“Computer Checkup Service” Explained

David Vance

Special to The Chronicle: Since Monday, students on campus have been noticing network pop-up windows appearing on their computer screens when they log into the campus network. These pop-up windows are from Quinnipiac University’s “Computer Checkup Service,” a new network system that scans personal computers for viruses and Symantec and Windows update protection. At each login, CCS responds with a “Pass” message saying either that the computer is virus-free and protection updated, or a “Fail” message saying that the user should go to CCS’s web page for diagnosis and protection updates. Each week, about half a dozen viruses enter the campus network, slowing the system and degrading application and service performance. The purpose of CCS is to help protect campus network users and to improve network performance.

So far, use of CCS has been entirely voluntary. But, beginning on Thursday, March 24, CCS will “quarantine” personal computers that “Fail.” That is, a computer that gets a failing grade will have no option but to go to the CCS web page for diagnosis and protection updating. While in quarantine, a computer will not be able to access email, Blackboard, or other network services. Usually, updating Windows and Symantec is sufficient to remove any viruses and get a passing grade from CCS.

Anytime a student logs into the network, CCS will scan the computer being used, but will quarantine only personal computers, not library or lab computers. A library or lab computer that fails CCS’s scan should be pointed out to a STAR or lab administrator.

Also new at the Computer Help Desk pages is a network password reset utility. Everyone at Quinnipiac University has a network username that remains constant, but now students can quickly change their network passwords by using the utility at http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x150.xml Charles Griffin, Information Security Officer at QU, urges everyone to use this utility at least once a month to protect the privacy and security of information in email accounts and filespace.