Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 - New Student Edition
01. Welcome to Tech Update
02. What's Important for New Students to Know and Do?
03. Setting Up an Ethernet Connection (ResNet)
04. Setting Up Wireless Internet Access
05. Downloading Site-Licensed Software
06. Know the AUP and the DMCA
07. Resetting Your Drexel Computer Accounts Passwords
08. Protect Your Identity, Protect Your Password
09. Virus/Phishing Protection and Prevention
10. What If I Need Technology Help?
1. Welcome to Tech Update
Through this IRT Technology Update, the Office of Information Resources and Technology welcomes you to Drexel University.
The IRT Technology Update (or Tech Update for short), a periodic email publication from IRT, is our way of informing Drexel students, faculty, and staff of the services we offer and how they can be utilized. In each issue, you'll find information about new services, tips to help you take advantage of existing services, and news from the computing world. You’ll also find articles about technologies such as Blackboard Vista (our online course management system), warnings about computer security, new products or services, and general tips and tricks that can simplify your computing tasks in applications such as Microsoft Office.
This special issue covers topics of interest to new students. Next week, you will also receive the Tech Update for the general Drexel community. We normally publish issues three times per term, and sometimes more often if there are urgent matters to communicate. On occasion, Tech Alerts are sent via email between Tech Update issues.
Past issues of the IRT Technology Update are archived for your convenience at http://www.drexel.edu/irt/News/publications/techUpdate/techArchive.
2. What's Important for New Students to Know and Do?
College is a new experience, and computing at college can be both a challenging and rewarding part of that new experience. However, IRT is here to help with you computing needs. If you are wondering how to get started or need some help, please see these handy sites:
3. Setting Up an Ethernet Connection (ResNet)
Setting up your network access is one of the first things you should do when you arrive on campus, along with meeting roommates, saying goodbye to parents, checking out the campus, getting your class schedule, and buying your textbooks.
Internet connectivity is a key element to success at Drexel. All residence hall rooms provide a network jack for each student’s computer. Once you plug your computer’s Ethernet cable into a jack, browse to any Web site or go directly to https://dormproxy.irt.drexel.edu and follow the on-screen instructions exactly (do NOT skip a single step) to activate your jack and connect to the Internet. For security reasons, computers must be scanned for viruses to ensure that they are clean before connecting to the network. The registration instructions at the above link will help you update your anti-virus software, check your computer for infection, verify settings, and register your computer for Drexel’s network.
Drexel’s campus is also completely wireless; see the DragonFly article below for wireless information. Please note that you must set up your Ethernet connection first before you can register for Drexel’s wireless network.
Please call the IRT Help Desk only after a failed attempt to register your computer. All ResNet troubleshooting must be done in your room while your computer is connected to your Ethernet port. To contact the IRT Help Desk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-895-2020 (select option 5, then option 1). If you leave a message, include your full name, phone number, and a detailed description of the problem (what you were doing or the error you are receiving).
4. Setting Up Wireless Internet Access
If you have a laptop, netbook, or other device with wireless networking capabilities, you can connect it to DragonFly, Drexel's wireless network. DragonFly consists of three different networks: DragonFly, DragonFly2, and DragonFly3, Drexel’s fastest and most secure network option.
DragonFly3 utilizes the second generation of WiFi Protected Access (WPA2) to secure the network. To get the best wireless service across the entire campus, configure your computer to use DragonFly3. Visit http://www.drexel.edu/irt/networks/wireless/dragonfly3 to learn how to configure your computer with DragonFly3.
Gaming consoles, printers, and mobile devices that do not support DragonFly3’s WPA2 encryption can use DragonFly. DragonFly (unlike DragonFly3) requires you to register each computer or wireless device you use in order to access the network. To register for DragonFly access, log in to DrexelOne at http://one.drexel.edu, click on the “Drexel” tab, and select "DragonFly Registration" in the Technology Services channel. Follow the instructions to register your device(s).
If you are having trouble, you can bring your computer to the IRT Help Desk for assistance at Korman Computing Center (on 33rd Street between Chestnut and Market, facing the Quad) or contact the Help Desk at email@example.com or 215-895-2020 (select option 5, then option 1).
