The Virtual Private Network (VPN) provides users with security by encrypting (protecting against interception) all information passed between your computer and the VPN concentrator. Having all of the data encrypted by the VPN is required when using services such as FTP, Telnet, iLocker/iWeb (via FTP) or programs such as Dreamweaver, Outlook Express (not Outlook Web Access), on the wireless network.
Securely connect into Ball State
Connecting to the VPN from off-campus is a great way to access internal campus resources that wouldn't normally be available from an off-campus site. This would include such things as a remote desktop connection to an office computer, accessing a file-sharing server or even a networked printer.
Web Browsing from the wireless network
If you are only using the wireless network for web browsing, VPN is generally not needed because all web sites where confidential information (such as a credit card number) is required should already be using HTTPS security. If the web site does not use HTTPS security, you should report it to the UCS Helpdesk (if a Ball State University site) or the web site administrator (if an off-campus site) and avoid using the site until it is fixed.
Everything Else Besides Web Browsing
Using VPN is required when using FTP, TELNET, POP3, IMAP, and SMTP which do not encrypt your confidential information (including your password) from attackers who may attempt to intercept your communications.
Keep in mind that neither the VPN nor the HTTPS security described above will protect you if the remote server is compromised or is a phishing attempt you do not recognize. To protect yourself do not enter any confidential information if you do not trust the remote server, regardless of VPN or HTTPS security. All students, faculty, staff, and visitors should report suspicious web sites or servers to the UCS Helpdesk.
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