IRT Technology Update
Wednesday, September 23, 2009 - New Student Issue
01. Welcome to Tech Update
02. Checklist: What's Important for New Students to Know and Do?
03. Setting Up an Ethernet Connection (Resnet)
04. Setting Up Wireless Internet Access
05. Guidelines for Buying or Bringing a School Computer
06. Downloading Site-Licensed Software
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.
Past issues of the IRT Technology Update are archived for your convenience at http://www.drexel.edu/irt/news/publications/techUpdate/techArchive.
The IRT Technology Update, a periodic email publication from IRT, is our way of informing the Drexel community of services we offer and how students, faculty, and staff can use them. 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 system), warnings about computer security, new products or services, and general tips and tricks that can simplify your computing tasks.
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 between Tech Update issues.
2. What's Important for New Students to Know and Do?
College is a new experience, and computing at college can be an especially complicated part of that new experience.
Technology information for new students are available at http://www.drexel.edu/irt/help/resourcesStudent.
Also, be sure to check out AskDrexel at http://ask.drexel.edu. You can also access Ask Drexel in the "Help Central" section on IRT's home page at http://www.drexel.edu/irt.
A few of the most important items are highlighted in the articles below.
3. Setting Up an Ethernet Connection (Resnet)
Student move-in day can be a hectic, messy, and stressful day. At the top of the to-do list are meeting roommates, saying goodbye to parents, checking out the campus, getting your class schedule, and buying your textbooks.
A staple for your success at Drexel is your Internet connection. All residence hall rooms provide a network station for each student's Ethernet cable. Once you plug your Ethernet cable into a jack, browse to any Web site 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 check your computer for infection, verify settings, and register for the Drexel 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 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. 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 is split into three different networks: DragonFly, DragonFly2, and DragonFly3, Drexel's fastest and most secure network option. Gaming consoles and mobile devices that do not support DragonFly3's WPA2 encryption can use DragonFly2, which follows the same registration procedure as DragonFly.
To get the best wireless service across the entire campus, configure your computer to use DragonFly/DragonFly2 and DragonFly3. That way, if DragonFly3 becomes unavailable at your location, your computer will still connect to DragonFly or DragonFly2.
Both DragonFly and DragonFly2 require registration to access the network. To register your computer or wireless device for DragonFly/DragonFly2 access, log in to DrexelOne at http://one.drexel.edu, click on the Drexel tab, and select "DragonFly Registration" under Technology Services. Follow the instructions to register your device(s). DragonFly2 uses a longer security code than DragonFly for added security.
DragonFly3 approaches security from the point of view of users instead of devices. That is, instead of registering your computer to access the network, you log in with your DrexelOne user ID and password. To learn how to get started with DragonFly3, visit http://www.drexel.edu/irt/networks/wireless/dragonfly3.aspx.
The registration and setup processes are designed for you to complete on your own. For assistance, you can bring your computer to the IRT Help Desk at the BYOL Lab in the Korman Computing Center (on 33rd Street between Chestnut and Market, facing the Quad), email email@example.com, or call 215-895-2020.
5. Guidelines for Buying or Bringing a School Computer
Starting college involves a lot of choices, one of which is: "What kind of computer should I buy (or bring)?" Drexel offers new students a set of recommended computer specifications that are constantly updated as new technology replaces the old. Current specifications for student computers can be found on IRT's Computer FAQ at http://www.drexel.edu/irt/computers/buyersGuide.
Student computers should meet or exceed current specifications as listed by the University. Depending on your major, your department's Web site might list different specifications, so be sure to check it for special computer requirements.
Drexel also provides information about computer retailers that offer computers meeting Drexel's basic specifications. Retailers include Dell and Lenovo for PCs, and Apple for Macs.
More information about computer retailers can be found at http://www.drexel.edu/irt/computers/vendors.
6. Downloading Site-Licensed Software
If your computer did not come with Microsoft Office, you will need to install it in order to complete your class-work. Depending on your major, departments might also require programs such as Visual Studio (software development suite), PASW (statistical analysis package, formerly called SPSS), Matlab (numerical computation tool), or SSH (Secure Shell, for secure data exchange over a network).
