Updates from IT and the Faculty Center

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 4:05pm

TO: SSU Faculty and Staff
FR: Lisa Vollendorf, Provost
RE: Timely Updates from IT and the Faculty Center

Thank you for all you are doing to keep Sonoma State moving forward in these incredibly challenging times. 

This message contains four important updates from IT and the Faculty Center regarding:

  1. Privacy in Zoom Meetings
  2. Level I Data
  3. Voicemail to Email Enrollment
  4. Support Options for Faculty and Staff
  1. Preserving Privacy in Zoom Meetings: Wien participating in video calls from home, which includes almost all meetings at the moment, we open ourselves to some threats that we all need to be aware of. There are people joining open Zoom sessions to cause disruption and potentially to listen in on meetings to gain sensitive information. We have had at least one incident involving this nefarious behavior at our own campus, so we urge all faculty and staff to follow all recommendations to protect Zoom sessions. 

    Zoom has released guidance to protect users from Zoom-bombing. Here are the top tips:
    1. Avoid hosting large meetings or ‘public’ events using your Personal Meeting ID (PMI). Your PMI is basically one continuous meeting and you don't want trolls invading your personal virtual space. Instead, Zoom suggests using random meeting IDs for your large meetings.
    2. Lock your meeting. You can lock a Zoom meeting once it is started and all your expected participants have joined. This prevents any new participants from joining, even if they have the meeting ID and password (if you have required one). To do this, in the meeting click Participants at the bottom of your Zoom window. In the Participants pop-up, click the button that says Lock Meeting.
    3. Require a password to join your meeting. You can require a password for any meeting when you schedule it and/or as a default for all personal ID meetings by signing into Zoom and clicking on Meetings and the Personal Meeting Room to access the password setting.
    4. If you find yourself with a disruptive participant in your meeting, you can remove them. Click on Participants at the bottom of your Zoom window then select More and Remove for the participant that you want to eject from the meeting.
    5. If someone Zoom bombs your class, please shut down the Zoom bomber immediately and inform your class of the incident. Based on an incident that occurred in an SSU class on Monday, April 6, we have learned that some students may not be aware of the incident and may assume that their peers (not an outsider) engaged in the offensive activity. We recommend that you make a statement to your students condemning such classroom disruption and reasserting our commitment to an inclusive, safe learning environment at Sonoma State.
    6. Faculty conducting live class sessions using Zoom who are concerned about privacy and security, please contact the Faculty Center for a consultation to develop strategies and practice managing a live session with disruptions. Also, see our Zoom Guides for pedagogical suggestions for using Zoom.
    As a general rule, please also remember that personal assistants like Amazon Alexa can record your conversations. Some legal experts are advising that they be turned off during private calls

    If you have any questions about how to configure or use Zoom, please contact the IT Help Desk at helpdesk@sonoma.edu or 707-664-HELP.
  2. Protecting Level 1 Data: Please remember that we still have an obligation to protect sensitive data, even when working remotely. Level 1 Data, as defined in the CSU Data Classification Standard (PDF), includes but is not limited to, such highly sensitive information as:
    • social security numbers
    • driver's license numbers 
    • medical information
    • bank account numbers
    • credit card numbers

    Level 1 Data must not be stored or accessed using personally owned devices, and must not be sent through email. Level 1 Data must also not be left in voicemails because many people have their voicemail forwarded to their email.

    Staff and faculty who need a computer to use for remote work due to accessing Level 1 Data, contact eoclogistics@sonoma.edu
  3. Voicemail to Email Enrollment: You can sign up to have your new voicemail messages emailed to you, complete with transcription, by providing your name and phone number on our Voicemail to Email Enrollment Form.
  4. Support Options for Staff & Faculty

    Staff: The IT Help Desk has moved primarily to a virtual model and we are still providing full support to faculty, staff, and students.  Contact the IT Help Desk for assistance with VPN access, remote desktop, Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), Zoom, and other technical inquiries. The Help Desk is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.  Connect with us through any of the following ways:
      Faculty: The Faculty Center team has also moved to a virtual model, and we are providing live support for faculty. We can support teaching with Canvas, Yuja, or Zoom, and we are available to provide pedagogical advice with redesigning assessments and final projects as we move toward the end of the term while teaching remotely.  We have daily workshops at noon and 3 p.m. on Zoom on a variety of topics. The Faculty Center is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.