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The Faculty of Science IT team provides all levels of desktop support to faculty, staff, and students. Our services include:
- hardware /software troubleshooting (PC and Mac support)
- setup of new computers and printers
- network troubleshooting
- software installations
- access to wireless for visiting scholars, etc
- virus, spyware, malware checking and removal
- network data storage setup
- advice on data encryption and back up
- remote desktop setup
- audiovisual support for Faculty of Science scheduled rooms (testing, training, troubleshooting)
- software and database development advice
- advice on new computer purchases (Dell and Apple)
- recycling of IT equipment
The IT team can only provide the services listed below when resources permit:
- troubleshooting of computers, tablets, etc. not owned by SFU
- initial troubleshooting that should be performed by users
- quotes on new hardware and software (outside of Dell and Apple)
Advisory Notice re: Science IT Group
As of Monday, June 8th, 2020, Science IT Services will be provide limited operations on site in order to support to those groups who will be resuming or scaling up research on campus. Under the advice of the University/Government of BC and at the direction of the Dean of Science during the current Covid-19 pandemic, please note the following; .
- One staff member from the group will be onsite during regular working hours
- One staff member from the IT group will be available on call to travel to campus if additional support is required
- Science IT Group hours of operation are 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
- The IT Ticket system should be used at all times for issues (https://it-support.science.sfu.ca/science/support/)
- Failure to use the ticketing system may result in delayed response times.
Work volume will be monitored daily and service levels may be adjusted at any time due to staff illness or under changing advice/requirements of either SFU or any Government agency.
Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time.
Director, Facilities and Technical Operations
New to SFU? Please go to our web page "What Everyone Needs to Know about Computers & Computing at SFU"
All faculty, staff and students have an SFU Computing Account. You may activate your account online. An SFU Computing Account gives you access to e-mail, the web including web publishing facilities, library services at SFU and worldwide, campus labs, online file storage, and a wide variety of computational, statistical and other software. For the photocopier accounts and printing to photocopiers, see your departmental office.
Submit a Support Request to set up visitors with a temporary account to the SFUNET wireless.
Computing Software Available
SFU has a variety of software available through a number of sources.
- SFU IT services manages statistics, MS office, and some other software.
- SAS, JMP, S-Plus and StarOffice are available free to SFU students, staff and faculty. Maple, SPSS and Systat are available free to SFU staff and faculty.
- Matlab is available to current SFU faculty and researchers.
- R Project for Statistical Computing is open-source and free to everyone.
- Citation software is available, but check out the free Firefox extension Zotero "to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources". Mendeley is another reference management and sharing tool.
- The SFU library has several GIS software site licenses for academic purposes.
- Macintosh users requiring Windows-only software should investigate Crossover which allows many Windows programs to run without buying the MS Windows system. Crossover is not to be confused with programs like Fusion or VirtualBox which require a separate Windows licence and a lot more resources. We can install Windows on SFU owned Macs using the SFU site licence, but not on PC's without a Windows licence.
- Anti-virus software is available for University owned computers, submit a Support Request to have it installed. The free versions of AVG and Avast may be used on most student/home computers but not on SFU computers. Mac users should consider Sophos for home use.
- If you need to compress or zip a file or folder- try right clicking it.
Computer Stores in Metro Vancouver and online
- A-Power (I have been buying RAM and others items at their Burnaby location, and have been pleased with their service.)
- Apple online and several local Apple Stores in the lower mainland (education discount). Consider refurbished!
- Free Geeks for used monitors, computers and a large variety of inexpensive stuff.
- Newegg Canada
- Coquitlam Laptop Repair (Vancouver)
- Simply.ca is in Langley and at International Village Mall in downtown Vancouver. Service, new & used Apple computers
- dmac in Richmond and Surrey Centre.
Calendars, Resource Scheduling, Tips
SFU specific and general help is also available from IT Services. For faculty/staff/student help from 8am-10pm on weekdays call 778-782-4828. For after hours support or network related issues call 778-782-3230.
File Space & Back Up @ SFU
SFU has directions to access webspace here. With a PC using Internet Explorer, click on ftp://firstname.lastname@example.org. If you get the 'This page cannot be displayed' message click the refresh button and put in your user name (Firefox needs an extension called fireftp).
On Macs (prior to Lion) use Safari to click on afp://email@example.com (if you don't use Safari copy the link and in the finder go apple-k to connect to server and paste the link in the dialog box). Newer Macs can use SFTP to connect with Fugu or Cyberduck.
You can also use Textwrangler which has a built in SFTP client.
On campus you can use \\sphinx.sfu.ca\username on a PC or with a Mac smb://sphinx.sfu.ca. Note these all access the same storage place, so you can also use this to transfer files.
Other Backup methods: online services, external hard drives, CD's, & email.
