Using Zoom with a VWCC Virtual Machine

At VWCC on a Thin Client

Use Zoom just as you would with a laptop or desktop.

  • If you watch yourself in video – you will see a slight delay. That is not noticeable on the actual call.
  • If there is lag and breakup, report this to the Help Desk and have them create a ticket to test. In some cases, there are issues with the individual thin client or network. Remember that many of these calls travel across the open Internet and there may be some delays outside the college that also can cause performance issues. The technology has been tested and works. Problems should be reported as soon as possible to the Help Desk and include details of the issue.

At Home Using a Laptop

What version of virtual machine do I have?

You can tell which version of virtual machine you have by typing PCINFO in the Windows search box and hitting enter. When the next screen appears check your device name.

PCInfo Screen

You will have a Device name that is either VW5XXXX or VW6XXXX.

Version VW5XXXX Machines

Do not use Zoom in the VW5XXXX series virtual machines from off campus as you will ALWAYS have bad performance! Use Zoom on the local laptop first! Graphics processing lags and the virtual machine cannot do this over the connection to the college without graphics.

If you need to share your screen from your virtual, you can connect to your virtual machine from the laptop and share the screen of the virtual in the Zoom session. This is done using 2 simple processes.

  • You can jump back and forth from the Zoom session to the virtual machine by clicking on the Horizon Icon VMWare Horizon Icon on your taskbar.
  • If you want to go back to the Zoom screen, hover at the top of your screen until a dropdown appears with a , which allows you to minimize the screen. This process is simple, but can take a little bit of practice to become proficient.

Version VW6XXXX Machines

If you have a VW6XXXX virtual machine, you can run Zoom in the virtual environment.

IET has a fully graphic enabled system that offers better performance. This system is in production. Zoom performance is greatly improved due to the graphics processors. A migration is in progress to move most people to these virtual machines. Licensing costs are a factor in this migration. These machines will be available for all users needing high performance graphics. In many cases the graphics processing is better in a virtual than a physical PC due to the superior graphics card in the system.

What to know before you call the Help Desk

If you are having a problem with Zoom on your virtual machine, please gather this information before contacting the Help Desk:

  • Symptoms (ex: locking up, bad audio, pixilation)
  • Who is having the problem (ex: just you, everyone in the session, only certain users in the session)
  • Are you on-campus or off-campus?
  • What device are you using?
  • Are you on a wireless network?
  • Have you speed tested your internet connection? (See below for more information)
  • Have you tested using the Zoom test site? (https://zoom.com/test)

Monitoring Tools to Isolate Problems

Ping Test

A ping test sends packets to Google and should show a continuous stream of packets typically with a 12ms response time. Timed out errors or ping times of more than 100ms indicate a bad connection.

How to Run a Ping Test

  1. In the Windows Search box, type CMD. A black window will open.
  2. Type ping Google.com -t. (Leave off the period.)

Leave this running and observe the traffic results. If Timed Out appears or response times exceed the following specifications, there is likely a problem with the connection. The smaller the number, the faster the connection is.

  • Ping times of 100ms and below are average for most broadband connections.
  • For video conferencing, any result below a ping of 20ms is considered exceptional.
  • Results between 50ms and 100ms range from very good to average.
  • Results of 150ms or more indicate a poor connection and Zoom will struggle to work, particularly with HD video and backgrounds since they increase data transmission.

Speed Test

Many Internet providers have apps for testing home connections. Speed testing is a good tool for looking at the big picture of your network performance, however one must be mindful that this should be used in combination with the ping test to assess connection performance. These tests generally have a warning message if your network connection is slow or poor. Knowing what is normal is helpful when looking at performance issues. Your Internet provider can help with determining if you are having a network issue.

If you do not have one of these apps, you can search Google for “Google speed test” and the first result will be a Internet speed test that you can run.

MyVWCC MFA with a Pictograph (Dual Enrollment Students)

How to set up your pictograph

  1. Go to https://www.virginiawestern.edu.
  2. Click the MyVWCC link at the top.
  3. Enter your Username and click GO.
  4. Enter your Password and click GO.
  5. The Pictograph Authentication screen will open.
    Pictograph for multi-factor authentication
  6. Click the icon that you want to use as your authentication picture when you log in.
  7. Once you select your picture, you will be shown a confirmation screen.
    Pictograph confirmation screen
  8. If the image you selected appears on your screen, click GO.

