ITS aims to promote new YaleSecure network

Amidst the bright blue scaffolding around Harkness Tower and the gaping excavation outside Morse College, one change to Yale campus has gone largely unnoticed: the University’s newest wireless network.

Only one in five wireless users are accessing the Internet via YaleSecure, an encrypted wireless network that protects users’ passwords and other personal information from hackers, according to David Galassi, director of ITS network services. This is even though it is simpler to use and connect to than the previous two secure networks, WPA and WPA2, and also more secure than yale wireless, the network on which more than 60 percent of students rely, he said.

“We are going to try to educate people that YaleSecure is the way to go,” said Loriann Higashi, manager of student computing. “We’d like a lot of people who are using yale wireless to switch.”

Aside from freshmen, who were told about the new network upon arrival, 13 of the 26 of students interviewed said they had not heard of YaleSecure, which was launched in mid-August, and only five said they currently use it.

“I wasn’t aware that Yale had a more secure wireless network this year,” said Jessica Lei ’11. “In that regard, I think that ITS can work on promoting how to use this network and its benefits.”

Other students echoed the need for improved communication between ITS and students. I’noli Hall ’12 said he thought an “informative e-mail” would have been nice.

But ITS has done little to spread the word. The welcome-back e-mail sent to students on Aug. 26 by ITS Director Philip Long made no mention of the new network, although an update was posted to the ITS Web site on Sept. 3 describing YaleSecure’s benefits and how to access it.

Jasmine Dyba ’11, who had not heard about YaleSecure, said she did not think posting information to the ITS Web site was enough.

“Students usually only access the Web site when they have a problem,” she said.

YaleSecure is not the only new network Yale has introduced this year: in late May, ITS also launched YaleGuest, a network created primarily for visitors, such as friends of students and individuals attending conferences on campus. A handful of students said they have been using this alternate network when they cannot access yale wireless or YaleSecure.

ITS said they do not want students to use YaleGuest, because it is less safe than the other networks available and does not permit them to access restricted Yale resources, such as library holdings. In addition, if problems with wireless access arise, YaleGuest will be the last network to be fixed.

“We want to emphasize to students using YaleGuest that yale wireless and YaleSecure are where the infrastructure is,” Higashi said.

To use YaleSecure, students will be prompted to enter their NetIDs and passwords when initially setting up their connection, and will not be prompted again unless they change their passwords.

Comments

  • Yale Student

    I’ve tried connecting to YaleSecure using my netID and password with no success. If they really want us to use this network, they need to realize that some of us are going to need a little instruction if connecting is more complicated than just entering a username and password. We don’t read minds, and not all of us are computer geniuses.

  • anon

    To Yale Student:

    If you need help connecting to YaleSecure, you can contact a Student Tech for help, that’s what they’re there for.

    STs: http://www.yale.edu/its/stc/
    FAQs: http://www.yale.edu/its/network/wireless/wpa/

  • ITSguy

    It saddens me to see that ITS (the group I work for…) continues to more or less ignore the primary group they should be focusing their support on. YaleSecure has been available for some time now, and it still has not been properly promoted or documented on how to set it up correctly. The documentation on ITS’ webpages is so old and archaic that it embarrasses me to have to refer students, staff, and faculty to it…

    I thank YDN for continuing to cover these types of stories regarding technology at Yale… it definitely can light a fire under the MANY managers within ITS that sit in offices or meetings all day and make decisions about moving nowhere fast.

  • AnotherITSguy

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who sees the disconnect between the intended goals of ITS and the, as you say, MANY levels of management. On those days where I allow myself to be an optimist, I dream that someday the higher levels of authority here will see fit to reorganize ITS in a sensible way and, as a result, let us really help the student and research communities here.