5. Downloading Site-Licensed Software
If your computer did not come with Microsoft Office, you will need to install it in order to complete your classwork. Depending on your major, departments might also require programs such as Visual Studio (software development suite), IBM SPSS (statistical analysis package, formerly called PASW), MATLAB (numerical computation tool), or SSH (Secure Shell, for secure data exchange over a network). Additionally, students who live in Drexel residence halls are required (and it’s a good idea for everyone) to install SEP anti-virus software as part of their network registration.
These and other software programs are site-licensed for the Drexel community. To download software, log in with your Drexel username and password at http://software.drexel.edu. To view a list of available software, go to http://www.drexel.edu/irt/software/softwarelist.
If you would like to purchase other productivity software for a nominal fee, Drexel’s partnerships provide discounted software through third parties such as JourneyEd and eAcademy. Log into DrexelOne at http://one.drexel.edu, click on the “Drexel” tab, and look in the “Hardware and Software” channel on the right. Software purchased through these third party sites can be downloaded or mailed to you on CD/DVD media.
6. Know the AUP and the DMCA
All members of the Drexel community agree to abide by the University’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) as a condition of activating their computer accounts. The AUP details statements concerning activities that are prohibited on the network, copyright, computer account use, information security, and more. To read the AUP in full, visit http://www.drexel.edu/irt/org/policies/acceptableUse.
The AUP includes statements in line with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which describes prohibited activities involving copyrighted material. It covers P2P software, illegal copying and distribution, and the consequences of violation. Action will be taken against users who violate the DMCA by illegally downloading and/or distributing copyrighted material on Drexel’s network. More information can be found at http://www.drexel.edu/irt/security/copyright. More information about copyright and how it is defined can be found at http://www.drexel.edu/irt/org/policies/copyright.
7. Resetting Your Drexel Computer Accounts Passwords
It’s easy to forget a password—especially when you have to remember so many of them! But don’t worry; if you forget your password, there are several options available.
The first option is to use the Password Reset Service. When you log in at http://accounts.drexel.edu to pick up your accounts, be sure to set up your security question and answer right away. To do so, navigate to the screen that lists your accounts, and click the button to set up the Password Reset Service. Then, when and if you ever need to use it, password help will be available by clicking the “Help! I forgot my password” link on the http://accounts.drexel.edu login screen. If you do not set up the Password Reset Service, you will only be able to reset your password once without it (subsequent resets will require that you previously set up the service).
If you are unable to use the Password Reset Service, you can have IRT reset your password for you. To request a password reset, call the IRT Help Desk at 215-895-2020. IRT will not reset passwords via email.
If you know your password and would like to change it to a different password, log in at http://accounts.drexel.edu, click “Continue,” and then click the keys icon near the top of the page. Follow the instructions to choose your new password. Here are some tips for choosing a strong password that meets Drexel’s password requirements:
- It must be at least six characters in length but no more than 16 characters.
- It must contain at least two letters and at least one non-alphabetical character that falls somewhere inside the password (not at the beginning or end).
- It should not match any word found in an unabridged dictionary or the “most common passwords.”
- The new password must differ from the old by at least three characters.
- The new password should not be one you used recently.
Additionally, you should avoid using your name, nickname, birth date, Social Security number, easily-guessed number/letter sequences (eg. 12345 or abcde), or any combinations thereof.
8. Protect Your Identity, Protect Your Password
Your Drexel computer accounts password is an integral part of your Drexel identity. Keep it secret, keep it safe… and don't share it under any circumstances.
That's the message of Article II (2) of Drexel's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) at http://www.drexel.edu/irt/org/policies/acceptableUse as well as several other sections of the AUP. The "why" is simple: With your password, anyone can access your private information and, if so inclined, misuse it.
Furthermore, your password constitutes your legal signature; you are responsible for anything that is done with it.
The University is obliged by law to safeguard private information. However, a single act of carelessness on your part can make you vulnerable to identity theft, forgery, or fraud. So keep these points in mind when managing your password security:
- Do not give your password to anyone—not your best friend, not your twin sister, not your boss. Never give out your password through email, no matter who makes the request. Your password is for your use alone.
- Do not write down your password and leave it in a conspicuous place. Writing it on a post-it note or scrap of paper and placing it on your monitor or under your keyboard allows others to gain easy access to your password. If you need to write it down to remember it, keep it under lock and key in a location away from your computer.
