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.

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