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IT Update

Oct 23, 2019

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IT Staffing Changes


Well, it has been a hectic few months at the IT Department. Never before have I lost every staff member of my department. That was fun (but not necessarily an experience I want to repeat).


First, Gordon Holtslander decided to go to sunnier climates, and is living it up in the beautiful Vancouver Island enjoying semi-retirement. I would like to wish him well and thank him for all the hard work he has put in over his 10 + years with Gabriel Dumont Institute.


Kent Barnes and Kyle Manley moved on to new positions in Saskatoon, and again I would like to acknowledge and thank them for the dedication and hard work they put in over their short time here.


And now to the new guys. I would like to welcome Bruce McDonald to the Saskatoon Offices. He joins us from the University of Saskatchewan where he worked as a Systems Analyst. Bruce is highly skilled in software and web development, as well as General IT Support.


In Prince Albert (and covering the North), I would like to welcome Ed Van Der Koot. He joins us most recently from Muskoday First Nation Community School and has extensive experience in IT Support in an education environment.



Overall, there were 44,495 Page Views and 10,125 visitors (76% of these were new visitors) in April 2019. Some highlights of activity are as follows. About 10% of visitors went to the home page,7.5% (or 759 visitors) clicked on What We Offer, 3.4% (or 344 people) went to the scholarships page, 2.9% (294 people) went to the Training and Employment and 2.7% (or 273 people) went to the jobs page.


From a demographic point of view, 78% of the visits were from Canadian locations, 11% from the United States, and approximately 1.1% from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and India.


If you would like any website information changed, or to add anything please contact the Website and Social Media Committee via webgroup@gdins.org.


Social Media Summary

The following are some brief stats from our Social Media channels in April.


Facebook: We have broken the 10,000 barrier. The total page likes at the end of April was 10,546. Total Engagements (number of links clicked, likes or comments) in this month was 4,726 over 16 posts. Total reach of posts (number of people who saw a post in their feed) was 75,163 with 13,861 impressions (number of times a GDI page appeared in others’ news feeds). The most popular post was the Northern Michif App (“Maarsii, CBC, for making this happen….”) with a reach of 10,300, 402 post clicks and 400 Likes, comments and shares.


Twitter: 28 tweets earned 26,300 impressions. There were 19 new followers in the month, 51 mentions, and 813 Profile visits. The top tweet was “Thinking of becoming a teacher” (SUNTEP Regina Open House), earning 4,274 impressions. Top mention was the “I’m so impressed w/ the work these 1st year SUNTEP students produced…” by Brenna Pacholko with 245 engagements. Top media tweet was “We are hiring…” (Faculty recruitment SUNTEP Regina) with 950 impressions. We currently have 1,941 followers.


If you need to promote any information, whether it is an event, a department, or just to drive numbers up, please contact the Website and Social Media Committee with details. We can advise the best way to approach and market this. We can usually be contacted at webgroup@gdins.org.



Just a quick reminder to be vigilant on all emails received. Please be wary of emails asking for account or password information (phishing attacks).


Some of the recent ones appear to be asking you to look at the attached invoice or a payment, with a word document, or a hyperlink in the body of the email. Also, recently seen emails reporting to be from mailserver saying your account is compromised and asking to provide you password.


A couple of tips to identify a phishing email. 1) Look at the from email address. Usually has no reference to the organization it is purported to be from, or will be slightly distorted. For example, if the address was rbc.support@hotmail.com.co. and it really was from RBC, then chances are that the email would be .@rbc.com or ..@rbc.ca. We have seen @gdimail.com. 2) If there is a link in the email, hover over it, and look at the address it is sending you to. Again this usually bears no relation to the company it is supposed to be to. 3) Use you knowledge of the company to identify false information. For example, someone from IT or HR will not be asking you for payment, or invoice information.


If you suspect any email to contain a phishing attack or a virus, don’t open the attachment, follow any of the links, or reply to it. The safest option is to delete it. You are always welcome to contact IT for advice on how to deal with any suspicious emails received.


Just to reinforce this. No reputable company will ask for confidential information such as passwords by email.


Final thought

(I know at least one person that misses these).

This is in for the new guys:

A computer engineer, a systems analyst, and a programmer were driving down a mountain when the brakes gave out. They screamed down the mountain, gaining speed, and finally managed to grind to a halt, more by luck than anything else, just inches from a thousand-foot drop to jagged rocks. They all got out of the car. The computer engineer said, “I think I can fix it.” The systems analyst said, “No, I think we should take it into town and have a specialist look at it.” The programmer said, “I think we should push it back up the hill and see if it does it again.”

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GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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