Dropbox easily allows you to access files from different computers. After registering go to https://www.dropbox.com/edu to double the free space allotment. There are several online backup services - look for something that works automatically and is incremental (keeping previous versions of your files).
You can backup your files to a CD or an external hard drive but if you store it near your computer it will be affected by the same power surges and fire/water damage. SyncBack is a free and easy way to backup or synchronize PC files/computers/ ipods, etc. Also, you may e-mail yourself a copy of important files. Google Gmail is a great free email with lots of storage so it works great as a backup. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Dropbox or any cloud service (including Gmail) with servers outside of Canada should not be used for storing any personal information of students or staff.
System Security for MAC 10.6+, WIN7+
Choose a secure password
IT Services' current standard for choosing a secure password can be found at
Experiencing password fatigue? Consider using a password management tool. Typically these are encrypted systems that rely on setting a master password to access all other passwords.
Password protecting your computer at login is a first line of defence in securing data.
By default, Windows and Mac disables auto-login. If you have enabled automatic login, it is highly recommended that you reverse the process. Here's how.
MAC OS X
System Preferences --> Users & Groups
--> Click the lock to make changes --> fill in Username and Password
--> click Login Options
--> ensure Automatic Login is set to Off
Click the Start button --> type netplwiz
--> uncheck the box Users Must Enter A User Name And Password To Use This Computer
(If you do not see the checkbox and label, then auto-login is disabled. )
Set Your Computer to Logout When Not in Use
MAC OS X
MAC OS X
System Preferences --> Security & Privacy --> General tab
--> Check Require password immediately after sleep or screen saver begins
Click Start button --> Type Change screen saver --> Press Enter to launch --> Select a screen saver --> Check On resume, display logon screen
Click Start button --> Type Change screen saver --> Press Enter key
Select a screen saver from the drop-down menu --> Check On resume, display logon screen --> Save settings by pressing OK
SFU IT Services provides Trend Micro, an enterprise level anti virus program for staff and faculty. Versions are available for both Windows and Mac. You will need to contact your department's lan administrator to download and install TM.
Turn-on Firewall (Especially for laptop users)
MAC OS X
System Preferences --> Security & Privacy --> Firewall --> Turn On Firewall
Start --> Control Panel --> System and Security --> Windows Firewall --> Turn Windows Firewall on or off
Update Your System Regularly
To protect yourself against the latest online threats, turn-on automatic updates.
MAC OS X:
System Preferences --> App Store --> Select the following items
Automatically check for updates
Download newly available updates in the the background
Install app updates
Install system data files and security updates
Control Panel --> System & Security --> Windows Update --> Turn automatic updating on or off
Don't Go Phishing
Phishing is the act of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
How to avoid it?
- Be suspicious of all unsolicited electronic correspondence (asking for personal information)
- IT Services will never contact you requesting your account information
- Report phishing attempts to IT Services (SFU Connect --> Report Phishing)
- Never email personal, financial or account-related information
- Go directly to the site rather than clicking on an email link
Lock-Down Your Hardware, Secure Your Portable Media
Especially if you work near a high-traffic area, secure your PC using a cable and lock. Locking down a computer with a cable is not a failsafe against theft. Rather it's a deterrent against the opportunistic thief.
Portable media such as USB keys, Cds/DVDs and external hard drives can be easily lost or stolen. If you need to store sensitive data on portable media, ensure that it is securely destroyed when you are finished with it, or that it is locked away in a safe place.
Turn Off Unnecessary File Sharing
MAC OS X
System Preferences --> Sharing --> De-select check from File Sharing
Start --> Control Panel --> Network and Sharing Center --> Change advanced sharing settings --> Home or work --> Check the following
Nework Discovery: Off
File and Printer sharing: Off
Public Folder Sharing: Off
File Sharing Connections: Use 128-bit encryption.
--> Save Changes1
Back Up Your Data (To A Secure Network Drive)
Ask your department's lan administrator to discuss backup strategies.
Create a Separate Admin Account, Use a Standard Account for Daily Work
Why use a standard user account?
The standard account can help protect your computer by preventing users from making changes that affect everyone who uses the computer, such as deleting files that are required for the computer to work. We recommend creating a standard account for each user.
When you are logged on to Windows with a standard account, you can do almost anything that you can do with an administrator account, but if you want to do something that affects other users of the computer, such as installing software or changing security settings, Windows might ask you to provide a password for an administrator account.1
Turn on Encryption
[Contact your department's lan admin]
File encryption ensures that in the event your computer is stolen, the thief cannot access protected data. Windows and Mac OS X have built-in encryption software, Bit Locker and FileVault respectively.
MAC OS X:
System Preferences --> Security & Privacy --> FileVault tab
Start --> Control Panel --> Security --> Bit Locker Drive Encryption
Consolidate Old Accounts
If your have old accounts that are no longer being used, save any important data then delete the account.