IT Student Communication
April 9, 2020
Below, please find important information as you continue your academic programs online. IT Services is available 24X7 to assist you @ HelpDesk@mercy.edu or via phone at (914)674-7526 Visit our website @https://www.mercy.edu/it
Microsoft Office & OneDrive
Get a free copy of Microsoft Office: https://www.mercy.edu/microsoft
Store your files and documents on Microsoft OneDrive with 1 TB of free storage. OneDrive can be accessed after you login to your College email account @ https://email.mercy.edu. Once you login, click on the “App launcher” on the top left and click “OneDrive.”
- Adobe announces free temporary licenses for Adobe Creative Cloud for students to work at home on their own PC or Mac. Link here - temporary licenses are currently set to expire May 31st.
Wi-Fi & Internet Services
- Altice USA & Optimum are offering free Wi-Fi for students (*conditions apply). To enroll in Optimum's free service, call 866-200-9522, or go to https://www.alticeusa.com/news/articles/feature/corporate/altice-usa-brings-free-broadband-k-12-and-college-students-during-coronavirus-pandemic
- Charter and Comcast announced Friday that they would offer 60 days of complimentary broadband to homes with K-12 or college students. To enroll for Charter's service, call 844-488-8395; for Comcast's, 855-846-8376 for English speakers or 855-765-6995 for Spanish speakers, or go to https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19
- Comcast will be offering free service at its Xfinity hotspots for 60 days @ https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19
- Spectrum to offer students free internet amid COVID-19 school closures. To enroll in the program, call 1-844-488-8395, or go to https://mobile.spectrum.com/support/article/360040980371/coronavirus-covid19-update
- Verizon announced it would not charge late fees or disconnect accounts for an indefinite amount of time.
Quick Tip: In-case you are experiencing slow Wireless connectivity with your home Wi-Fi network, IT recommends that you try to reboot your Internet Cable Modem (Optimum, Verizon FiOS etc.). Often, a quick reboot of the Wireless Modem will restore the speed of your home Wi-Fi. If you experience persistent issues, please contact your Internet Provider to troubleshoot.
Wi-Fi using Mobile Hotspot
Mobile hotspots let you establish a secure internet connection nearly anywhere and anytime using your Mobile Phone
- Your existing smartphone or tablet: Most smartphones now have hotspot capabilities built in, all current 4G smartphones do. After a few quick steps, the phone creates its own secure Wi-Fi network that up to 5-10 most mobile devices can connect to, depending on your smartphone. You should create a strong password to connect to the hotspot.
- How to use your phone as a hotspot: Mobile hotspots take only a few minutes to set up and use (Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile). For instructions specific to your device, visit the Mobile Hotspot section or User Guide on the Device Support page for your device. If Mobile Hotspot isn’t included in your data plan, you can add it to your account by calling your provider. If you experience difficulty with enabling the Mobile Hotspot feature on your phone, please contact your Cellular provider.
- Issues to be aware of when using mobile hotspots: Mobile hotspots consume quite a bit of power, so if possible, keep your smartphone or tablet plugged in while you’re using it as a hotspot. If your cellular plan doesn’t have unlimited data, using your phone as a hotspot can use up data quickly.
- Overage Charges: You will want to keep an eye on how much data you’re consuming – as you can easily accumulate data overage charges for which you will be responsible.
Note: Many providers are offering unlimited data during this time due to the COVID-19 situation which will assist with avoiding any data overages. It is recommended that you contact your Cellular provider to confirm.
Mercy students are eligible for discounts on technology products from Verizon, Dell, Apple, and other vendors. Visit https://www.mercy.edu/services/mercy-technology-discounts
Cyber Security Tips
IT Services has seen an increase in phishing and social engineering scams due to the coronavirus situation. IT services advises the College community to remain vigilant for scams related to COVID-19. Cyber actors may send emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Please exercise caution in handling any email with a coronavirus or COVID-19-related subject line, attachment, or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts, or calls related to coronavirus or COVID-19.
IT Services encourages the following precautions:
- Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments. See Using Caution with Email Attachments and Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Scams for more information.
- Use trusted sources — such as legitimate, government websites — for up-to-date, fact-based information about coronavirus. See www.mercy.edu/coronavirus for a list of trusted sites.
- Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
- Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations. Review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information.
External Email Alerts
All incoming emails to Mercy College email accounts from external parties will have a pre-fix in the subject of the message and a disclaimer in the body of the message. This text will only appear if the email is coming from an external email system.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you see this disclaimer text in the subject and body of an email you receive, please exercise caution when clicking on any links or opening attachments. You should never provide sensitive or confidential information such as usernames and password when responding to such emails.