What will you see the next time you log in to MyVWCC?

  1. Enter your username and click Go.
  2. Enter your password and click Go.
  3. Click the image you selected during the above steps.
  4. The myVWCC Applications screen will load once you select the correct image.

What if I don’t know my username or password for MyVWCC?

Click here for instructions for finding your username and/or password.

What if I already enrolled in another MFA method?

If you have already enrolled in another MFA method it will be set as your backup MFA method on March 1, 2022.

What if I have questions?

If you have questions about these steps or need help during the process, please contact the VWCC Help Desk at 540-857-7354, by email at helpdesk@virginiawestern.edu or in person at the Business Science Building (M273).

Virginia Western Email Changes

IET recently implemented changes to the college email system to comply with VCCS standard 20.5. These changes are intended to improve security and email processing.

Background:

Email is a mission critical communication tool that unfortunately, can be used maliciously to compromise security. Everyday thousands of emails are sent to our user community, attempting to obtain personal information, money or account credentials. VWCC Email is filtered to remove as many messages containing junk, malware, phishing links and advertisements as practical while delivering the rest of the actual good messages. This process is part automated and part user managed.

How do these changes affect me?

The recent changes removed the Barracuda Anti-Spam system from the mail flow. As a result, you will notice these changes:

  • You no longer get messages from this system to check your Barracuda email quarantine.
  • Check your Junk Mail folder periodically to ensure that legitimate mail is not landing there. If you do see email there, mark it as Not Junk and it will move to your Inbox. Most SPAM and advertisement emails will end up here.
  • Advertisements and other Email that is not desirable may land in your Inbox. Mark these as Junk to train the system to put emails of that nature in Junk. This will reduce the amount of unwanted email in your Inbox, but some unwanted messages may continue to get through.
  • Some Email will be tagged with messages to help you identify the type of mail. Message tags indicating (Spam) (Personal)
  • Message headers are enabled to notify that mail originates outside the college. This helps raise awareness of the email source and is particularly helpful at identifying emails that impersonate a person or service. If an email is shown as external and is representing a college service or user, it is suspect.
  • Email that is particularly suspicious of phishing (a way of luring a user to provide information or click a link to a hack) will be sent to a quarantine location. Each day a process runs to see if there is an email in this quarantine, providing a chance for review and release if a legitimate message has been incorrectly classified.   

Email Access and SPAM

Email can be accessed in 2 ways.

  • You may use a web browser and log in to Office.com with your email address and VWCC password. This is Outlook Web Access or Webmail. Webmail can be accessed from any computer.
  • You can use the local Microsoft Outlook client installed on a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone. This option downloads messages for local access even when not connected to the Internet. Email can be read and composed without Internet access. An Internet connection must be present to send and receive using the full client.

How can I find email that I may be missing?

Email is stored in the Microsoft Cloud, on the local storage of a device using the full Outlook client and a copy is also stored on the Barracuda Mail Archiver. Occasionally email will be “lost”, requiring a search to find out where it may be.

Junk and Spam

Filtering is used in the email environment to prevent malicious emails, particularly ones that are “phishing” trying to obtain user credentials or in some way have a negative impact on the recipient. Some legitimate emails can be misclassified and hung up in the mail system, classified as Junk or Spam. .

Email may go to the Office Cloud Junk folder

Use a web browser and log in to Office.com with your email address and VWCC password. This is Outlook Web Access (Webmail). Search in the Junk Folder for your missing email.

Email may go to the Outlook Junk folder

Open the local Outlook client. If a message is missing from the user’s Inbox, the first action would be to check the Junk folder in the Outlook client being used. This will be either Outlook on the device or using the browser-based Outlook Web Access. Simply go to the Junk folder and search for the email by sender or date.

Email may go to the Quarantine

Email filters look for messages that may contain phishing. It will then move them to quarantine for user review. This area is checked each day for content and if there are messages to review and email like the one below will be sent to the mailbox owner. If the email is legitimate, the user can release it to their mailbox and if not, they can trash it.

