The Information Technology Services (“ITS”) department at Plymouth State University is happy to welcome you as a new member of our campus community, and we want to ensure that the resources that we have made available to you serve as tools, not obstacles, in your work.
ITS is committed to serving the University’s information technology needs. We recognize that ubiquitous access to technology services is a need in today’s educational and business environment. We provide support for centralized administrative applications, technology infrastructure, and client computing, web development and system maintenance, as well as support and advice for a wide variety of other information technology needs. Structurally, ITS consists of the following five main areas:
Client Services and Academic Technology - Client Services provides support, advice, and is a central point of contact for the use of all ITS service, software and infrastructure. The ITS Help Desk, Academic technology Support, and Classroom Technology Services are all part of Client Services.
Strategic Technology Services - ITS Strategic Technology Service provides budgeting and financial planning services to ITS. Strategic Technology Service is also coordinates institutional technology purchases, technology contacts and vendor negotiation.
Infrastructure Services - Infrastructure Services provides for the management of core infrastructure such as the campus data network – both wired and wireless – and the campus telephone system.
Applications and Development (“A&D”) – A&D develops, maintains, and provides support for centralized applications such as the myPlymouth Portal, Banner Student Information System (INB), MySQL and Oracle databases, WordPress, system administration for Moodle, Mahara and more.
Technology Services - Technology Services manages the centralized data center, email servers, campus computer clusters, provides Desktop Support and operates the Computer Repair Center.
Technology Support and Services
The ITS Help Desk
The ITS Help Desk, located at the Information Desk on the main level of Lamson Learning Commons, is the single point of contact you need for Information Technology support. Whether it’s a problem you are having with your computer hardware – CPU, monitor, printer – or a question you have about computer software, the ITS Help Desk staff can assist you. Often the technicians at the ITS Help Desk will be able to answer your questions and resolve your technology problems over the telephone or via email or chat. If not, the ITS Help Desk can make arrangements for a technician to assist you in your office. The Help Desk is open seven days a week and may be reached in in several ways:
The PSU Alert Emergency Notification System
Plymouth State University has a state-of-the-art Emergency Notification System (“ENS”) called PSU Alerts to communicate with students, faculty and staff in the event that an emergency occurs on the Plymouth campus. It is a robust system that simultaneously transmits messages by email and SMS (text messaging). To submit your PSU Alert emergency contact information, log into the myPlymouth portal at http://my.plymouth.edu and click on the Emergency Notification link found on the Welcome Page in the left navigation bar.
myPlymouth is the portal that Plymouth State University provides you to access our collection of electronic services. Services in myPlymouth are “role based” – meaning that access to the tools are customized for your specific needs. MyPlymouth is the repository for our student information system (Banner self service) PSU’s integrated email and calendar system (myMail), our course management systems (Moodle and Mahara), and is the means by which faculty download class rosters and input student grades. Additionally, myPlymouth is the source for campus information and announcements, constituency elections and committee minutes, and access to Lamson Library’s electronic resources. These many resources are accessible by a single-sign-on via your PSU username and password.
What is my Username and Password?
Your PSU username and password gives you access to myPlymouth and its associated resources, your personal network storage drive for storing your important documents (myDrive), and access to the software found in the University’s many lab computers, instructor stations and kiosks. Access to your account is obtained via a username (usually in the form of first initial, middle initial, last initial and a system generated number) and a password. Your PSU email address is your alias username (usually in the form of first initial, middle initial, last name) followed by @plymouth.edu.
For example: Joseph A. Smith Username: jas1010 Email: email@example.com
Microsoft Office Exchange (PSU Email)
Regardless of your role at the university, Microsoft Office Exchange is a vital means of accessing your PSU email. In order to log into your PSU Email, you must use your myPlymouth firstname.lastname@example.org and your respective myPlymouth password. You can access the PSU Email by logging into your myPlymouth account and clicking on either links, “View myMail” or “PSU Email” under the “myOffice365” tab.
- Full-time faculty and office based staff typically have exclusive use of a Plymouth State University owned computer. That computer will have an email client (such as Microsoft Outlook or Mac Mail) pre-installed. You are free to choose whether or not you want to use this email application or the online web app. If you need assistance with setting up an email client user profile on your computer or other personal device, call the ITS Help Desk at (603) 535-2929.
- Part-time faculty and staff will typically share a Plymouth State University owned computer with other part-time faculty or staff or utilize a public computer in a lab.. That computer will not have a profile for you to use the computer’s email client. However, you can access your PSU email from that computer by logging into myPlymouth and clicking on “View myMail” or “PSU Email” under the “myOffice365” tab.
