New VPN Service

On July 7, 2020 the IT department will begin transitioning to a new VPN service named GlobalProtect which will replace VPN Connect, VPN Firewall, and VPN Student. The new service is more reliable and scalable, allowing for far more connections.

VPN Connect, VPN Firewall, and VPN Student will be turned off on August 4, 2020. If you are a VPN user please move to the new service as soon as possible.

Note that specialized VPN services for CBoard, HVAC, and VoIP are unchanged.

Network security certificate renewal

Starting Wednesday July 1, all networked devices, including those using Ethernet, on campus will need to re-authenticate in order to use the Eduroam network. Part of the authentication process requires accepting the new network security certificate.  (See a refresher on how to join wireless devices to Eduroam.) Devices on AmherstGuest will not be affected by this update. As always, please contact AskIT@amherst.edu if you have any questions.

Zoom requires passcode or waiting room for all meetings

Starting July 19th, Zoom will require that all meetings have a Passcode or a Waiting Room enabled. For meetings that do not have either a Passcode or Waiting Room enabled by July 19th, Zoom will enable a Waiting Room automatically. In meeting join information, “Passwords” have been renamed “Passcodes” to better align with their role of allowing people in a meeting. Please contact AskIT@amherst.edu if you have any questions about these changes.

Be Alert: Financial Fraud Schemes Increasing

Check recent updates to this ongoing issue. 

Incidents of identity theft related to unemployment fraud are on the rise. Bad actors are increasingly exploiting the pandemic financially. One scenario is to steal someone’s identity and apply for unemployment benefits in the victim’s name, with the benefits deposited in an account accessible only to the perpetrator. If you have received a notice from the state of Massachusetts about an application for unemployment benefits which you did not file, please notify the college and the state immediately. A report from the US Secret Service details the scheme, which is already affecting members of our community.

Massachusetts authorities are aware of this scam, which is widespread across the state. They are working on it, but they do not know how people's information is being obtained. They have verified, though, that the identity theft is not happening through any Amherst College systems.  

As at other stressful junctures when our attention is elsewhere, we are more susceptible to fraud and other devious schemes, particularly those appearing to be somehow “official” and of unexpected assistance. Be particularly careful of such offers by confirming their validity.  Also, be suspicious of unexpected requests to verify vendor invoices and transaction approvals by phone. Never provide personally-identifiable information (SSN, birthdate, etc.) over the phone to anyone. Likewise, never provide credit card or bank account numbers over the phone to anyone.   

Falling for a scam could cost you money and time. Play it safe!  Forward suspicious messages to phishing@amherst.edu and contact AskIT@amherst.edu if you have additional concerns. 

 

 

Reminder: Log into Zoom before Meetings

If you are hosting a Zoom meeting, be sure to log into your device’s Zoom client first using the SSO option, to ensure you have host privileges. The client should be running with your active login before you start or join a meeting for which you are a host. Alternatively, you may also log into https://amherstcollege.zoom.us

Please contact AskIT@amherst.edu if you have any questions about Zoom.

Mammoth looks into the camera

Zoom Backgrounds

Bring a a little bit of Amherst to your remote workstation. Pick a campus photo or a Mammoth as your Zoom virtual background or computer wallpaper.

Pointers for Working Remotely - Avoid VPN Issues

As all of us are now working remotely,  here are a few pointers to help you work more effectively with VPN while you work remotely: disconnect from the VPN service when you are not using resources that require it, use devices without VPN, use cloud storage (Google Drive and Dropbox)  and reduce/eliminate dependency on remote desktop. 

Student Strategies for Learning Remotely During COVID-19

We would like to understand the technology needs you may have while you are learning remotely. We highly encourage you to review the student strategies page and the contact us so we can learn about and assist with your specific needs.

Adobe Licensing

If you receive a message on a college computer that the Adobe software license has expired, click the Adobe login link. Or if you're prompted for a license number when you open an Adobe application, quit the licensing window and, from the application's Help menu, select Sign In.Your Adobe username is your Amherst email address.

After logging in you may be asked whether the account is a personal one or a school/organizational account. Select the latter.

If you have further problems running Adobe software on a college computer, contact AskIT.

Replacing Antivirus on College-Owned Computers

IT is in the process of replacing the traditional antivirus software called “Eset” with a modern replacement called “Crowdstrike” on all Amherst College computers assigned to individuals. As we slowly roll out the replacement in the coming days and weeks, you will receive a notice on each computer assigned to you, alerting you to a required restart of the computer. Please proceed with the restart if you receive the notice. The computer will restart automatically if left unattended during the replacement of the antivirus. You may receive a temporary notification from the computer alerting you that the computer is not protected during the period when the old antivirus is removed and the new one is being installed. 

Crowdstrike will be much less intrusive than the old antivirus software: it will no longer show an icon on the lower-right corner of the screen, will not slow down your computer, and future updates will take place behind the scenes without further notifications. Crowdstrike has been running on public computers since late last year.

IT started the process for updating the antivirus software on Apple computers February 20 and Windows (Dell and Lenovo) computers February 24.  It may be some weeks before all computers are updated.

Please contact us at AskIT@amherst.edu if you have any questions or concerns.

Connect Game Consoles, Streaming Devices, etc. to the New WiFi Network

The new WiFi network requires you to enroll devices before you can connect them to the AmherstGuest network. Follow the link for instructions.