Make sure you stay safe while shopping this holiday season especially online. For more information you can view the 2022 Online Holiday Shopping Tip sheet (PDF) from the National Cybersecurity Alliance.
Author Archive: Jaime Shetrone
In response to the growing impact COVID-19 is having on our workplace and the reality that many of us may be working from alternate locations, the IET team has put together the following suggestions to help minimize disruptions while working remotely.
If you have a laptop, please make sure you are undocking the device and bringing it to and from your office every day. Should we suddenly have to work off-campus, you may not be able to retrieve your laptop if it was left in your office.
- Important: Be sure to check your Zoom client is at least at v 5.0 or the sessions will not work. You can update it from the link on your MyVWCC Zoom page using the Download Client link at the bottom of the page.
- Is it up? Check the VCCS Outage page for notices. In some cases you might be able to bypass the MyVWCC login and go directly to some of the resources from here.
- Click here to take a free 10-minute course – Securing Your Work at Home
- Manage Inappropriate behavior in Zoom
- FBI PSA on COVID-19 Telework Vulnerabilities
Take These Steps Now
- Test Your VDI using one of the three options below:
Off-campus with 2Factor
Note: If you are still using https://secure.www.virginiawestern.edu and the Symantec VIP app for VDI access, please be aware that it will be shutdown on August 26, 2020 on expiration of our current license. Please contact the Help Desk if you havent already transitioned to Microsoft MFA (Multi Factor Authentication) using the secure site at https://remote.virginiawestern.edu.
Off-Campus without 2Factor
Note: This site will be shutdown by end-July to enhance security and enforce 2Factor access for all VDI logins. If you haven’t already been set up for 2Factor, you can use this link for now, but you have to schedule your transition to 2Factor immediately by contacting the Help Desk.
- Log into ZOOM with your myVWCC credentials.
- Log into Outlook Online with your VWCC credentials.
- Setup Call Forwarding for your phone on the web. You must be on campus or on a VDI for this link to work. The format for the number you are forwarding to is 915409990101 (91 + 10-digit phone number).
- Bring your VWCC issued laptop to work to make sure it is patched and updated, and be sure to take it home every day.
- Contact the Help Desk if you don’t have VDI access.
- Keep your germs at home, share your contact info with your team!
How to Work From Home
Useful links and documentation
- Outlook web email, OneDrive, Teams
- Office365 Tutorials (Microsoft)
- Teams Tutorials (Microsoft)
- Download MS Office Software
- SIS, HR, Canvas, and Enterprise apps
- Zoom – Use your mic and camera
- Forward your telephone from on-campus or your VDI
- Google Hangouts/Meet – Video/Chat (use your myVWCC credentials)
- IET Services Page
Don’t Have a Laptop?
Don’t have a laptop? You can use your personal computer, tablet/iPad (or even your phone) for e-mail, Teams, Zoom, OneDrive, Gmail, Google Drive, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Chrome River, Canvas and more! Use Microsoft Teams or Google Hangouts for chat/IM. You can use your VDI to access your shared drives.
- Exchange cell phone contacts with your peers.
- Download the clients for Zoom and Teams
- Check your home internet! Make sure it’s working!
- How to reset your MyVWCC password
Disaster Related Scams
Evil takes many forms. During emergencies and times of great stress many evil doers will target you in an effort to profit or otherwise take advantage of the situation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a warning that scammers are trying to trick people into sharing their account credentials through social engineering tactics or by sending email messages with malicious content or attachments. You may be offered information by email concerning the COVID-19 disease or asked to contribute to a charitable concern to assist persons in need. These scams come in the form of emails, websites, phone calls, text messages, and even fax messages. Examples of suspicious behavior include asking for login information, sending unasked-for email attachments, directing you to malicious websites, or asking for direct donations to emergency response plans or funding appeals.
To avoid becoming a victim of these scams:
- Prior to opening an email, verify the sender by checking the email address
- If the message looks suspicious, don’t open attachments and delete the message
- Hover over and check the link before you click. Do not click from mobile phones if you cannot check the link
- Be cautious about providing personal information
- Do not rush or feel under pressure to take action
- Identify and only use nationally recognized sites to obtain COVID-19 information
- Navigate to authoritative websites by keying in the URL directly into your web browser
Recommended sites and URLs to use for information concerning the source and spread of the disease:
- World Health Organization (WHO): Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Centers for Disease Control: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- The Virginia Department of Health
Warning: Increased risk of cyber attacks
There has been a significant increase in cyber-attacks in and around the Commonwealth of Virginia and some VCCS institutions have recently suffered security breaches. These most recent attacks target tax information, W2s, banking information, and direct deposit payroll information.