Email Archiving

All email sent to and from virginiawestern.edu accounts is copied to a mail archival system. This archiving device provides search capabilities for all emails the college has ever sent or received. Users may login to this link with their email address and search the message library.   

Link:  https://archiver.virginiawestern.edu

In Summary – Check these places

If you suspect that you are missing an email that was sent to you, check the following:

  1. Check the Junk folder in your Webmail (Office.com online or Microsoft Web Outlook).  If you use the Outlook client app, check for the message in that client Junk folder too.
  2. Review any quarantine notifications from Microsoft.
  3. Check the Archiver.
  4. Report the missing email to the Help Desk.

If you have questions about the information we provided, please contact the Help Desk.  We will be glad to personally assist you and answer any related questions you may have.  Please check the Information & Educational Technologies web page and SharePoint site for various notices including upcoming deployments.

MyVWCC Multi-factor Authentication Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t have a smart phone?

The VCCS has provided alternative options that do not require a smart phone. All options can be viewed on the VCCS site here.

Do I need to finish the MFA setup once I start it?

Yes, if you do not finish the setup of MFA it will cause you to have login issues later.

Which MFA option should I use?

The VCCS recommends the Push MFA option (using the Rapid Identity App) as being the most secure, but any of the options can be used.

Why am I not receiving the Rapid Identity PingMe Authentication Notice on my phone?

  1. Verify that the phone’s date and time are automatically syncing.
    • If the time and date on your device is not set to automatically sync the time may be incorrect and that will cause authentication to fail for all MFA methods. Here are the locations of this setting on iPhones and Androids.
      • iPhone – Settings, General, Date & Time, the Set Automatically toggle box should be turned on.
      • Android – Settings, General Management, Date and Time, the Automatic date and toggle box should be turned on.
      • The location for the Date & Time settings may vary depending on the version of your phone’s operations system. If the paths above do not work for your phone, you will need to do a web search for the correct location.
  2. Verify that you are allowing the Rapid Identity App on your phone to send you notifications.
  3. Verify that your phone is not in Do Not Disturb mode.
  4. Some Android phones and OS combinations seem to have issues with using the PingMe Options in the Rapid Identity App.
    • Some devices on 9.x and 8.x, have issues, no higher versions have reported issues. In those cases, you will need to switch to one of the TOTP MFA options.

Please contact the Help Desk (540-857-7354) if you have questions.

My RapidIdentity App is no longer working, what should I do?

  • Try closing and reopening the app.
  • Turn the device that has the Rapid Identity app on it off and back on. If that does not work, please contact the Help Desk (540-857-7354).

How do I add or correct the phone number associated with my account?

Instructions for adding or updating your phone number are here.

Note: When adding the phone number make sure you select the Phone Type of Mobile. Other phone types will not be recognized by the MFA system.

MyVWCC Multi-factor Authentication

The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) updated the MyVWCC portal and Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) is now available to all students, faculty and staff to add another level of security to protect your information.

Set-up instructions can be found below, and answers to frequently asked questions can be found here.

What if I missed the enrollment deadline?

If you have not enrolled in MFA, you will be automatically enrolled in the MFA Email Authentication on March 1, 2022.

What will I see when I log into MyVWCC on March 1, 2022?

If you did not choose your own authentication method, when you log into MyVWCC on March 1st you will enter your username and password as normal. You will then see an Email Authentication screen asking you to enter a on-time code. This code has been sent to the email listed with an Email Type of “Other” in your SIS account, not your VWCC Student Gmail account.

email authentication screen

How do I find what my “Other” email address is listed as in SIS? — BEFORE MARCH 1

You can use the following instructions to find or add your “Other” email is SIS.  It must be a non-VWCC email address. It must also have the Email Type of “Other”.  

  1. Log in to MyVWCC. 
  2. Click the SIS icon under your My Applications list.  
  3. When SIS opens, click the My Student Information button.  
  4. From the menu on the left, select Personal Information and click Email Addresses. This will open your list of email addresses.   
  5. Verify that your current non-VWCC email address is listed with an Email Type of Other.  
  6. If your current non-VWCC email address is not listed with an Email Type of Other, please click the Add an Email Address link.  
  7. Select the Email Type as Other, enter your current non VWCC email address in the Email Address field and select Save.  

