Keep safe online, students, as new semester gets underway

As fall semester gets underway at Eastern, students returning to campus should make sure their technology is as up to date as the new academic year.

That means ensuring that their computers have the latest patches installed, their software and operating systems are current, their work is backed up, their passwords have been changed and that they have reacquainted themselves with the technologies they will be using as they return to classes.

Here are some timely tips to students as the new semester gets started:

  • Even though it’s not required of them, students should change the password to their PantherMail account and other accounts that provide online access, in order to protect themselves. Over the long summer break, they may have even forgotten their password and so will need to create a new one. Information Technology Services’ password reset application, available at http://password.eiu.edu enables them to do so easily. This advice applies not just to returning students but especially to incoming freshmen and transfers, as well.
  • Students should make sure that they have approved antivirus software running on their computers. Without it, they will not be able to function on Eastern’s campus network. They’ll also need to have SafeConnect downloaded and operating on their computer in order to connect to the campus network. Simply accessing the network will prompt the installation of SafeConnect.
  • Up-to-date operating system patches should be installed on every computer.
  • Students should make sure they are familiar with the use of D2L, Eastern’s integrated learning management system.
  • Coursework, all work from the previous semester and personal data should be backed up in case of computer or hard drive loss or failure. Office 365, available as part of each student’s PantherMail account, provides a cloud-based backup service called OneDrive, which is available free to all students and which provides unlimited storage capacity. OneDrive can be accessed by clicking the OneDrive tab in the upper right corner of the Office 365 screen.
  • Students should avoid unknown websites and refrain from opening email attachments from unfamiliar senders in order to lessen the threat of infections. And the threat of viruses is another reason to make sure that data is backed up.
  • Hackers also may target banking or financial accounts. If students receive emails seeking information about such accounts, they should exercise caution. And if such emails purport to be from Eastern, they should contact Financial Aid or the Business Office to verify them. If you receive an email that you feel is a phishing attempt, please forward the email to the following address: phishing@eiu.edu.

ITS launches new remote desktop tool

Information Technology Services is launching a new online remote support and collaboration portal beginning Wednesday, July 1.

ScreenConnect, a remote self-hosted desktop application that features remote support, remote access, and remote meeting capabilities, will replace LogMeIn, which had been utilized by Campus Technology Support for several years as a means of interacting with users.

Remote desktop software is used by Help Desk technicians to assist faculty, staff and students at Eastern to help rectify a variety of users’ computer problems. The application allows technicians to view a user’s computer screen so they can see the desktop as the user views it, in order to correct issues and problems.

ITS’s Associate Director of User Services Dave Emmerich said the switch is a cost-saving measure taken as part of an overall review of software used by ITS.

Users in need of assistance will continue to contact the Help Desk. After logging in to connect.eiu.edu they will be issued a four-digit alphanumeric code that they will enter to initiate the connection.

The new site will incorporate many of the most useful features of the old LogMeIn site as well as new ones such as the ability for the person seeking assistance to see the Help Desk technician’s screen.


New password management tool empowers users

A new password management tool for faculty, staff and students at Eastern goes into effect Wednesday, July 1.

The change will improve account and password management capabilities while reducing the university’s technology costs.

The new 24/7 application, called AD Self-Service Plus, also permits the use of alternate email addresses or mobile phone numbers to assist in resetting passwords if they are forgotten. Users will receive an email notification any time their password is changed. Users will enroll by selecting security questions and answers.

Benefits of the new service include:

  • Web-based password reset capabilities
  • Web-based forgotten password resets by using security questions
  • Web-based password recovery by using alternate email address
  • Web-based password recovery by using mobile phone
  • Web-based account unlock features
  • Email alerts when password has been changed

To enroll:

  • Visit https://password.eiu.edu to access the new password management tool.
  • Sign in using your EIU NetID and password.
  • Select the enrollment tab.
  • Under the security questions tab, choose your three security questions and answers.
  • Under the verification code tab, enter your mobile phone number and personal email address, where you can receive a verification code in case you cannot access your account.
  • Click the update button.

To change your password:

If you already know your current password and simply wish to update it, visit https://password.eiu.edu and sign in with your EIU NetID and password.

  • On the change-password tab, leave all accounts selected and enter your old password and create a new password, entering it twice to confirm that it is correct.
  • Click the OK button to submit your password change and review the confirmation page to ensure your password change went through.

Some software on university computers automatically updated

Information Technology Services maintains a secure computing environment for faculty and staff at Eastern and improves the user experience by automatically updating common software applications on university-owned computers.