Managing your PSU Email
Microsoft Office Exchange provides each user to 50GB of email storage space on PSU’s mail server. Typically, users will not reach that limit, and do not have to worry about deleting emails from their PSU mailbox
Accessing your PSU Email Off Campus
You can access your PSU email off-campus by logging into myPlymouth and clicking on either, “View myMail” or “PSU Email” under the “myOffice365” tab. You can also set up a portal device, such as your cellphone or tablet to access your PSU Email. You can view an article on how to configure that, please check: https://support.plymouth.edu/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/536/0/office-365-guide under the “Communication and Collaboration” section.
PSU VPN services
In addition to accessing PSU services off campus via myPlymouth, you can access many of Plymouth State University’s networked resources remotely, using Plymouth’s Virtual Private Network (“VPN”). For example, you may wish to access network file shares from off-campus, or use Banner INB while working from home. You do NOT need to use this service if you only wish to use email or access Moodle via myPlymouth. For complete information about the VPN and instructions on setting up the VPN, go to https://support.plymouth.edu/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/623/0/pulse-secure-vpn-client
Computer Labs and Classrooms
You don’t have to be enrolled in a class at Plymouth State University or teaching in a computer lab to use the resources available in most of PSU’s computer labs. To find out lab locations, and supported software configurations, go to https://support.plymouth.edu/index.php?/Default/Knowledgebase/Article/View/62/25/computer-lab-locations Questions regarding computer labs should be directed to the ITS Help Desk at (603) 535-2929 or via email email@example.com)
All staff, faculty, and students who use Plymouth State University IT computing resources do so subject to a number of policies that govern their use. You are expected to be familiar with those policies and to adhere to them. Violations of those policies may lead to disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution. For more information, visit https://campus.plymouth.edu/it/about-us/policy/
Basic Computer Security
Passwords are the first and foremost security control for your data. Plymouth State University has implemented a common Username that you will use to access most, if not all, of your computing resources on our network. Your PSU username and password are your electronic identity, and you are solely responsible for its use. Passwords can be changed as often as you like within myPlymouth, however you will be required to change your password every 180 days. Unsure of when you last changed your password? You will find a password status channel located in myPlymouth on the Welcome Page in the left navigation bar.
- Never ever share your password with anyone. Not your co-workers, your family, or even the Plymouth State University Help Desk.
- Make sure that your password is adequately complex, but not so complex that you can’t remember it and have to write it down. Passwords should be at least eight characters and contain a combination of letters and numbers. Avoid words that can be found in a dictionary.
- If you suspect that your password has been compromised, you should change it immediately and inform the ITS Help Desk.
Logging Out Of and/or Stepping Away from your Computer
If you are going to be away from your computer for what would provide enough time for someone to gain access to your system and data, it is a good idea to either lock your system or log out. Your PSU owned computer is set to automatically lock the system after being idle for 30 minutes. In order to wake the computer from screen saver mode, you will need to log in with your PSU username and password. At the end of the day, you will want to log off your system or shut it down.
Software Patches and Other Messages from the IT Help Desk
Even though your computer will, on a schedule, self-install software patches that are available for it, occasionally the ITS Help Desk will send you an email regarding a patch that is so serious that you shouldn’t wait for the automatic process or for which there is not yet a patch. Those messages should be taken seriously and can be confirmed by calling the ITS Help Desk if you have a concern about their authenticity.
Phishing and Other Email Scams
It is not uncommon for “phishing” emails to come through, despite Plymouth State University having a junk email filter. This filter is handled by Microsoft, with their built-in spam filters. Typically, these emails demand the user to click on a link and enter their myPlymouth username and password. These emails claim that the user’s account might be in danger or even deleted if there is no immediate response. These emails are not legitimate and are only attempting to steal your login information. Plymouth State University will never ask you for your login information via email, and will never ask you for your password. We recommend you either remove, mark as spam, or delete these emails.
In addition, you can review Microsoft’s O365 AntiSpam Protector at: https://support.office.com/en-US/article/Office-365-Email-Anti-Spam-Protection-6a601501-a6a8-4559-b2e7-56b59c96a586
If you receive an email that you are unsure the validity of, please contact the ITS Help Desk at (603) 535-2929.
Protecting Institutional Data and the Secure Computing Environment
Certain information is not only business-confidential, but has laws pertaining to it, which mandate that the University maintain its confidentiality. Examples of these types of data are:
- Social Security numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
- Access codes and passwords
- Financial access codes and data
- HIPAA  protected data
- FERPA protected data
- GLB protected data
The Registrar’s Office has an online FERPA tutorial, which will acquaint you with those requirements. It concludes with a quiz – followed by the correct answers – that enables you to test your understanding of FERPA law. To learn more about FERPA and to take the tutorial, go to https://support.plymouth.edu/index.php?/Default/Knowledgebase/Article/View/693/0/how-to-find-employee-ferpa-training
Probing and Responses
Just because you have access to University data doesn’t mean that everyone who might ask you for protected information should also have access - even if they work for the University. If you are unsure whether someone asking you for data or access to it should have it, ask your supervisor. It is part of your responsibility to keep data you have access to secure and confidential. That goes doubly so for inquiries from vendors. If you are unsure whether particular information is confidential or not, please ask your supervisor.
