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Monday, November 23, 2015

A Few Inspirational Quotes On Leadership

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality” – Warren Bennis

“The best way to inspire people to superior performance is to convince them by everything you do and by your everyday attitude that you are wholeheartedly supporting them.”
– Harold S. Geneen

“A Leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.” –Rosalynn Carter

“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”-Theodore W. Hesburgh

Stephen R. Covey. Great Quotes on Leadership and Life. Franklin Covey Co, 2013.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

SDPB Blog: South Dakota FOCUS: Financial and Cyber Security

Thursday, November 19th on South Dakota FOCUS, host Stephanie Rissler and a panel of experts focus on financial and cyber security.

Click here to check out the SDPB Blog to see what Network Technology Engineer, Jeff Litterick and Chief Security Officer, Jim Edman had to say in regards to Cyber Security!

Photo Credit: SDPB Blog

Monday, November 16, 2015

Please Welcome Roxanne Weber!

Roxanne Weber has recently joined BIT as a LAN Services Technician.

Roxanne is a native of South Dakota, born in Britton and raised in Aberdeen. She graduated from Aberdeen Central High and went on later to complete an Associate of Computer Science at Presentation College, a Bachelor of Political Science at Northern State University, and then a Master of Public Administration from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Roxanne has spent the past decade+ working as a freelancer providing web design services, as a computer hardware field technician, an RFP writer, a management research analyst, and providing business marketing and social media consulting, in addition to many other related projects, jobs and experiences over the years. Roxanne has recently moved to Pierre from Sioux Falls.

In addition to her professional experiences, Roxanne is also an avid (amateur) artist. She also performs as a professional voice over artist for audiobooks and the occasional commercial opportunity. Roxanne's biggest weaknesses are chocolate (bribes are an option!) and good music.

Welcome to BIT, Roxanne! We are happy to have you!  

Friday, November 13, 2015

Microsoft Office Shortcuts

Everyone wants to be more efficient, right? Why spend 10 minutes doing a task when it can be done in 5?

Because email plays such a large role in the majority of our lives, here are a few simple tips and tricks to help you be MORE efficient when dealing with your emails:

Outlook shortcuts:
  • Ctrl+R: reply to email 
  • Ctrl+P: Preview and Print 
  • Ctrl+S: Save 
  • Alt+R: reply to all in email or switch to the work week calendar view 
  • Alt+W: forward email or switch to the weekly calendar view 
  • Ctrl+M: F9 to Send/Receive all 
  • Alt+S: Send email 
  • Ctrl+G: open the "Go to Date" dialog to jump to any date in the calendar 
  • Ctrl+E: Search 
  • F9: Check for mail

Friday, November 6, 2015

Not Utilizing Your Microsoft Outlook Calendar? You should!

How using your calendar helps YOU:

· Mental Preparedness. Simply stated: when you know a task is coming you are more prone to being prepared for the task.
· Focusing on your task. Blocking your calendar for a particular event means that you will be focusing on THAT event (or at least you should be). You have allotted a chunk of time to work on a specific item.
· Improved Productivity. Knowing what you need to do helps you do it! It’s as easy as that. When you have a game plan you are more likely to be productive.
· Less Stress. Thoughtfully and strategically prioritizing your calendar by putting high priority items first and lesser priority items later will lessen your stress levels. This method should help you to better meet deadlines as well!

How blocking your calendar helps others:

Have you ever tried to make an appointment with a group of people, or maybe just one person?

You go to set up a new meeting, add the attendee(s) and enter in the date and time. Microsoft Outlook has a neat little feature that checks all the attendees' calendars to let you know if that time you selected works for them as well. You look to the side of the meeting invite and see this:

All systems go, right? Not always. Just because someone’s calendar says they are free doesn’t mean they actually are. This is why it is so important to keep your calendar up to date. Personal appointments, work appointments, whatever the occasion you should block time on your calendar so people know when they can get ahold of you.

Remember the golden rule: do unto others as you would want them to do to you! You wouldn’t want someone wasting your time, so do your best not to waste theirs!


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

FirstNet: Changing Communications Forever

We all remember where we were the morning of September 11, 2001. We watched in awe while police helicopter pilots circled the glowing red towers as they began to collapse in front of us.

From the helicopters, police were able to warn those in the North Tower that the tower would not be able to last much longer. Consequently, most of the police officers were able to heed these warnings, allowing them to evacuate the building safely.

The firefighters in the same building, however, never received this information for one simple reason: Radio systems for the Fire Department, the Police Department, and the Port Authority Police were all incompatible with each other.

Not only were firefighters and police officers unable to communicate, but due to technical issues that day, Fire Department radios, in particular, had very limited range. Chuck Dowd, the head of New York’s 911 call center at the time recalls, “As soon as they went five or ten floors up in the buildings, they couldn’t talk to each other.”