Minimum Requirements

The minimum mobile device requirements for the RapidIdentity app are:

Android

  • The RapidIdentity app requires Android 8.0 and up.
  • There are no specific device restrictions published.

Apple

  • iPhone requires IOS 9.0 or later
  • Device restrictions:
    • iPhone 5S or greater
    • iPad Air or greater
    • iPod Touch 6th and 7th generation

How to Set Up MFA for MyVWCC

Before starting, make sure you have a mobile number on your SIS account. You must finish the complete setup process once started.

  1. Log into MyVWCC.
  2. Click the MFA Enrollment tile. You will be redirected to the VCCS’s Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) Setup instructions.
    Multifactor Authentication Enrollment Tile
  3. Select the MFA option that works best for you and follow the setup instructions provided.

For more information, refer to these Frequently Asked Questions or contact the Help Desk at 540-857-7354 for further assistance.

Multifactor Authentication for Dual Enrollment Students

Due to e-mail and cell phone restrictions at the high schools the VCCS will be automatically setting all Dual Enrollment students up with the Pictograph MFA method beginning March 1, 2022. Click here to see step-by-step login instructions for Dual Enrollment Students to setup their MyVWCC MFA beginning March 1, 2022.

Zoom Troubleshooting & Best Practices

Click here for information about using Zoom with a VWCC Virtual Machine.

General Recommendations

Run Windows update and restart your machine frequently!

You should restart your Windows computer (virtual machine and physical machines) frequently and check for Windows updates. This ensures properly security and reporting which is monitored by ITS security in Richmond. Go to the Windows Flag, left click and go to the gear (settings) and open Update and Security when you select Check for Updates. Apply any updates and restart. Do this at least once or twice a week.

Resolving Display Issues

Symptom: Screen Size is Incorrect or partially displayed

Each time an endpoint device establishes a remote connection to the virtual machine, video must synchronize from the virtual machine to the client device. If multiple devices are used to access the virtual desktop, for example a thin client on campus and a laptop or desktop (with multiple monitors) from home, the video will need to sync. This process occasionally fails, and the screen appearance will be abnormal.

To resolve this, bring the mouse to the top of the screen where a drop-down panel will appear. Choose the View option and check the Windowed radio box. The screen will resize to a small window. Next choose – Full Screen – All Monitors.

Self-View Video Delay

There is a slight delay in the video seen on the sender machine. This is called self-view. It does not appear to others in the Zoom session or on the recordings. This can be distracting, particularly when using the default gallery view.

To remove this distraction, it is recommended that Speaker View or Hide Self view is selected to remove the distraction of watching yourself with a slight delay. The delay is typically less than one second in self view. This can be optimized by changing to speaker view in the actual meeting or Hover over your video and click the ellipses button in your video to display the menu, then choose Hide Self View.

Zoom Backgrounds

Backgrounds may be used with Zoom. If these are desired, one should consider the backgrounds that the college developed. Be advised that using a moving background requires more processing power and bandwidth, so use with discretion and turn off to address possible low bandwidth issues.

Instability and Bandwidth Consumption

Zoom meetings traverse the Internet. They are sensitive to issues with bandwidth. Common symptoms are audio dropouts and messages indicating “Your Internet Connection is Unstable”. Poor connections and lack of bandwidth cause these issues for any system physical or virtual using Zoom.  

If you share your home Internet connection with others in the household using bandwidth for telework, gaming, video streaming and other services, be mindful that you are all using bandwidth and Zoom performance may be degraded.

Some connections have insufficient bandwidth to support all the enhancements in Zoom. Turning off HD video and removing backgrounds can help performance on low bandwidth connections. In some cases, turning off video altogether may be needed. Bandwidth restrictions are usually outside the college’s control. Internal networking issues and hardware problems on campus can cause poor performance. It is important that any Zoom issues be reported to the Help Desk so we can help resolve problems quickly.

Questions and How to Get Help

IET offers Help Desk Services

You may call 540-857-7354 or Email Helpdesk@virginiawestern.edu to request help.

Question and Answer Zoom sessions will be provided for anyone who needs assistance or wants to get more information on using thin clients, virtual machines and other subjects as requested. Please let the Help Desk know if this is of interest.

