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Computer Help Desk Email Computer HelpDesk
Monday, April 25, 2005
Faculty / Staff Issue
Published by Computer and
Information Systems
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Webpage: http://www.spu.edu/help/
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   SPU-Wireless Update
   SPU Email Management
   Computer Equipment & Printer Purchase Policy
   Student Employment Opportunities in CIS
   When It Comes to Security, Think Like a Duck
   Spam Update


SPU-Wireless Update
Over the past year, CIS has deployed over 20 secure wireless access “hot spots" in major study (commons) areas and select academic classrooms. A secure hot spot is created when a CIS-managed access point (AP) is connected to a wired port on the campus network. The resulting wireless connection requires people to authenticate with their network username and password. Once validated, users are granted a secure wireless session through which traffic is encrypted between their device and a core network server.

Our wireless deployment has not been aimed at providing complete building coverage, but rather, is limited to study/academic areas that do not have convenient wired network access. Currently, “SPU-Wireless" hot spots may be found in the Bertona and Peterson classrooms, as well as in general commons/study areas in Otto Miller Hall, the SUB, the Science Building, the University Library, Weter Hall, and Gwinn Commons. Departmental access points are located in CIS and FOC; and ITS has a mobile-AP for faculty in-service and training. Coverage into additional classrooms and academic areas will continue through the foreseeable future.

We are pleased to announce that individual departments may now acquire secure SPU-wireless access points in their area. This is recommended in locations that are not covered through wired connections but where having network access is desirable. Examples include conference and meeting rooms where running wired connections across tables and along floors is inconvenient. SPU-Wireless is the only authorized means to connect an access point to the SPU network, as it offers high levels of security and limits access to SPU-authorized users only. If your department is interested in wireless coverage, please contact us at help@spu.edu or 206-281-2982 for details on availability and pricing.

SPU Email Management
Email is a central business communication tool and it is vital to the university that everyone understands how to best preserve important electronic correspondence. There are limits to what the back-end server technology can do to protect and retain information. Consequently, each faculty and staff member shares the responsibility to preserve important email. To understand what server technologies can and cannot do, the following explains SPU's email retention, recovery, and backup capabilities.

1. In accordance with SPU's Acceptable Use Agreement, (see the "Policies" link on the Computer Help Pages) the primary intent of SPU email is for university business. SPU retains ownership of all correspondence that resides on the central email server, and may at any time store, archive, or otherwise access email messages in accordance with the provisions set forth by university policy.

2. Individuals are responsible for saving/retaining important university-related email messages. SPU currently maintains a backup/archive of email messages for several weeks, but there are no guarantees that deleted files will be recoverable. Consequently, important correspondence pertaining to university business should be saved, printed or otherwise preserved by the individual email user.

3. Deleted-items recovery persists for several days, after which time the sole method of message recovery rests in the ability to retrieve said message from archive. As stated above, this recovery persists for several weeks, though CIS makes no guarantee that messages errantly deleted will be available. Therefore, the "Deleted Items" folder should really be treated as named - a place to remove unneeded items. It is not a place to put things with the intent of retrieval.

4. Email is a person-centric resource; meaning that email accounts (like passwords) should never be shared. Be careful when considering any level of delegation of your SPU email account, such as assigning “send as" or “send on behalf of" permissions. There are several ways that group/shared distribution of email can be arranged without compromising the security aspects of person-centric email accounts.

We are currently working on developing a comprehensive detail of SPU email-related policies and plan to increase faculty and staff mailbox quotas in the very near future. More details will be provided in the next CIS Tech Update. If you have any questions concerning SPU email use policies, please contact us at help@spu.edu or 206-281-2982.

Computer Equipment & Printer Purchase Policy
Central Pool Desktop and Laptop Purchases
All faculty/staff desktop and laptop purchases are managed by CIS and paid through a centralized fund. Centralized management guarantees that all computers keep pace with today's technology. Equipment for this year's summer replacement is being finalized and CIS will soon be working directly with each dean or department head to review the inventory and upgrade schedule. Please contact your CIS support representative or Eric Deister, Micro Systems manager, for further information.

While the CIS Micro Team installs and supports campus printers, printer purchases and repairs are not paid for by a central fund. Many departments are moving toward shared, networked printers that are less expensive to maintain and support. Please contact CIS for assistance in the selection and purchase of the appropriate printer for your needs.

PDAs and SmartPhones
PDA and SmartPhone technology is still in flux, and while interest in mobile technology is increasing, many compatibility issues remain. Connecting to the SPU Wireless network and accessing your email requires technology that is not necessarily available on all equipment. Please check with your Micro Team representative before purchasing a work-related PDA or SmartPhone to ensure the device you want is compatible with SPU systems.

Student Employment Opportunities in CIS
Computer and Information Systems has a number of student-employment opportunities for the summer and 2005-6 academic year. We are currently hiring for openings with the Help Desk, Micro Systems, and Networking/Telecommunications teams. If you know of a student who would benefit academically and developmentally from a direct technical support/customer care experience, please refer her or him to the Help Desk at 206-281-2982.

When It Comes to Security, Think Like a Duck
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.

If it looks like an email hoax, comes unexpectedly like an email hoax, and asks private, personally-identifying information, like an email hoax, it probably is an email hoax.

If it looks like a bogus response to your SPU classified ad, comes from a “third party intermediary" like a bogus response to your SPU classified ad, and offers you five times as much money as you were asking - like a bogus response to your SPU classified ad, it probably is a bogus response to your SPU classifieds ad.

If it looks like an insecure wireless access point, allows open and unfettered access like an insecure wireless access point, and doesn't use any security or encryption – like an insecure wireless access point, it probably is an insecure wireless access point.

Spam Update
Spammers are getting more and more creative in crafting messages to get past our email filters. CIS remains concerned about this situation and is evaluating new products to help deal with the nuisance. In the meantime, the best recourse is to simply delete unwanted messages as they arrive.

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