CITES crucial in navigating campus technology

CITES, the University’s technology service program, offers students and faculty various services. 

Brian Mertz, chief communications officer at CITES, said one of the benefits they provide for students is the WebStore.

“It’s an online software store, and there are some really big discounts on there for things like Microsoft Word or the Adobe suite, or products like Photoshop and Illustrator,” he said. “We provide free anti-virus software as well.”

CITES also offers students a free 50-gigabyte account on Box, a cloud storage website, and runs the University’s Compass 2g website and the University’s email system.

One of CITES largest roles is dealing with security issues, such as the phishing attack that occurred on campus last year. During the attack, at least 36 University email accounts were hacked and were used to spam other accounts.

“We help students with security issues, and we try to provide them with tips and guidance and tools to help them keep their information safe (and) their identity safe,” Mertz said.

Mertz said that CITES advises students to come up with unique passwords that are exclusive to their University account, and also, they advise students to keep their passwords to themselves.

“We see a lot of people who share their passwords with boyfriends and girlfriends. It’s actually more common than you think to see us get an email saying that they broke up with their boyfriend or girlfriend and now they think that person is messing with their email account,” Mertz said. “We really encourage people to keep their passwords to themselves.”

Mertz added that another way students can help protect themselves is by keeping a close watch of their technology when they go to the library or other public places.

“It’s really easy for these portable devices to go missing, and that’s a big problem that our security office deals with pretty frequently,” he said. “It’s important to keep your password secure and make sure your computer is up-to-date, but you also have to take that basic first step of physically protecting your device.”

CITES also operates a help desk, located at 1211 Digital Computer Lab, where they take general questions and offer laptop support by appointment.

Austin can be reached at [email protected]