The Office of Information Technology provides support services for the administrative staff and Board of Trustees. The services include integrating computer systems, leveraging new technology, technology assistance and support, and coordinating and providing training. The IT Office provides leadership that allows the System Office staff to collaborate with colleagues across the state and nation.
Access Email Online
Email accounts can be accessed online via outlook.office.com Opens in a new window. The web-based version does not provide the same functionality as the full application, but it does allow basic functions such as the ability to read, create, and reply to email. Email access for is protected with DUO two-factor authentication.
DUO Two-factor Authentication
DUO is required for all UA System Office staff.
- DUO setup instructions Opens in a new window
- Account Activation Step-by-step Picture Guide Opens in a new window
Setting up Email on Mobile Devices
The Outlook mobile applications are recommended for accessing your email account on mobile devices. IT does not support native email clients. Access email directions specific to your mobile device Opens in a new window.
Box File Storage
Take advantage of UA Box, our free and unlimited cloud storage system. Simply visit box.ua.edu Opens in a new window, enter your myBama userID and password, and you’re in. You can easily sync and access files anywhere, anytime, from any device – desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Get started with UA Box today Opens in a new window!
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Need to get connected to campus resources while off campus? VPN access is automatically provided to all UAS staff. It can be easily accessed through Cisco AnyConnect. Learn more about the Virtual Private Network Opens in a new window.
Staff can choose between an Adobe Acrobat account or an Adobe Creative Cloud Account.
Adobe Acrobat is used for viewing, printing, signing, and sharing Adobe PDFs. Adobe Creative Cloud includes Photoshop, InDesign, DreamWeaver, and many others. Both accounts require the Creative Cloud application to be downloaded. Learn how to set up an Adobe account Opens in a new window
McAfee Virus Protection
McAfee security offers simple and effective virus protection to help staff protect data and identity across connected devices. It is installed on all office computers and also available for personal computers. How to Obtain McAfee Virus Protection Opens in a new window.
Staff can download and sign into Office 365 ProPlus on up to five devices! How to Obtain Microsoft Office 365 Education Opens in a new window. ProPlus includes access to the following applications:
- Teams Opens in a new window
Learn more about each application in the Office 365 Training Center Opens in a new window.
Do not share sensitive data.
- Do not share personal information via email.
- Do not open email attachments from sources you do not trust.
- Back up your devices regularly.
- Do not click on internet pop up ads or videos, especially on social media.
- Keep your browser and operating software up to date.
Keep passwords private.
- Do not share passwords, and change your passwords often.
- Longer passwords are stronger passwords. We recommend 12 or more characters.
- Use multi-factor authentication, like DUO two-factor authentication Opens in a new window, for all of your online accounts. Gmail, Yahoo, and iCloud all offer multi-factor authentication.
- Do not display passwords on or near your computer.
- Store passwords in a secure and encrypted environment like LastPass Opens in a new window.
Be smart with your smart phone.
- Enable secure access and have a password, pattern, or biometrics to unlock your screen.
- Delete emails that contain confidential information.
- Report a lost or stolen phone.
- Do not store confidential information in your phone such as PINs or credit card information.
- Beware of location tracking in your device.
Only join secure wifi networks that require a password.
- Staff should use a VPN to connect to the UAS network when off campus.
- Do not pay bills, access bank accounts, or shop online over public WiFi.
External Email Labeling
To better alert employees of possible phishing emails, incoming emails from external sources are tagged.
All emails that are sent from an email account outside of the UA or UA System domain are labeled as [EXTERNAL] in the subject line. Phishing emails Opens in a new window pose as reputable sources to trick recipients into giving up sensitive information. Often, malicious actors pose as senior administrators. The [EXTERNAL] tagging was introduced to help staff better determine the actual sender of the message.
Are all emails tagged as [EXTERNAL] malicious?
Not all emails marked with [EXTERNAL] are or should be considered suspicious, they are simply coming from an external source. The message could be a friend, colleague, family member, vendor, service provider, etc.
Can I opt out of [EXTERNAL] tagging in my inbox?
No, [EXTERNAL] tagging is added to all mailboxes.
What do I do if I received a message that I think is phishing?
Phishing is a form of social engineering that uses email or websites to pose as a trustworthy organization in order to access your data. Scammers or hackers will try and pose as an organization you trust in order to trick you into giving them sensitive data like a username, password, social security number, or credit card information. The best defense in protecting sensitive information from phishing emails is Duo two-factor authentication. If you have not yet activated your Duo account, do so today!
Malicious actors have taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic environment by sending phishing emails posing as COVID-19 information. Review the red flags of phishing below to spot email scams.
How to Tell if an Email is a Phishing Attempt
When you get an email that just doesn’t feel right, follow the tips below to avoid becoming a victim of a phishing attack.
- First, notice the email address: If you are receiving an email from the University of Alabama System, the from email address should be from @uasystem.edu, not @yahoo or @gmail. Similarly, if you receive an email from a private company, the email address should reflect the company. For example, if you receive a tracking notification email from UPS, the email should be from @ups.com.
- Hover before you click: Phishing emails typically include a link or attachment. The scammers want you to click on the link to provide your sensitive data, or click on the attachment to download a malicious file. Beware! Do not immediately click on the link or attachment. First, hover over a link or attachment to see where it is taking you before you go. If you do not recognize the URL, do not click on the link.
- Watch for poor spelling and grammar: This used to be a go-to tip; however, scammers utilize specialized translation tools to better fool users. Remember that official UA System emails are always spell-checked, and should be error-free. Additionally, emails from UA System will always be sent from a @uasystem.edu email address.
- Beware of urgent or threatening language: Do not trust emails that say “your account has been suspended” or “verify your information.” Scammers use language like this to get your attention.
- Call the message sender: If you receive a message from a friend or coworker that seems to be out of character, pick up the phone and call that individual. Do not ask, “Is this really you?” over email. The phisher will be happy to reply, “yes, of course.” When in doubt, call that person to verify that they sent the message.
Below are a few examples of recent phishing emails UA students, faculty, and staff have received.
Viruses and Malware
Viruses are a major threat to personal computer security.
UA System staff are eligible for free virus protection software provided by UA OIT. Protect your computer against unauthorized access, spyware, adware, and viruses. These threats can be used to collect your personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Follow the tips below to keep your computer safe and virus-free!
Virus Prevention Tips
- Install anti-virus software, and keep it up-to-date. McAfee Virus Protection Opens in a new window is available for all UA System staff.
- Disable third-party cookies.
- Enable prompting for software installation.
- Use a pop-up blocker and phishing filter in your web browser.
- Don’t open e-mail attachments from sources you do not trust.
- Never install an application from a website unless you fully trust it.