Students who live in Drexel residence halls are required to install anti-virus software as part of their network registration. PC users can download Symantec (SAV) 10 or EndPoint 11, while Mac users can download Norton. Off-campus users are entitled to a free, licensed copy of the software through Drexel.
These and other programs are site-licensed for the Drexel community. To download the software, visit the Computer Marketplace Web page at http://www.drexel.edu/irt/software/download. Click "Get Software," then "Login to Download Software." At the prompt, enter your Drexel username in the format firstname.lastname@example.org and password (the same one you use for Drexel email). To purchase other productivity software for a nominal fee, Drexel's partnerships provide discounted software through third parties such as JourneyEd and e-Academy. Log into DrexelOne at http://one.drexel.edu and navigate to the "Drexel" tab and look under Technology Services. You can purchase the CD media for Microsoft Office, buy Adobe products as well as the Microsoft Dreamspark Suite, and many other educationally-priced applications.
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 Wizard. When you pick up your accounts, be sure to set up your security question and answer right away. Login to http://accounts.drexel.edu and navigate to your accounts list. Click the link to set up your Password Reset Wizard. Then, when and if you ever need to use it, password help will be available. If you forget your password, you can click "Help! I forgot my password" at http://accounts.drexel.edu and then enter the requested information. Make sure to set up the Password Reset Wizard since you won't be able to reset your password on your own without it.
If you are unable to use the Password Reset Wizard, you can have IRT reset your password for you. To request a password reset, call the IRT Help Desk at 215-895-2020.
If you know your password and would like to change it to a different password, log in to your computer accounts at http://accounts.drexel.edu, click "Continue," and then click the keys icon near the top of the page. Follow the reset instructions to choose your new password. Here are some tips for choosing a strong password that meets Drexel's password requirements:
Additionally, you should avoid using your name, nickname, birth date, or Social Security number, or any combinations thereof.
- It must be at least six characters in length but no more than 16 characters.
- It must contain both alphabetical and non-alphabetical characters, including 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 cracked passwords" file.
- The new password must differ from the old by at least three characters.
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.aspx 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 can make you vulnerable to identity theft, forgery, and fraud. So keep these points in mind when managing your password security:
Finally, keep your computer free of viruses and spyware/malware to prevent keyloggers from stealing your password(s).
- 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 has been used for financial transactions, such as online banking, or for websites requiring registration or personal/confidential information.
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, a new email scam has been circulating among Webmail users. The email states that unless users provide their email account information, their Webmail account will be closed. Though this email appears to have approval and states that it is not a scam, it is a scam and should be deleted immediately. Neither Webmail nor Drexel will ever request such information through a non-secure format such as email.
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:
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.
- 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 passwords via email or other non-secure methods.
- Don't blindly click on hyperlinks, particularly in emails of unknown origin. A common scam is to redirect a legitimate link to a webpage 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 against those viruses. Keep your anti-virus software up to date with the latest updates and virus definitions. We recommend downloading Symantec (for PC) and Norton (for Mac), which are available at no cost to the Drexel community 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 along with anti-virus software to perform regular scans of your machine. Common spyware/malware removal programs include Spybot Search & Destroy, Lavasoft's Ad-Aware, and Malwarebytes. 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 software such as LimeWire, Soulseek, BitTorrent, and others.
10. What if I Need Technology Help?
The IRT Help Desk, as the name implies, is here to assist you!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 Korman Front Desk, or view the guide online at http://drexel.edu/irt/news/publications/StudentGuide.html.
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 email@example.com, 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 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, and email address) 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 Ask Drexel, our online technology FAQ, if you have any questions about your accounts or technology services. Ask Drexel can be accessed at http://ask.drexel.edu or via IRT's Web site.
To manage your subscription options to the IRT Technology Update and other Drexel Announcements, go to http://deptapp.drexel.edu/drexelsubs. If you prefer to receive a plain text version, please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.