When the 9/11 Commission released its report in 2004, it identified communications failures as a “critical element” that undermined the response to the attacks. Sadly, this is not the first time the US has been confronted with this issue.

In 1967, President Lyndon Johnson’s Commission on Law Enforcement noted that, “In emergency situations that require mutual support, neighboring police departments cannot communicate because their radios operate on different frequencies.”

Again when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, the storm and flooding had completely wiped out communication networks- requiring first responders to improvise low tech-solutions. “It got to the point that people were literally writing messages on paper, putting them in bottles and dropping them from helicopters to other people on the ground,” Louisiana State Senator Robert Barham told The Washington Post in 2005.

After much lobbying, on February 22, 2012, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Jobs Creation Act was signed into law. This legislation established the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and charged it with creating a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). Thus one of the largest government technology projects begun: creation of a single nationwide network for public-safety officials known as FirstNet.

The term “FirstNet” is also used to describe the broadband network itself, which will be a single, nation-wide network. This network will allow our first responders from a variety of jurisdictions to stay safe and to do their jobs, while enabling them to communicate at the same time. To meet the needs of federal, state, local and tribal public safety agencies, it will require one of the largest and most complex I/T projects in the nation’s history. Ultimately this would address the problem of inadequate, fragmented communications that have plagued police, fire departments and other emergency agencies for years.

The premise behind the NPSBN is having available mobile data bandwidth for our nation’s first responders no matter what the situation. Currently, in emergencies the commercial wireless carriers can be overwhelmed and access to cellular voice or data services may become unreliable, if available at all. This “FirstNet project” creates a separate (from the public) wireless network specifically for the public safety industry, thus ensuring access in the worst of times.

State officials with the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications have been working with FirstNet to ensure we design a network that will work not only for our state, but on a national level as well. The South Dakota Public Safety Communication Council (http://sdpscc.sd.gov/) governs these activities. This council is well represented with the many public safety entities in our state. We need to ensure South Dakota is not overlooked by making FirstNet aware of our concerns, and unique aspects of our state’s public safety needs. We want this network to function in some of our most remote areas as well as in our metro areas. With the collaboration and help from our public safety community, we will make sure everyone is properly represented.

Resources to stay informed:
For more information about the national FirstNet project you can browse to http://FirstNet.gov.
To stay informed on the FirstNet effort in South Dakota you can browse to http://psbn.sd.gov.

Our state website: http://psbn.sd.gov/
Twitter: @SDPSBN
Follow along at: https://twitter.com/sdpsbn
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sdpsbn
E-Mail: PSBNInfo@state.sd.us


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Three Major Ways You Put Your Data At Risk

As large scale cyber incidents continue to make headlines, it is more important than ever to join together with a common message to help individuals of all ages and all segments of the community understand cyber threats and be safer and more secure online.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) and the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications is joining with the Department of Homeland Security and its partners across the country to share tips on how we can protect our information and our identities online.

Here are the most common ways people put their personal data at risk:

1. Using weak passwords. Are your passwords part of the worst passwords of 2014 list? This list includes passwords such as “123456” and “password.” Do not choose an easy-to-guess password and do not use the same password for multiple accounts.

2. Keeping devices unprotected. If you are separated from your mobile device, you do not want anyone to be able to access all the data from your device, including data stored in your apps. Put your devices out of sight when you walk away from them and password-protect them.

3. Sharing too much information online. From including your birthdate, phone number, and address in your social media profiles to posting pictures of when you are on vacation, sharing too much online can give people enough information to access your accounts or your home when you are away. Wait until you’re home from your trip to post pictures.

Follow these tips from the national cybersecurity awareness campaign, Stop.Think.Connect.™ to be safer and more secure online:

·Secure your devices. Take advantage of lock screens, passwords, and fingerprint scanning capabilities to secure your smartphones, tablets, and computers.

·Set strong passwords. Make your passwords hard to guess, and change them regularly.

·Think before you app. Many mobile applications request access to information stored on your mobile device, including your contact lists, pictures, and location data. Determine if you really want to share such information before downloading the app.

·Do business with reputable vendors. Before providing any personal or financial information, make sure that you are interacting with a reputable, established vendor. Attackers may try to trick you by creating malicious websites that falsely appear to be legitimate companies.

·Customize the settings on your accounts. Many accounts include default settings that promote more information sharing. Check your account settings to ensure only the information you want to share is visible to those people you want to share it with.

For more information on NCSAM 2015, visit


To receive cyber security tips year round, visit www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect and become a friend of the Campaign. The Stop.Think.Connect. online toolkit is filled with tips, facts, and shareable resources: www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect-toolkit