These software products, which are updated by default, without the need for action by users, include:

  • Mozilla Firefox​
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Adobe Reader
  • Malwarebytes Anti-malware
  • Java
  • Internet Explorer
  • Windows Management Framework (PowerShell version)
  • Microsoft Office

Mozilla Firefox, Adobe Flash Player, Java, Malwarebytes Anti-malware and Adobe Reader will be implemented no earlier than Dec. 22, according to the ITS User Services self-help Web page.

​The Adobe Flash Player update script will remove Adobe Shockwave player because its popularity and university-related usefulness have decreased.

The Java update script will remove old versions of Java while installing the latest version of Java 7 and implementing a means to control prompts for Java updates.

Malwarebytes and Firefox update scripts will bring all campus computers in line with the latest versions and will then rely on their automatic update mechanisms to keep them up to date.

If you use software that requires previous versions of this managed software, you may work with your ISS/TSS or ITS User Services to opt your computer out of these automatic updates.


How to get ITS technical support

When seeking technical assistance from Information Technology Support’s Campus Technology Support unit, students, faculty and staff have multiple options.

These are:

Fill out a support request form. The form can be found at: http://www.eiu.edu/its/helpdesk/supportrequest.php You can use this form to submit a help desk request online. The form will send an email to Campus Technology Support staff, and they will create a ticket and contact you.

Send an email to itshelp@eiu.edu. You may send an email explaining the assistance you are needing.

Log into techsupport.eiu.edu and use one of the templates to file your request. Log into this site by using your EIU login. Find a template that is the best fit for the assistance you are needing.

Use Live Chat. Live Chat can be accessed at: http://www.eiu.edu/its/helpdesk/livechat/ Live Chat is available:

Fall and spring semester:

Monday-Friday : 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Summer semester and breaks:

Monday-Friday : 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Call Campus Technology Support. Campus Technology Support can be reached at 217 581-4357.  Phone support hours are:

Fall and spring semester:
Monday – Thursday 7 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Friday 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday 2 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Summer semester:
Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Breaks:
Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Walk into Campus Technology Support. Campus Technology Support is located in the basement of the Student Services Building. Walk-in hours are:

Fall and spring semester:
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Summer semester and breaks:
Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

ITS self-help page restructured for easier use

Information Technology Services’ “Technology Self Help” web page on the ITS website has a new look.

The site can be accessed at http://www.eiu.edu/its/helpdesk/selfhelp.php

The new page provides the same information as the old one but has been restructured and recategorized in order to make it faster and simpler for users to find the information they need.

“We have been adding content regularly throughout the year to make it easier to access and combining different services into common categories” said ITS Associate Director of User Services Dave Emmerich.

“Having trouble, or just a general question? Use our self help below to find answers to many technology questions and issue’s around campus,” says the introduction on the page.

Categories of available assistance on the page include:

  • Collaboration and communication: Includes email, calendars, Skype for Business, PantherShare and Office 365ProPlus.
  • Desktop use: General desktop computing, VPN and auto-updates.
  • Network and internet: EIU wi-fi.
  • User accounts: PAWS, EIU Online (D2L) and Banner INB.
  • VMware view (VDI): General VMware information.
  • General account information: NetID, E-Number, passwords and Web publishing.
  • Requesting assistance: How to use the tech support request website and number of requests.

If you have any suggestions for content to add, feel free to email us at itshelp@eiu.edu.


Can’t access your account? Try this fix

What can you do if you can’t access your email or other online university account?

According to Campus Technology Support, if you are having trouble logging into a campus service, you might try resetting your password using the steps below.

  1. Go to https://password.eiu.edu
  2. Enter your EIU NetID (do not include “@eiu.edu”) in the box and click “Continue”.
  3. Click “Use password”.
  4. Enter your current password in the box and click “Verify password”.
  5. If prompted to create security questions, do so. These can be used in the future by coming back to this site if you forget your password.
  6. In the “My Profile” section, click “Change passwords”.
  7. In the box on the right titled “Enter new password,” follow the password rules to come up with a one.
  8. Enter the new password in the “New password” box, and enter it again in the “Confirm” box.
  9. Click “Change passwords”.
  10. Upon confirmation of password change, return to the login page and try logging in.

Verify that you are using just your NetID. Your University NetID is simply the first part of your EIU email address. If you enter your full EIU email address, you may experience trouble logging in for some services.

Verify that you are using the correct password to access your account. This can be done by trying to log into different services at EIU. Your NetID and password should be the same on all of them.


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