The IRS has issued the following warning which contains some good information about steps you can take to prevent becoming a victim of these types of attacks.
Due to large student and email user populations, higher education institutions are often targets for of online attacks. Although we have many protection mechanisms in place to keep our email and other systems secure, please do keep yourself safe by following our secure password instructions. If you feel, for any reason, that your account has been compromised, immediately reset your password and contact the Help Desk.
VWCC Faculty/staff can reset their password using these instructions.
Students can reset their password by using the “Forgot Password” link on the MyVWCC login page or by calling the Help Desk at (540) 857-7354.
As always, carefully scrutinize any email, link, or attachment before opening or responding to it and remember that the IET Help Desk or any valid organization like the IRS or any of your financial institutions will never ask you to click on a link to verify your user ID, password or account information. Contact the IET Help Desk or your supervisor if you are concerned about any suspicious emails or if you have clicked on a questionable link.
More information about known scams and cyber-attacks can be found at the following links.
Be safe on the internet!!
Help Desk Holiday Hours
The Help Desk will be open the following hours during the holiday season:
- Dec. 17-18: 7:45 AM – 5:00 PM
- Dec. 19: 7:45 AM – 12:00 PM
- Dec. 20 – Jan. 1: VWCC Campus is closed.
- Jan. 2-11: 7:45 AM – 5:00 PM
- Jan. 14: Resume regular schedule
Walk Up Access to IET Help Desk
The flooring in the First floor of Business Science building will be replaced over Friday and Saturday so there will be no walkup access to the IET Help Desk on Friday, August 10, 2018. The Help Desk will, however, be operational and will be accessible by phone, chat and email. Please contact IET Help Desk at (540) 857-7354 if you have any questions.
Revised Help Desk Summer Hours
In an effort to better support our students with evening classes the Help Desk will remain open until 6:00pm Monday through Thursday and until 5:00pm on Fridays once the summer session starts on May 21st. Hours are listed below.
Mon-Fri: 7:45am – 5:00pm
Starting May 21
Mon-Thu: 7:45am – 6:00pm
Fri: 7:45am – 5:00pm
IET Upgrades During the Break
IET staff will be performing maintenance and upgrades to the campus network through the holidays which will cause outages to phone and VDI access through the break. Specific scheduled outages are noted below, but temporary loss of connectivity is possible through the holidays in general.
- Friday, Dec. 22 – No access to VDI, Campus Phones
- Saturday, Dec. 23 – No Voicemail
- Tuesday, Dec. 26 – Sporadic Network and VDI Outages
- Wednesday, Dec. 27 – Sporadic VDI Outages
Questions? Contact the Help Desk!
Help Desk Holiday Hours
The Help Desk will be open the following hours during the upcoming holiday.
December 11 – 15: Final exams – Help Desk open normal hours (7:45am – 6:00pm Mon-Thr and 7:45am – 5:00pm Fri)
December 18 – 19: No classes – Help Desk closing an hour early (7:45am – 5:00pm Mon-Tue)
December 20: Campus will close at Noon – Help Desk will close at that time (7:45am – 12:00pm Wed)
December 21 – January 1: Campus is Closed
January 2 – 5: Faculty In-Service – Help Desk closing an hour early (7:45am – 5:00pm Tue-Fri)
January 8: First day of class – Help Desk open normal hours (7:45am – 6:00pm Mon-Thr and 7:45am – 5:00pm Fri)
WiFi Network Change
Why can’t I get on the WiFi?
Certificate Authority is changing!
What is it?
The college Wi-Fi network verifies all devices connecting to the network by ensuring they have a valid certificate issued by a “certificate authority” running on a special server on campus. Certificates stored on the devices enable secure communications and verify connection to resources, preventing the “bad guys” from stealing your data.
What does this mean to me?
Wireless access will be affected! Phones, tablets and personally owned laptops will not connect until the existing certificates are replaced with new ones issued by the new certificate authority. You can update the certificate by following the same steps you took when you first started using your device(s) on our network. Updated instructions are available at http://www.virginiawestern.edu/iet/changeover.php and as always, you can contact the Help Desk (540-857-7354) for assistance.
When will this happen?
The cut-over is scheduled for 12 noon on Tuesday, August 8th.