August 20, 2021
Dear USC Community,
We hope that you have had a wonderful and safe summer! Over the next weeks and months, many of you may be returning to campus for the first time since March 2020. When you return to campus, you may need to change or refresh the devices and applications you use to learn, teach, research and work. With that in mind, Information Technology Services (ITS) wants to give you a few important tips and tricks to help you get up and running, tech-wise, as securely and quickly as possible.
What to Know
- By USC passphrase standards, you will have had to change your USC password at least once in the past 17 months, whether you were working from home or on campus. If you saved your USC passphrase on computers/devices, you may still need to update it on these devices to enable them to access USC networks or certain on-campus systems.
- Devices that have not been powered on in over a year present a significant security risk because they may not have the latest security patches.
- It may take longer and require more steps to update and reinstall software on these devices, so plan time to do this before the start of class or work.
- Every day, make sure your computers and other technology are properly secured when learning, teaching or working at home or another location besides campus.
- For Faculty: ITS began automatically creating Zoom meetings for fall 2021 Blackboard courses on Wednesday, August 18. These courses are now available to faculty in Blackboard.
- If you are a faculty member that would like to opt out of these automatically generated Zoom sessions, please contact your department’s scheduling coordinator.
- If you wish to remove already generated Zoom links from your Blackboard courses, please see the instructions posted on keepteaching.usc.edu.
What to Do
Below are some easy ways you can make sure your return to campus is smooth and secure!
- Update your USC Wireless settings. We have made significant upgrades to increase the security and performance of the USC Wireless networks. Because of these advances, you may need to use the “forget network” option on your device, then reconnect using your USC credentials. For more information, see our documentation on reconnecting to USC Wireless.
- Schedule time to update your systems. For more information, see our page on Operating System Security Patches.
- If you haven’t already, install SentinelOne, USC’s approved endpoint security software, to protect your computers and devices from cybersecurity attacks. See the TrojanSecure web page on SentinelOne for download links and installation instructions.
- Lock Your Computer When Away from Campus. If you are only going to be on campus a few days a week, be sure to either turn your computer off or run a screen saver that requires a password to unlock it to prevent unauthorized access to your computer and its data. See the Clear Desk, Clear Screen page on the TrojanSecure website for more information.
- Look for additional Tech Tips on ITS social media and digital signage. ITS will post these tips and others on our social media channels (Twitter, Instagram and Slack) and digital signage around campus to ensure you always have the latest USC tech info at your fingertips.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding these tips or need assistance as you prepare to return to campus, please contact the ITS Service Desk by calling 213-740-5555 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The Service Desk is available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We hope that these tech tips and other information found on keepteaching.usc.edu will prepare you for a successful return to campus. We look forward to seeing the Trojan family back on campus this fall.
Douglas Shook, Ph.D
Chief Information Officer
Professor of Data Sciences
USC Chief Information Security Officer
Information Technology Services