How to spot ‘fake news’

 

Anyone who has been to one of our classes on Literature Searching will be aware of the importance of evaluating information – and its source – for your academic work. This is also important in your day to day life as well, especially if you get most of your information from social media. When reading anything online, take a moment to stop and follow this guide. If the story sounds suspicious, you can also use fact checking sites like Snopes and Full Fact.

    • how-to-spot-fake-news-IFLA

 

 

‘Email De-activation Request’ – How to Spot a Phishing Scam

Here is some updated advice following the latest round of Phishing emails, with subject lines such as ‘Email De-activation Request’ or ‘Important Doc’.

When you receive a suspicious email, stop and take a moment to think about:

  • Who
  • Why
  • What
  • When 
  • Where
  1. Who and why: Check the sender and the logic of their request

Most of the time a spam email will come from an unfamiliar organisational email address. However, if it is from a recognised email address, you need to be extra cautious and report it immediately to the owner or the email administrator to verify it.

In the recent case, where staff and student accounts were compromised, the sender appears as a genuine HWU user. In that case, consider whether it’s reasonable that a fellow student or teaching member of staff is asking you to verify your IT account details.

  1. What: Read the message

Don’t ever fall to trickeries stated in the email example like a link asking for a reset password which you don’t request, quizzes that require you to login or asking for your digital signature. Always be sure that the email is legitimate before proceeding to click any links in it. If in doubt, check with ithelp@hw.ac.uk in the first instance.

Never feel so rushed into doing something in a hurry. Think what you’re being asked to do. In general terms, deleting a message is the safest course of action after reading and considering the contents of an unexpected email.

  1. Where is it taking you: Got an attachment or link? Look out!

Attachments may contained malware and viruses. Again, be vigilant and always ensure the email that you received is legitimate and from a trustable source. Check (hover over or right click on a link) to see where it is you are being sent. If the web address is unfamiliar or in any way suspicious, don’t go there. If you do arrive at a strange site though, never enter your Heriot Watt credentials in any of the forms there.

  1. When: Report it, immediately

If you are unsure don’t wait but please report any suspicious email right away to IT by attaching the email and send it to Abuse@hw.ac.uk. If you think your account has been compromised, don’t delay and please seek assistance immediately from ITHelp@hw.ac.uk

 

If you think you have received a spam or phishing email:

DON’T click on any links or open any attachments

DO forward the email to abuse@hw.ac.uk and delete it

 

Happy Libraries Week!

Today marks the start of Libraries Week 2018. We’ll be writing all week about how you can maintain your digital wellbeing, whether that’s how to spot a phishing scam or how to manage your ‘Digital Footprint’. Today, we wanted to focus on some of the ways in which we work with Student Wellbeing Services to support you.

Bibliotherapy Guide.

We worked with the Student Wellbeing Services to develop the Bibliotherapy Guide as a list of self-help books, websites and other resources on a range of topics. It’s constantly being developed, but if you have anything you’d like to suggest do contact us at LibHelp@hw.ac.uk.

Power Hours. 

Wellbeing Services have been running sessions as part of the Power Hours programme on the Edinburgh Campus for close to 10 years. For example, this week they are running the following sessions on the Edinburgh Campus:

Self Care and Your Studies: Tuesday 9 October, 15.30 – 17:00.

This session focuses on how to manage your wellbeing and how to deal with the challenges and stresses of students life. Run by the Student Counselling Service, this workshop will provide an opportunity to think about your work/life balance, discover resources and gather helpful tips to enhance your University experience.

How to Stop Putting Things Off: Friday 12 October, 12:15 – 13:15, Anderson Room .

Putting things off until tomorrow? Avoiding completing tasks altogether? Feeling de-motivated? Putting off or delaying starting work can result in us feeling more stressed and under pressure, yet we can find ourselves repeating this behaviour time and time again. This workshop will explore: the reasons why we put things off, what we can do about it and ideas to help with motivation and “getting started”.

To book, visit the Power Hours website 

To find out more about what Student Wellbeing Services are doing on your campus, visit their webpages.

Managing Exam Stress

If exam stress is getting the better of you, Student Wellbeing Services are running ‘Quick and Easy Techniques for Managing Exam Stress’ drop in sessions every Monday and Wednesday during the exam period

 

Mondays: 11 – 11.30am and 11.30 – 12.20am exam stress drop ins

Wednesdays: 3 – 3.30pm and 3.30 – 4pm

Where: Student Wellbeing Resource Centre (Hugh Nisbet Building – opposite the Union Shop)

How to Succeed in Exams

We’ve organised some extra sessions of the ‘How to Succeed in Exams’ Power Hour. Whether you find yourself struggling or wanting some extra tips so you can push yourself from a 2:1 to an 1st, this class can help you. It aims to give you the tools you need to create a successful revision strategy, handle procrastination and deal with the exam with confidence.

