This checklist will walk you through the tasks necessary to get started with computing at Virginia Tech.
A firewall is a piece of software or hardware that creates a protective barrier between your computer and potentially harmful content on the Internet. It helps to guard your computer against hackers, computer viruses, and worms. Virginia Tech suggests that you enable a firewall before connecting to the campus network. For instructions on using your operating system's firewall, see the appropriate link.
A backup is a copy of an original file that can be restored in case of system failure. It is important to make backups of your data often, especially after editing important files. Backups should be made to an external storage source, such as an external hard drive or cloud-based storage service.
For information on creating backups using an external hard drive, see Apple's Mac Basics: Time Machine Web page.
Virginia Tech has partnered with Google to offer e-mail and collaboration services through the Google Apps for Education program. All current Virginia Tech students, staff, faculty, and alumni are provided with a Virginia Tech e-mail address. During your time at Virginia Tech, your e-mail address will become your primary source of communication between classmates, professors, colleagues, family, and friends.
Your e-mail account is named according to your PID, and [Your PID]@vt.edu is a valid e-mail address. Your VT Mail e-mail account remains active if you are:
Scholar is Virginia Tech's implementation of Sakai, which is currently being developed and used at MIT, Stanford, Michigan and Indiana and many other universities. Scholar enables innovative ways to teach students, assess learning, and collaborate with users at Virginia Tech and beyond. With its capabilities of project site creation and resource sharing, Scholar consolidates the functions of a course management system like Blackboard with research and collaboration features, all coupled with enhanced ePortfolio capabilities.
The Faculty Development Institute (FDI) provides teaching and learning infrastructure that meets modern needs for integrating technology across content areas. FDI seeks to create and support robust environments for teaching, learning, and discovery for faculty and students that are grounded in sound principles of learning, and in a thorough knowledge of integrating technology for effectiveness and efficiency of effort. For more information, see the Faculty Development Institute Web site.
Your Virginia Tech PID is a unique Personal IDentifier. With it and the associated password, you can access the online Virginia Tech services for which you may be eligible. Access to your PID will be terminated if you are no longer an employee, a retiree, or a sponsored person, and have not been a student.
My VT is a gateway or portal to Virginia Tech online services and information designed to be used by all Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff, and alumni. The automatic single sign-on capability My VT offers with several university services, such as Hokie SPA, Filebox, and Departmental Software, uses Central Authentication Services (CAS). Single sign-on means that once you log on to My VT, you won't have to retype your PID and password to access those online services. Featured also in My VT are several information channels that focus on a particular topic.
Virginia Tech email system users are often harassed by online phishing messages. Phishing is the act of sending an email falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. Private information requested in phishing email messages often includes user names, account passwords, credit card, social security, or bank account numbers.
The Exchange server is the premier email and calendaring solution for faculty and staff. The Exchange server provides a complete groupware environment, including integrated email, appointments, tasks, contacts, and public folders. You can use a variety of client applications to access an Exchange account.