The Information Technology Service Department is making changes to the way students using laptops can access the Internet on campus for the fall quarter.
Since Sept. 9, Cal Poly students have been able to easily access wireless networks throughout campus for the first time without having to register laptops through the ITS office.
“From now on, faculty and students can conveniently use the Internet on campus by simply entering in their student information and password when they access their Web browser,” said Johanna Madjedi director of Communications and Computer Services.
In the past, students had to bring their laptops to the ITS office in building 14 in order to register for internet access through both on-campus local area networks (LAN) and Wi-Fi hot spots (for a complete list of wireless hot spots visit www.mobilecomputing.calpoly.edu).
All that is required now is the submission of a student ID and password through a portal that automatically appears when an Internet browser is opened within the campus network. Only registered students and faculty are eligible to access the networks.
The registration changes are designed for student and faculty convenience, and after successful deployment throughout the student dormitories last year, ITS feels confident that the alterations will be met with great reception.
But without prior inspections of laptops, the on-campus networks will run the heightened risk of viruses via infected laptops that could corrupt or even crash other computers connected to the networks.
However, Madjedi said that ITS is well aware of the risk and that the new registration alterations are part of a dual-phase process that would ensure easy accessibility and protection from viruses.
“The second phase of the registration changes includes the scanning of laptops to ensure that they have a suitable, up-to-date anti-virus program,” Madjedi said.
Madjedi also said students who do not have the required anti-virus software will be automatically directed to a Cal Poly portal where they can download free software. Internet access will be otherwise denied to avoid the risk of unprotected laptops from infecting the networks.
However, the launch of the second phase is yet undetermined at this point, but students will be encouraged through the access portal to install or update anti-virus software to ensure that the networks remain free of viruses during the available window, Madjedi said.