- Create a strong, secure password and change it periodically at http://accounts.drexel.edu. See the above article for tips.
- Avoid using a password that you are using for financial transactions, such as online banking, or for Web sites that require you to register with personal, confidential, or sensitive information.
Finally, keep your computer free of viruses and malware to prevent keyloggers or other forms of malware from stealing your password(s).
9. Virus/Phishing Protection and Prevention
As is often the case with the Internet, malicious individuals are constantly developing new viruses and phishing schemes. Just recently, fraudulent order confirmations from big names like Buy.com and Amazon have been circulating. These emails appear to be legitimate and display high-ticket items that these vendors actually sell, but they are scams designed to panic users—ALL of the links go to a third party scam site to steal your information, not to Buy.com or Amazon’s home pages. Computer users should remain vigilant and follow basic safety precautions. Here are some tips to prevent you (and your computer) from falling victim to a phishing scheme or a virus:
- NEVER open an attachment to an email that appears to be spam or that is sent from an unknown source. Email attachments can contain Trojan viruses or install malware that can steal your personal information or cause your computer to function abnormally.
- NEVER give out your passwords to anyone, including friends, relatives, and even members of the IRT staff. And remember that legitimate organizations will never ask for your login credentials through email or any other method.
- Don’t blindly click on hyperlinks, particularly in emails of unknown origin. A common scam is to redirect a legitimate link to a Web page that installs a Trojan or other malware. Always check URLs by mousing over the link to see if the underlying URL matches the one displayed in the body of the email.
- As viruses change, so do the definitions needed for protection. Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date with the latest updates and virus definitions with Symantec Endpoint Protection for both PC and Mac, available at http://software.drexel.edu.
- Scan your computer at least once a week for viruses. Many anti-virus programs can be configured to scan automatically at a given frequency. Also, many programs offer a “smart” or “quick” scan option along with the full scan option. Although most scans can be “quick” scans, be sure to occasionally select the full scan.
- Scan your computer using spyware or malware removal software. Casual browsing on the Internet will often cause unwanted spyware or malware to accumulate, and can slow down computers—or worse, steal personal information. Be sure to use spyware and malware removal software such as Spybot Search & Destroy, Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware, and Malwarebytes along with anti-virus software to perform regular scans of your machine. These applications are available for free download at their Web sites, or at http://www.download.com.
- Be wary of suspicious-looking Web sites. If the site doesn’t appear trustworthy or is poorly maintained, avoid clicking links or downloading content from that site. Also, avoid downloading content from peer-to-peer (P2P) software such as LimeWire, Soulseek, BitTorrent, and others.
- Delete spam immediately. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t respond to it, and never, ever give out personal information.
10. What If I Need Technology Help?
The IRT Help Desk, as the name implies, is here to assist you!
Individuals who encounter problems with their Drexel computer accounts, network access, wireless registration, software download/installation, etc., can call the IRT Help Desk at 215-895-2020, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the Korman Computing Center on the east side of 33rd Street between Chestnut and Market Streets (facing the Quad). Visit http://www.drexel.edu/irt/facilities/hours for hours of operation and other information.
If you send an email or leave a voicemail message, be sure to include complete contact information (name, phone number, Drexel email address, and a non-Drexel email address if you have one) as well as a detailed description of your problem or request. Providing IRT with the right information up-front helps us to help you more quickly.
Be sure to also search AskDrexel, our online technology FAQ, if you have any questions about your accounts or technology services. AskDrexel can be accessed at http://ask.drexel.edu.
For additional information about services provided by IRT, visit our Web site at http://www.drexel.edu/irt. Basic technology information for Drexel students can also be found in the “Quick Guide for Students.” If you have not already received a copy, you may pick one up at the Front Desk in the Korman Computing Center (33rd Street between Chestnut and Market, facing the Quad), or view the guide online at http://drexel.edu/irt/news/publications/StudentGuide.html.
To read previous issues of the IRT Technology Update, visit http://www.drexel.edu/irt/news/publications/techUpdate/techArchive/.
To manage your subscription options to the IRT Technology Update and other Drexel Announcements, go to https://deptapp.drexel.edu/drexelsubs/. If you prefer to receive a plain text version, please email your request to email@example.com.