VWCC PhishTrain Summary Report

Information security is a daily concern in today’s work environment.  Bad actors/hackers are continually attempting to access sensitive data and systems by impersonating “real employees” within an organization.   Some of you may have received emails asking you to contact a senior staff member or purchase gift cards, and some VCCS agencies have seen emails requesting unauthorized changes to payroll direct deposit accounts.

On September 12th, the Information Security Shared Services (ISSS) team (Natalie Talbott & Brenda Bowling) launched the first of what will become on-going Phishing Campaigns.  The use of phishing emails to infiltrate networks and steal sensitive data is increasing at an alarming rate. The goal of our internal campaigns is to educate employees at all levels on basic ways to identify phishing emails and raise awareness of cyber-attacks.

How the Campaign was Conducted

An email was sent from a false account (rsandel@vwcc.edu) using a sender name Bobbie Sandle.  The message indicated Dr. Sandel needed your assistance and to click here.  There were several red flags in the email to include the misspelling of the sender’s name, the incorrect email address, and the contents of the message made no sense.

Expected Results

  • Some users would view this message as suspicious and not click the link because of the false account, and report it to the Help Desk as phishing.
  • Some users would trust the sender’s name and click.
  • Some users on mobile devices where often the from email address cannot be viewed would click without checking for suspicious information.
  • Some users would click because it looked like there was more to read.
Kudos to all who questioned the legitimacy of the email or reported it as phishing by the method above.
  • The phish email was sent to 599 users.  Note that some of you may have never seen it as our Junk Mail filter may have already caught it.
  • Quite a lot of users called or emailed the Help Desk asking for guidance and/or reporting the emails as phishing attempts.
  • 7 users clicked on the link.
  • 6 users clicked from the desktop.
  • 1 users clicked from an android mobile device.

Guidelines for Handling Suspicious Email

  • If you receive a junk or phishing email in your Inbox, you should contact the VWCC Help Desk for verification before clicking.
  • Check the address – is it familiar to you?
  • Check the sender (From).  Do you know that person?
  • Check the content – does it make sense to you? Does it sound like something the person would write?
  • Check the grammar in the email for obvious mistakes and misspellings.
  • Hover over the link BEFORE you click – is it real?
  • If in doubt – DON’T (click, enter credentials, etc.)
  • Check the emails you send to make sure they don’t LOOK like spam.

While cyber threats and phishing attempts are becoming more sophisticated over time, please keep in mind that 95% of all cyber breaches involve human error. Thus, not clicking on various email links and deleting these emails or reporting them, as Phishing, immediately will go a long way in keeping the VCCS’s data safe from these types of threats!

If you have any questions, please contact Natalie (ntalbott@vccs.edu), Brenda (bbowling@vccs.edu) or Shivaji Samanta (ssamanta@virginiawestern.edu)!

Zoom

Zoom is a full-featured web and video conferencing service that offers online meetings and webinars. Features include polling, breakout rooms, and a wide variety of audio options.

To get started with Zoom:

  1. Go to the Zoom site: https://vccs.zoom.us.
  2. Click on the Settings button and log in with your MyVWCC credentials.
  3. Once you are logged in, you can update your profile and schedule, join or host a meeting.

Also, each ZOOM login has two Personal Audio Conferencing accounts included. Personal Audio Conferencing is a voice only service that you and your meeting participants can dial directly into without needing to start a meeting or use a computer.  To find your Personal Audio Conferencing account information, once you are logged in, click the Personal Audio Conferencing link on the left and your audio conferencing settings will appear. If you click the Start Conference button, you will see a call control website where you can add, remove, mute, lock and end the conference.

If you should reach a login screen that looks like the one below, click the Sign In with SSO button to sign in with your MyVWCC credentials.

Zoom Login

Using Zoom with a VWCC Virtual Machine

Training & Support

Hoonuit has a Zoom course that covers the basics and meetings. Log in to MyVWCC and then access the course here, or click the Hoonuit button in MyVWCC and search for “zoom”.

Zoom Support has some great information available at https://support.zoom.us. We recommend starting with Getting Started and the Meeting Controls video.

Additional questions can be sent to the VCCS by opening at TD ticket at https://vccs.teamdynamix.com.

Click here for Zoom troubleshooting tips and best practices.