hit the most on the Drupal sites I’ve built, and with Honeypot I’ve reduced spam to very manageable crumbs. If new comments from anonymous users are set to require approval (which I highly recommend) this will keep your site “spam free” on the user side and limit the spammed comments to a trickle that are easily deleted.

Once you install the module, you can adjust the settings from the configuration page:

I’d start with the default settings and then adjust from there if anything is getting through. I recommend starting with the time limit setting first, then tinkering with the element name if spam is still managing to get through. And remember to check the logs!

These two easy steps will help make your Drupal site both more secure and less of a headache.

Former HHS Secretary Burwell Is American University’s Next President

American University News - Thu, 01/26/2017 - 00:00
Obama Cabinet Member is First Woman to Lead AU
Categories: University News

First-Year Students Dive Deeper in New Class on Race

American University News - Thu, 01/26/2017 - 00:00
The new course is part of the American University Experience pilot.
Categories: University News

Interesting Find in the Collection: Beyond Segregation: The Problem of Power

The George Washington University - Wed, 01/25/2017 - 15:32

The National Education Association, as advocates for educators and public education, took on a unique role in the wake of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling.

Interesting Find in the Collection: Beyond Segregation: The Problem of Power

The George Washington University - Wed, 01/25/2017 - 15:32

The National Education Association, as advocates for educators and public education, took on a unique role in the wake of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling.

Zotero Spring Workshops

George Mason University - Wed, 01/25/2017 - 11:25

Mason Libraries are offering Zotero workshops on various days and at various times during the Spring Semester. Learn how to use this tool to collect, organize, cite and share research resources. Workshop registration is preferred. See the Mason Libraries Workshops calendar for days, dates, times and locations. 

Categories: University News

How Kogod Shaped Me

American University News - Tue, 01/24/2017 - 00:00
Jessica Antopol, BSBA '16, is a self-proclaimed "Kogod student, through and through." "Each step of the way, I was in awe of the support I received from Kogod," she says.
Categories: University News

Christine and Michael: From McDowell dorm mates to AU Sweethearts

American University News - Tue, 01/24/2017 - 00:00
For AU Sweethearts Christine and Michael, a shared dorm and passion for soccer turns a friendship into marriage.
Categories: University News

AU Partners With Veteran-Owned Composting Firm

American University News - Tue, 01/24/2017 - 00:00
University supports Zero Waste and veterans
Categories: University News

DOEE Honors AU at 2016 Sustainability Awards

American University News - Tue, 01/24/2017 - 00:00
University chosen by public for People’s Choice Award
Categories: University News

Contemporary Abstraction on Display at AU Museum

American University News - Tue, 01/24/2017 - 00:00
Winter exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center are open Jan. 28, 2017 through March 12, 2017.
Categories: University News

From Germany to Hillary: A WSP alum’s career in American politics

American University News - Tue, 01/24/2017 - 00:00
Recent Washington Semester Program alumni credits his internship as the gateway to attaining the position in the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
Categories: University News

SIS instructor tracks fugitives in new reality show

American University News - Sun, 01/22/2017 - 00:00
SIS Instructor and former CIA Analyst Aki Peritz plays the ultimate game of hide and seek in the new CBS reality show “Hunted.”
Categories: University News

Libraries Provide NY Times Online

George Mason University - Fri, 01/20/2017 - 10:40

Mason Libraries now provides Mason students, faculty, and staff with full and free online access to NYTimes.com and NYT mobile apps. Access includes the International, Spanish, and Chinese editions; breaking news articles; blogs; videos, and interactive features. Users can share and comment on articles, set up daily or weekly email alerts by topic or keyword, and save articles or links for later reading. Users are also encouraged to download the NYTimes app, which is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android.

Get started!  Create your NYTimes account with your Mason username and password. Once registered, you can access NYTimes.com directly from any location, around campus, the Commonwealth, the country or the world.

Note: Mason Libraries provide access to other current newspaper holdings, which include the Financial Times’ FT.com (first-time users register here), Dow Jones’ Factiva News Page, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and the Economist Online.

Categories: University News

Empowering Women in the Boardroom, and Beyond

American University News - Thu, 01/19/2017 - 00:00
Women's leadership in the workplace continues to be a key area of focus--for companies and researchers alike. Find out how a team of AU graduate students helped advance the conversation.
Categories: University News

The Analytics of Measurement and Evaluation

American University News - Thu, 01/19/2017 - 00:00
By taking inspiration from the way corporations use business analytics to optimize their Big Data, our program measurement and evaluation processes can be greatly enhanced.
Categories: University News

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