The University of San Francisco: Information Technology Services
Information Technology

Network Security Policy FAQ

Network Services and Applications

Data Security

Privacy

File Sharing/Transfer

Hardware/Software


Network Services and Applications

How should I access administrative systems (SIS, HRS, FRS, ADS) from home?

First, check and see if the functionality you need is included in Web for Students, Web for Faculty, Web for Employees, or Web for Alumni and accessible through USFconnect. If it is not, to connect to the administrative system, you need a Secure Shell (SSH) client. USF’s supported SSH clients are Secure CRT (Windows) and DataComet (Macintosh). You can download an SSH client at https://intraweb.usfca.edu/its/usfpublic/ssh/.

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Does USF have a firewall?

Yes, USF's network includes multiple firewalls.

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How do I access my files from outside USF's network?

You are able to access USF network resources using your own high-speed Internet connection and a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) client.

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Can I run a network-based service from my desktop, such as a web server or mail server?

This network security policy does not prohibit members of the USFcommunity from running network-based services from their desktops. However, community members should be advised that running network-based services may create vulnerabilities on their desktop machine or on the network. If your desktop system interferes with the functioning or security of the USF network, it may be immediately disconnected and remain disconnected until the system has been appropriately secured and the problem resolved (Policies Governing Management of User Systems, #5). Such network-based services include, but are not limited to:

a. Web Servers
b. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Servers
c. Domain Name System (DNS) Servers
d. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) Servers
e. File Sharing Servers
f. Mail Servers
g. Streaming Media servers

 

Further, if the network service you are running becomes utilized to the extent that the primary purpose of your desktop machine is multi-user sharing of applications, data, and/or services, your desktop has become a server and will be subject to Policies Governing Management of Servers.

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Can I attach a wireless router to the USF network?

Only faculty or staff may attach authorized wireless routers for academic purposes as long as they do not interfere with the USF wireless network. Security settings should be configured as described in Standards for Network Equipment. To find out if your router may interfere or how to restrict access, please contact the ITS helpdesk at x6668 or itshelp@usfca.edu.

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Can I put a wireless router in my dorm room?

No.

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Data Security

What is considered confidential information?

Nearly all student information is confidential, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). For complete information on FERPA, dos and don'ts, and a helpful tutorial, visit the One Stop FERPA information and quiz pages.

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How should I send confidential information?

Confidential information should be encrypted so that even if captured, it would not be legible. Programs like SCP and SFTP provide encrypted channels during transmission. An alternative and/or additional security measure would be to encrypt the file itself. Compression offers a small degree of encryption and most applications allow for password protection. PGP (Pretty Good Protection) is another method to encrypt files. USF does not currently recommend a specific PGP client. Free PGP clients are available for downloading at:

If you cannot send the information securely, consider placing it in a secure file share for specific colleagues to access.

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Where should I store confidential information?

Confidential information should be stored on secure file servers like Jade and the administrative systems (SIS, FRS, ADS, HRS) only. An additional security measure would be to encrypt the file itself. Compression offers a small degree of encryption and most applications allow for password protection. PGP (Pretty Good Protection) is another method to encrypt files. USF does not currently recommend a specific PGP client. Free PGP clients are available for downloading at:

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Should I include Social Security Numbers or other confidential information in e-mail or as attachments to e-mail?

No.

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Should I have Social Security Numbers or other confidential information in files on my personal computer, at home or at work?

No.

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Whom should I contact if there is a breach in data security?

If you become aware that breach of data security has occurred, please notify abuse@usfca.edu.

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How do I get Anti-Virus software installed on my machine?

USF has licensed Sophos Anti-Virus for all students, as well as faculty and staff home computers. To download Sophos, go to http://antivirus.usfca.edu and login with your USFconnect username and password.

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Privacy

Is USF ITS monitoring the content on my USF computer?

No. USF does not monitor any content stored on your desktop.

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Is USF ITS monitoring the sites I visit on the Internet?

No.

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Is USF ITS monitoring my email messages?

No.

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I heard that ITS is pushing out software installations and upgrades to USF-owned computers. Is that true?

Yes. ITS is using "push" software to remotely install critical security patches and approved new software, such as SSH clients. ITS can and will push patches and upgrades to USF-owned computers only (not student or home computers). Some pushes are silent, which means that users are not notified that they are taking place. Upgrades which may effect functionality or change features, such as Microsoft Office, will only be pushed with the user's consent.

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Should I password protect my computer or my files?

Yes. Password protection is a good idea, but be sure you can remember your passwords :-) !

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How often should I change my password?

It is recommended that passwords be changed every 3 months.

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File Sharing/Transfer

How should I send files to colleagues, or to my home office?

Non-confidential files may be sent as e-mail attachments or placed on a departmental or central file server. If you would like access to the central ITS file server, please visit https://intraweb.usfca.edu/its/security/jadefilesharing.htm to learn more.

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How can I securely access my USF office computer from my home computer?

You can access USF network resources using your own high-speed internet connection and a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN) client. Watch the ITS web site and announcements for more information about this form of access.

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How should I share files with other people?

USF recommends using a file server. If you would like access to the central ITS file server, please visit https://intraweb.usfca.edu/its/security/jadefilesharing.htm to learn more. If you would like to share files from your personal computer, please set up your sharing in accordance with the guidelines available at https://intraweb.usfca.edu/its/security/networkshareinstruct.htm.

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My department has its own file server. Should I use it or the central ITS server?

Either server is fine. Over time, file sharing services may be consolidated in the interest of efficiency.

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Can I use peer to peer software such as Kazaa and Morpheus?

Using peer to peer file sharing software is legal, so long as the material being shared is in the public domain or owned by you. However, downloading copyrighted material is illegal.

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Hardware/Software

Are there minimum requirements in order to connect to USF's network?

USF ITS has minimum standards for supported hardware and software. Please see our Personal Computer Purchases page for minimum requirements.

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