Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Following are answers to some frequently asked questions about IT at UMass Boston.
See also: UMass Boston Email FAQ
1. What is my username for WISER, email, Blackboard, etc.?
For most purposes, your username will be the part of your UMass Boston email address before the @ sign. (Example: firstname.lastname@example.org would have a username of sandy.beach001 for WISER, etc.) Exceptions include email and Wifi, where the user ID is the full email address.
If you have a new UMass Boston email account but have not claimed it, you should claim it here.
If you already claimed your account but have forgotten the email address, you can look it up here.
2. How do I access my WISER account?
To access WISER, go to the WISER homepage and look for “WISER Log-in Links.” Click the appropriate link and log in using your UMass Boston email username and password. Note that you should not include @umb.edu when you enter your username.
If you experience any login problems other than username/password issues, please clear your browser's cache and cookies and try again.
3. How do I change or reset my password for WISER, email, Blackboard, etc.?
The UMass Boston Self-Service Password Management system allows you to change your password or reset a forgotten one using a secure web form. For a link and full instructions, see the password page. If you have trouble or need more information, contact the IT Service Desk at (617)287-5220 or ITServiceDesk@umb.edu.
4. How do I access my account for the first time?
Instructions for creating your account should have been sent to your personal email address (if you provided it to us), to your home via U.S. postal mail (if you are a student), or from your supervisor (if you are an employee).
If you do not have these instructions, please contact the IT Service Desk.
5. Why can't I log in to Blackboard?
Your username is the same for Blackboard as for our password reset tool, so try logging in there to make sure your password is OK. If that works but you cannot log in to Blackboard, it's possible you do not have a Blackboard account. Your Blackboard account is created automatically within an hour after you register for a class.
In addition, even if you log in, please note that you cannot access a class in Blackboard until the day the class starts.
If you need more information, contact the IT Service Desk 287-5220 or ITServiceDesk@umb.edu. Note: we do not process password requests by email.
6. What are the email servers for setting up my email?
The servers for Office 365 are:
Your Exchange server is outlook.office365.com
For POP, IMAP, and SMTP, log in to your email account at webmail.umb.edu, click on the Settings menu (the gear icon in the upper right hand corner) and select "Mail" under Your app settings, then clicking POP and IMAP on the far left.
For step-by-step instructions, consult Microsoft's Email Setup Wizard" and Mobile Phone Setup Wizard.
For more information, see our Office 365 web page.
7. How do I disable my pop-up blocker for HR Direct / Blackboard?
This PDF (How to disable Pop up Blockers) has instructions for disabling popup blockers in a variety of browsers.
Even though there are instructions to disable pop-up. It is not advisable to disable pop-ups for these systems.
8. How do I clear the cache and cookies from my browser when I have trouble logging in to WISER, etc.?
This web page (Web Browser Settings) has instructions for clearing the cache and cookies in a variety of browsers.
1. Does UMass Boston offer software for faculty or staff?
IT Services Division offers several popular software products for faculty and staff, such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite. Some packages are also available to graduate teaching assistants and research assistants. Some products are free, others are available at a nominal cost. For more information, visit our software web page.
2. Is there any training available for these products?
3. I am using Windows 7 (or XP). Do I have to upgrade?
Yes! Windows XP is no longer supported and is considered a security risk. Windows 7 will also be abandoned by Microsoft, and once their support ends in January 2020, Windows 7 users will also be helpless against modern security threats. For this reason, IT Services Division is migrating all university owned PCs from Windows 7 to Windows 10. If your university owned PC is running Windows XP or Windows 7, please contact the IT Service Desk to arrange an upgrade.
4. What security/anti-virus software should I use?
All UMass Boston owned computers attached to the UMass Boston network must have Sophos Intercept X installed. Most computers have KACE management software and installation was done automatically. However, if your computer is still running McAfee ViruScan or has no anti-virus software, please contact the IT Service Desk for installation.