When? Every Wednesday and Thursday from 28 March to 19 April

What Time? 12.15 – 1.15pm (EXCEPT Wednesday 11 April, which will start at 2.15pm)

Where? The Anderson Room, top floor of the Library

There will also be a webinar at 4pm on Thursday 5 April.

To book, visit our website

To discuss revision and exam strategies, you can also make a one-to-one appointment with a member of our Effective Learning team.

Dubai: email Allyson Noble at a.noble@hw.ac.uk

Malaysia: email Stella Galimpin at s.galimpin@hw.ac.uk

UK and IDL students: email LibHelp@hw.ac.uk or book using the online calendar

 

12 Reads of Christmas: Spot the Space Station

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No? Maybe it’s the International Space Station.

Nasa’s Spot the Station website will let you know when you can expect to see the Space Station (ISS) in your area and gives you tips on how to identify it. It also has some beautiful images taken on the ISS which are well worth a look.

Are the skies near you too cloudy to see anything? Stellarium is an open source programme that allows you to see the stars as if there is no interference from clouds, light or even the atmosphere.

12 Reads of Christmas: Academic Phrasebank

Do you sometimes struggle to say what you mean in your essay, thesis, report or dissertation? The Academic Phrasebank is full of reusable phrases you can use in your writing. Produced by the University of Manchester, the phrases listed here have been taken from authentic academic sources and arranged by chapter of a report or thesis, with other sections on general language usage for other writing. It is extremely useful for all students, regardless of academic level or confidence with English.

The online guide is free, however a more comprehensive PDF version can also be purchased from their website for £4.99

See also

For more support with academic writing, Skills4StudyCampus has a module on Writing – for more information visit our website or access it from the A-Z Database list

There are lots of excellent guides and resources for academic writing listed on the Information, Research and Study Skills Subject Guide. There are books to help with all kinds of academic writing, including essays, reports and theses.

A Note on Citing and Referencing 

For help citing and referencing using the Harvard author-date system, visit our online resource Cite Them Right Online.

If you use another style, such as IEEE, SIAM or the Royal Society of Chemistry, visit your Subject Guide for help and guidelines.

12 Reads of Christmas: Health and Wellbeing

There’s nothing more important this Winter than taking care of yourself. Today’s topic for recommended reads is all about your Health and Wellbeing.

If you haven’t already, we also recommend reading the University’s Health and Wellbeing pages to see what kinds of help and support you can access. There are lots of books dedicated to the subject, so we recommend reading our Bibliotherapy page. This has a list of useful books and websites on a range of mental and physical health topics, such as overcoming anxiety and eating disorders.

Each campus also has a range of sports facilities you can use and clubs you can get involved with. Visit the links below to find out more.

12 Reads of Christmas: The Study Skills Handbook

Now on it’s fourth edition, ‘The Study Skills Handbook’ by Stella Cottrell has lots of useful tips and techniques to help you study. Sections include help on time management, revision strategies, writing techniques and more. study skills handbook

Our online resource, Skills 4 Study Campus, is based on this book. We subscribe to four modules:

  • Getting Ready for Academic Study
  • Reading and Note-Making
  • Writing Skills
  • Critical Thinking Skills

Find The Study Skills Handbook on Discovery or access Skills 4 Study Campus from the A-Z Database List

See also:

Other study skills guides that we highly recommend include:

For more information on guides to studying, writing and more, please see the Information, Research and Study Skills Subject Guide.

Have you tried Balabolka?

Balabolka is a free programme for Windows that will convert text to speech. It can read aloud text copied from websites, word documents and PDFs, and can create MP3 files so you can listen on the go. balabolka

For guidance on using Balabolka, we have a detailed guidance PDF, and you can watch this short demonstration video.

You can download and install on your own Windows computer for free, with no adverts, from here.

Free, high quality Scottish voices “Stuart” and “Heather” are also available to download from here. You will be asked to complete your details before you can download them – make sure you give you Heriot-Watt email address.

For more information about software available to you as a student, visit the Information Services Software webpages and the Assistive Technology webpages.

 

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