Start the semester right:
To help you prepare for technology use on campus, Information Technology Services (ITS) has a few suggestions to make your first few days a bit easier and reduce the number of items on your to-do list. These items can be accomplished even before you arrive at the University of Idaho and will make the transition on to the U of I campus that much easier.
Activate your accounts:
The first step to prepare for your transition on the the University of Idaho campus is to activate the accounts you will be using at the University of Idaho. You can activate your accounts at http://www.vandalsetup.uidaho.edu/ by following the instructions.
Make sure you can get into your VandalMail:
Your VandalMail account is created when you are admitted to the University of Idaho and you receive your VandalMail password when new students go through the VandalSetup process.
Once you have received your email password through VandalSetup, you can access your email using a third-party email program or through the Office 365 web client at http://www.vandals.uidaho.edu.
If you forget your VandalMail password, you can reset it through the account management page (https://help.uidaho.edu) by logging in using your NetID username and password, or by coming in to the ITS Help Desk with photo ID.
What accounts will I have at the University of Idaho:
Every student at the University of Idaho has two sets of username/password combinations. They are as follows:
- Your VandalMail (Office365) address and password. The full email address give to every student is of the form firstname.lastname@example.org and the password is one that is set by the student when they create their U of I account. This combination is used to access your student VandalMail through the Office365 webpage.
- Your NetID username and password. This is the main username/password combination for all students. It gives students access to a wide range of services such as:
Verify your passwords are correct:
After successfully logging in the site will let you know if any of your passwords have expired. (If you do not see any warnings, then none of your passwords are expired.) Take a few moments to update them by clicking on the Change Passwords menu item on the left side of the page. You will have to change your passwords every 90 days unless your password is over 15+ characters then you will only have to change it every 400 days.
Set up your security profile:
The security profile setup allows students to remotely reset their password after verifying an outside security contact (such as an alternate email address or phone number) and setting up a security question. Students with a fully setup security profile will be able to change their password from the account management site – students without a security profile will need to come in person to the ITS Help Desk to have their password reset.
Register your Wireless Devices:
The University of Idaho uses a highly-protected wireless network running WPA2-Enterprise certification-based authentication. This means that not only is the network and all data on it highly secure, but in order to connect to our wireless network, you will need to register your wireless device, such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone, in your name before connecting to the university network, called AirVandalGold.
Once you are on campus and have your NetID username and password set, simply connect to AirVandalGold, enter your username and password and you will be connected to the wireless network. Head over to our tutorial section to find step-by-step instructions on how to configure and set up your devices in detail.
Protect your Computer:
Computers using the University network are a target of hackers due to the bandwidth available on campus. While the network security of AirVandalGold is significant, no network and no machine is completely safe. In order to keep your machine safe, be proactive and take the following steps while you are on campus:
- Update your operating system (Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.) with the latest patches by running services such as Windows Update.
- Many installed programs, such as Java and Adobe, push out regular updates — don’t neglect these updates and be sure your software and installed programs are up to date.
- Make sure your antivirus software is up to date. Sophos Antivirus is available for download from the Software page at no cost to current students.
- Make sure a firewall is running on your machine. Both Windows and Mac OS X have a firewall built in, just make sure it’s turned on.
- ITS strongly advises students to keep routine backups of their data files to avoid potential data loss. Nothing is worse than losing a term paper the night before it’s due.
- Disable all file sharing software and review our Peer to Peer (P2P) guidelines.
Purchase and install Microsoft Office and Windows 7:
The University of Idaho has multiple computer labs throughout campus that provide computers with software including Microsoft Office, but to gain the most productivity, be sure to have Microsoft Office Suite installed on your laptop.
The University of Idaho has partnered with Microsoft to offer special discounts on specific software packages for students. This promotion is offered directly through Microsoft; please read their terms and conditions carefully prior to purchasing one of these licenses. The University of Idaho VandalStore also has software available for purchase using these academic discounts.
- Windows 7 Upgrade
- Office 2010 for Windows
- Office 2011 for Macintosh
Familiarize yourself with our student computer labs:
The University of Idaho offers 17 computer labs spread out over campus and free to use for all students enrolled at the U of I. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with our lab locations, the list of installed software, and lab hours.
Printing is available in all Student Computing Labs. Print quotas are set at 250 pages per semester. Any unused pages are rolled over to the next semester for enrolled students. Every lab is stocked with a high-density laser printer and an array of Mac and Windows machines. Computing labs in the Library and the Student Union Building also contain color printers and scanners for student use.
Where to get additional assistance:
If you need assistance with any technology related problems, be sure to contact the ITS Help Desk at email@example.com or at (208) 885-HELP (4357). You can also visit us in person when you arrive on campus by coming to one of our three locations:
- Teaching and Learning Center, Room 128 (Overlooking the food court in the Idaho Commons Building)
- Student Union Building (SUB), Basement Computer Lab
- Library Lab, located on the first floor of the Library.
The ITS Technical Support Representatives at these locations are always happy to assist you.