Access to the Plymouth State University Network
Computers on PSU’s wired and wireless network must be registered in order to access network resources. The registration process protects network security by determining if a computer complies with PSU’s local network policies, such as software patch status and the presence of up-to-date antivirus software, and it restricts the network access of non-compliant computers. Only PSU faculty, staff and students can register systems. You should never use your PSU username and password to register someone else’s system. If a visitor or vendor needs a system registered, that need should be directed to the ITS Help Desk. We have no guarantee that a visiting computer has all the current patches and virus definitions and thus cannot be guaranteed to be free from viruses and worms. We do not want to introduce a potentially compromised system to our network.
Protection Against Viruses, Trojans, Worms and Other Malware
While all services maintained by Plymouth State University ITS are as clean and free from viruses as we can make them, the same cannot be said of all the places you may go on the Web. Personal email that is accessed through the Web is a primary culprit for the introduction of malware into our environment. Less than forthcoming Web pages can introduce Trojans, adware, worms and viruses onto your computer, some of which may even transmit confidential data back to the author and/or the site operator.
There are several things that you can do to help ensure that your computer remains free from viruses, spyware, and security vulnerabilities. The ITS Help Desk website has instructions on basic computer maintenance and security that you may find by visiting the HelpDesk Knowledgebase https://support.plymouth.edu
All PSU-owned computers have PSU approved anti-virus software installed on them. If you are not certain whether or not you have spyware removal software on your computer, such as Spybot Search and Destroy or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, call the ITS Help Desk at (603) 535-2929 for assistance.
Disposal of Sensitive Data
You should control access to both printed and electronic confidential material with the same rigor. When you dispose of printed material containing confidential data you should shred it using a cross-cut shredder.
Using the Technology at Your Desk
What Software is Installed on Your Computer
Plymouth State has installed certain software products for which we have licenses on your computer. We may have installed additional licensed software on your system based on the work that you need to accomplish. You may not install software yourself without the prior approval of your department head and/or the ITS Help Desk. That includes software that you brought from home or downloaded from the Internet.
What Peripherals are Installed on your Computer
Any peripheral device (e.g. PDA, printer, digital camera) that you may want to install on your computer should only be done with the prior approval of your department head and/or the IT Help Desk. That includes hardware that you may have brought from home.
Computer and Software Purchasing
The procedure for institutional purchases of computer hardware and software may be found by going to https://support.plymouth.edu/index.php?/Default/Knowledgebase/List/Index/307/institutional-technology-purchases. Please note that you may also make personal purchases of computer hardware (Dell and Apple products) and software at https://support.plymouth.edu/index.php?/Default/Knowledgebase/Article/View/676/306/personal-computer-purchases.
Wireless Network Access (PSUwireless)
Plymouth State University provides wireless network access across most locations on campus. For more information, go to https://support.plymouth.edu/index.php?/Default/Knowledgebase/List/Index/135/network-and-connectivity
Telecommunications is a work group within Information Technology Services that oversees the entirety of PSU’s telephone system. For information about your telephone including features, dialing instructions, and voice mail, go to the Telephone System Knowledgebase section at https://support.plymouth.edu/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/727/179/psu-campus-voicemail-system. Any phone problems such as static on lines, no dial tone, damage to line cords, wall jacks, ringers and the phone itself should be reported to ITS Help Desk at (603) 535-2929.
Information Technology Services Weekly Maintenance Window
The technology industry is highly competitive, and new, updated software and hardware versions come frequently. We avoid the bleeding edge, but for security reasons, we must keep pace with the changes. Our goal is always to keep you informed, minimize the impact of our down times and look for periods during the year that are least disruptive to your work. We plan most of our major upgrades during semester breaks. We also reserve a weekly maintenance window every Sunday morning, from 4 – 8 am (EST), which we use as needed to perform regular system maintenance. Questions regarding the Weekly Maintenance window should be directed to the ITS Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (603)535-2929.
 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - protects health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs.
 FERPA – Family Education Rights and Privacy Act - Gives students some control over the disclosure of information from their records. PSU must have a student's consent prior to divulging information to anyone other than the student about the student's grades or behavior, and school work posted on a bulletin board with a grade.
 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act - requires financial institutions – including Universities that offer financial products or services like loans, financial-aid or investment advice– to explain their information-sharing practices to their customers and to safeguard sensitive data