Wireless to go: Widener joins Eduroam

Effective immediately, Widener University belongs to eduroam. This is big news if you’re visiting other universities or hosting  visitors from other schools. Eduroam (short for ‘education roaming’) is the secure, worldwide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community.

This article will tell you what you need to know to get started.

Joining eduroam provides four main benefits:
  1. It allows Widener to welcome eduroam enabled visitors in a strongly authenticated way (the strong authentication also provides a way to authorize users to different resources).
  2. It allows our own users to travel to eduroam enabled locations around the world. Over 570 educational institutions and research/cultural organizations (such as the Smithsonian) are already US members. Hundreds more universities participate across six continents.
  3. It saves time for us and for our visitors since eduroam authentication is automatic and access is immediate.
  4. It improves security since eduroam encrypts traffic between users’ devices and the Wi-Fi infrastructure.
Widener already has guest wireless. Why would we provide eduroam?

Eduroam is not a replacement for our guest network. It is a complement to make our guest network and our community compatible with other eduroam participants. By offering the service to visitors from other institutions, our community is offered the same privileges on campus networks of other institutions.

Who can use the eduroam network?

Anyone with an account from a participating institution. This facilitates productivity for visiting faculty, staff, and students while away from home, without any additional configuration to their computers or mobile devices.

When will we join? When can we use it?

We are already in the network, so Widener faculty/staff/students can access eduroam on other campuses right now.

What other institutions in our region are in eduroam already?

Most of the other well-known schools in the region are already members: Villanova, Penn, UDel, Temple, Drexel, TCNJ, NJIT, Princeton, Phildelphia/Jefferson, Arcadia, Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, Haverford, Lafayette, PSU, DCCC, MCCC. The full U.S. list is at https://www.eduroam.us/institutions_list.

If I’m at one of the eduroam schools, how do I connect?

Just look for the eduroam name (called an SSID) on the list of Wi-Fi networks your device can join. If you select eduroam, you will be asked to log into a Widener server to prove your identity. Enter your Widener email address (e.g. rsmith@widener.edu) and password as you do on campus. Thereafter, you’ll be trusted to use the wireless network at that institution. Whenever you subsequently visit any eduroam location, you’ll automatically get onto the wireless network there, so long as your Widener credentials are valid.

Safety for Mobile Devices

National Cyber Security Awareness Month continues, and this week we have some tips on mobile device safety.

Today, we are more dependent on our mobile devices than ever.  At Widener, we make every effort to keep using them easy (did you see our latest update about guest wireless?). But with that ease of use comes some risk.  Take a look at some ideas from the #CyberAware campaign:

  • Mobile Apps – Only download your apps from Google Play or the Apple Store. Apps from other sources are rarely checked for malware or bugs.
  • WiFi hotspots – Although handy, WiFi hotspots are not secure. Anyone connected to it can scan your outgoing data (hello, bank account app), or they can attack your device with no firewall between them and you.  Wait until you’re on your own network, use your cell data network, or check into using a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which is a way to communicate securely over a less-secure network.
  • Lock your device – It sounds basic to those of us that do it, but many people don’t have a passcode or fingerprint reader set up. Our devices are small and portable; they’re easy to misplace, lose, or get stolen.  And most of your apps are probably password-cached, because it’s easy. Nearly everyone does it.  Just make sure that you have your device locked down so that no one can get in if it ends up in someone else’s hands.

For more info, check out this tip sheet, Safety Tips for Mobile Devices. As always, please call the Helpdesk at x1047 for assistance with any IT issue.