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.


Sophos antivirus software protection to help keep university computers secure

Information Technology Services will be changing out the default antivirus software that protects university-owned desktop and laptop computers used by faculty and staff.

The transition, which will be implemented this summer, will replace Symantec Endpoint antivirus software with Sophos antivirus.

Sophos already is available on the ITS software downloads page, found on the ITS website, as a free SafeConnect-compatible antivirus application.

For computers on the Eastern campus network, Symantec will be removed from machines and Sophos will be installed automatically, although in a few cases, ITS technicians may need to change out the software manually.

In replacing Symantec Endpoint with Sophos, computer users will benefit from a powerful antivirus package to protect their machines from malware and viruses. At the same time, the university will reduce expenses, as three years of licensing for Sophos costs about the same as one year’ license for the use of Symantec.  ITS is reviewing all of its software and maintenance licensing in an effort to reduce costs.

Students’ personal computers will not be loaded with the same Sophos software as university-owned machines, but a free version of the software is available on the ITS software download page, http://www.eiu.edu/its/helpdesk/swdownloads.php

Sophos protects against viruses and malware at least as well as if not better than Symantec.

Sophos also is expected to provide other features, such as mobile device management and some encryption capability and added security features related to virtual desktop initiatives on campus.

With the number and variety of computers on the campus network, efforts to complete the transition are expected to last into the summer


Awalt named interim assistant director of information security at Eastern

Josh Awalt has been named Eastern Illinois University’s interim assistant director of information security, officially effective May 1.

Awalt replaces former Assistant Director of Information Security Mike Gioia, who resigned earlier this year to head up the new information security department at Rose-Hulman Institute in Terre Haute, Ind.

Awalt has been a member of Information Technology Services’ information security team since December 2012. The Charleston native holds a bachelor’s degree in information technology from Western Governor’s University and a master’s in information security from the same institution.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity I have been given to fill the position and am looking forward to working with the rest of campus and helping Eastern,” Awalt said.

In his more than three years at Eastern as a security administrator, Awalt has focused on identity and access management issues. He also has taken on special projects related to regulatory risk assessment across campus, dealing with issues such as HIPAA (the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and FERPA (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).

Taking on the job of interim assistant director of information security is a natural career progression for Awalt. Before coming to Eastern, he was security administrator at Heartland Dental in Effingham for two years, where he received specialized training in information security and acquired several infosec proficiency certificates.

“I always tried to specialize in the field of information security, and when the position at Eastern first arose, I saw it as a chance to gain valuable work experience,” he said. “It’s a really great opportunity. I practically grew up at Eastern (his mother, Julia Awalt, has been an employee in Housing and Dining Services for many years) so there are a lot of familiar faces. It’s been a busy transition, but it’s been easier because I know a lot of people on campus and will be able to work well with them.”

Awalt said his No. 1 priority will be to protect sensitive information at the university. To achieve that goal, he will work to implement an information security framework to examine various needs, look at different aspects of those needs and develop solutions.

“There are a lot of unique things about Eastern, so a framework will be a good way to identify security concerns but give us the flexibility to determine what works best for us,” he said.

The greatest security threat on campus, he said, is phishing — attempts to obtain financial or other confidential information from Internet users, usually by sending an email that looks as if it is from a legitimate source.

“Everyone is affected by phishing,” he said. “Faculty, staff and students. And it happens every day.”

Awalt said his unit continues to educate email users at Eastern about the dangers of phishing, and he credits them for regularly reporting phishing attempts.

“We’ve had really good feedback from end users,” he said. “They understand and report threats, and we turn around and remove them. They are our first-responders.”

Eastern Assistant Vice President of Information Technology Kathy Reed said Awalt possesses all the skills needed to successfully fill the assistant director post.

“Josh brings several information security-related certifications and course work to the position as well as his experience both at EIU and with previous employment. For occasions when you would have contacted Mike Gioia in the past, please work with Josh,” she said.

Still a resident of Charleston, Awalt is married, and he and his wife, Katie, are expecting their first child in September. He enjoys golf and outdoor activities such as hiking.


Lync collaboration and communication application transitions into Skype for Business

Microsoft has rebranded its Lync collaboration and communication platform by folding it into and combining it with its Skype for Business application.

Along with the name change, the instant messaging and video conferencing tool has received a refreshed look and some new features. This update was released as a Windows Office Update as part of the April monthly update for Office 2013.

The Skype for Business application is available for use by users at Eastern through Information Technology Services and Microsoft Office 356 email/communication client.