For individually owned computers we also offer Sophos. For more information, see the Safe Computing tips on our Scan Your PC web page and our Anti-Virus Tools web page.
5. What software is available for students?
Many products, such as SPSS and Adobe Creative Suite, are available for use in our computer labs. (If you are off campus, you can access most products through our virtual computer lab.
Students can download Microsoft Office for free (including iPad apps), via your UMass Boston web mail. (Instructions here.) In addition, you can purchase many titles at discounted prices through our agreement with GovConnection. Also, there are free alternatives to many commercial products, such as Open Office. You can find an extensive database of free software products at AlternativeTo.net.
1. What training workshops are being offered at UMass Boston?
IT Services Division offers workshops for faculty, staff, and students at the beginning of every semester, and periodically throughout the semester. For a list of upcoming workshops and instructions for signing up, visit training.umb.edu.
2. Is there other training available?
Yes! UMass Boston has arranged for all students, faculty, and staff to have access to LinkedIn Learning , a video based learning system with thousands of videos on topics from Access to WordPress. Log in with your complete UMass Boston email address and password. Each video is about two minutes long and covers a specific topic.
1. How do I protect my PC from spyware and other malware?
First, you should frequently check your browser and PC for security problems with our Scan My PC / Browser Check service and keep your plug-ins, such as Flash and Acrobat, up to date.
All PCs should have some form of security software to protect against malware (malicious software such as viruses and spyware). By University policy, all University-owned PCs must have Sophos Intercept X installed. (See Software Question 4 above.) Contact the IT Service Desk at 287-7220 or ITServiceDesk@umb.edu for assistance with this.
Students and others with non-University owned PCs can install one of several free anti-virus packages such as Microsoft Security Essentials or AVAST Anti-Virus. In addition, periodic scans with Malwarebytes and Super Anti-Spyware are a good idea. (Mac users can install a free copy of Sophos Anti-Virus for personal use.) See our Safe Computing tips for more details.
In addition, you should turn on your firewall and set your operating system’s auto-update function to automatically apply updates at least weekly.
2. How do I protect my password?
The most important rules are to use a complex password and never share your password with anyone. (You can see everything you need to know at our Managing Your Password web page.) You should also protect yourself from cyber-criminals who want to steal your identity by learning more about phishing. You can learn more and take an online course by visiting our Phishing web page.
3. Do you have more tips on safe computing?
Yes! You can get more tips by visiting our Safe Computing page, where you can read tips and also download a handout to print. Be sure to use the San My PC feature at the top of the page to make sure your computer is up to date!
1. How do I get access to the eduroam wireless network?
Apple products and some Windows 10 products are very simple: just select the network and log in with your full email address and email password, then accept the certificate. Other Windows PCs are more complicated. Please see our Wifi web page for instructions and an auto-configurator, or drop by the IT Service Desk on the third floor of the Healey Library (Mon.-Fri. from 8-5).
2. How do I get access to the UMB-Guest wireless network?
The UMB-Guest network is a limited use network available to all visitors to the UMass Boston campus. Just select the UMB-Guest network and navigate to a web page. You will be redirected to our portal, where you should read and agree to our terms of service. Once you accept, you will be able to browse the internet with your browser
3. I am having trouble connecting. Are there any troubleshooting tips?
The basic instructions are on our Wifi page, but if those instructions do not work, try switching from one network to the another, and once you are connected, switch back again. Sometimes this clears out some old settings that can cause a problem.
Also, please note that UMass Boston Wifi will not work if you have entered a custom DNS server, such as 220.127.116.11 (Google). Your network settings must be set to obtain the DNS server automatically.
If you still cannot connect, or if DNS servers other than ours (158.121.253.x} continue to appear, you may have a malware problem. Try cleaning your PC with Malwarebytes.
You can also visit the IT Service Desk on the third floor of the Healey Library (Mon.-Fri. from 8-4).