“Here at Eastern, if you were using Lync before, it will update automatically to Skype,” said ITS Associate Director of User Services Dave Emmerich. “The interface has a slightly different look, and there are some minor changes.”

Detailed information about signing into a Skype for Business conference through your Outlook calendar is available on the ITS website at http://www.eiu.edu/its/helpdesk/kb/012/kb0120005.php

Skype for Business is a web and video conferencing platform that enables high-definition video conferencing, screen sharing and instant messaging. Skype for Business is available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and PantherMail Web. Logging into your Office 365 account through the Outlook Web app automatically signs you into Skype for Business.

Some good uses for Skype for Business can include:

  • Student group project chatting
  • Instructor virtual office hours
  • Inter-office communication
    (more secure than third party instant message services)

Skype for Business Web offers:

  • HD video, which brings life and expression to Skype for Business, letting people “see what you mean” in new ways.
  • Voice over IP (VoIP) so you can connect to your meeting from anywhere without getting hit with call origination fees.
  • Instant messaging, which ensures that you can communicate silently when necessary, such as when you’re in a coffee shop or on a train.
  • Desktop, application, and PowerPoint sharing so your content can be seen by other meeting participants, enabling you to continue collaborating without missing a beat.
  • Screen sharing.

According to Microsoft, Skype for Business is based on the familiar Skype experience that more than 300 million people use every month to connect with other users. It is built right into Office, so features such as presence, IM, voice and video calls, and online meetings are an integrated part of the Office experience.

Skype for Business is a communications and collaboration platform that brings together an experience inspired by Skype with enterprise-grade security, compliance and control. It is built right in to Microsoft Office, so initiating chats, calls and meetings is an integrated experience within Office. All customers are expected to be transitioned by the end of May.


Protect yourself against tax-refund fraud

With the April 15 deadline for filing federal and state income taxes fast approaching, now is an opportune time to consider strategies for avoiding tax-refund identity theft.

Identity theft has been a longstanding problem. By appropriating a victim’s Social Security Number and other personal information such as name, address and age, identity thieves are able to open credit accounts, make purchases, conduct financial transactions and commit other thefts and frauds.

More recently, identity thieves have been using victims’ personal information to commit tax-refund fraud. A data breach earlier this year involving fraudulent returns filed via the digital tax preparation service TurboTax brought this threat to light.

Since then, there have been numerous reports of fraudulent tax return incidents across the nation.

Tax-refund fraud is expected to soar this tax season and total $21 billion by 2016, from just $6.5 billion two years ago, according to the Internal Revenue Service. One reason: It takes just a victim’s name, birth date and Social Security Number to file a tax return.

According to the Identity Theft Council, a non-profit advocacy group, there are steps that individuals can take to lessen the risk of tax identity theft or deal with its consequences after it occurs.

DON’T GIVE OUT INFORMATION
Be wary of email links and attachments that seek your data. Realistic-looking emails can harbor malware that could steal your personal information—a practice known as phishing. The IRS reminds taxpayers that it never initiates contact by email, text messages or social media.

Another pre-emptive action to take is to sign up at http://www.irs.gov and create an online account in your name so that tax fraudsters cannot do the same. This could help prevent identity thieves from creating an account and obtaining a copy of your past returns – and all of your pertinent information — by filing IRS Form 4506.

BE PROACTIVE
Unfortunately, there is no way to find out if someone has already filed a tax return using your Social Security Number until you send in your own return and receive notification that one already has been submitted in your name. Filing early can beat thieves to the punch.

Meanwhile, be careful. Experts say to use strong passwords and change them frequently. Update computer applications, especially antivirus software, and make sure that wi-fi access is password-protected.

If you prepare your own taxes using a commercial product, make sure your personal information is accurate. What about filing a paper tax return? That may not help either. If thieves can get your Social Security Number and other information via another source, they can still file a false return.

IF YOU ARE A VICTIM, ACT QUICKLY
File a report with law enforcement.

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at http://www.identitytheft.gov or the FTC Identity Theft Hotline at 1-877-438-4338.

Contact one of the three major credit bureaus to place a ‘fraud alert’ on your credit records:
Equifax, http://www.Equifax.com, 1-800-525-6285; Experian, http://www.Experian.com, 1-888-397-3742; TransUnion, http://www.TransUnion.com, 1-800-680-7289

Contact your financial institutions and close any accounts opened without your permission or tampered with.

Check your Social Security Administration earnings statement annually. You can create an account online at http://www.ssa.gov.

MORE INFORMATION FROM THE IRS
For additional information about tax-related identity theft, visit the IRS identity-protection page at http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Identity-Protection. Or call the IRS’s identity theft hotline 800-908-4490.


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