News for IT Support Staff

Monday, April 6, 2020

Thinking of using Zoom? Please read this message from IST, first

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, most University employees are now working from home. Finding the most suitable service(s) to replace our in-person meetings, presentations or lectures is integral to continued collaboration and productivity, and the University has several licensed technologies to support this work.

Individuals may prefer to use a solution not currently licensed or supported by the University, including Zoom (a video communications tool). You may be aware of the increased scrutiny Zoom has received over the last few weeks, highlighting several issues related to privacy and security. This has included reports of racist Zoom-bombing during a dissertation and a 3rd party security/privacy review of Zoom identifying shortcomings. If you are choosing to use Zoom, please carefully consider the following:

  1. The software itself has had several security vulnerabilities, some revealed last year and some more recently. Every piece of software has security vulnerabilities and Zoom has proven to be no different. It is important to keep all software (including Zoom) patched and up to date.
  2. There have been media reports of the company sharing certain data they collect from meeting participants with third parties. Some of these issues have already been fixed, and others are in the process of being fixed. The company has released a statement saying that they have never sold such information.
  3. Users of the software may be susceptible to having their meetings interrupted by individuals or groups with malicious intent. Advice on preventing this interruption (dubbed “Zoom-bombing”) is below and should be considered and applied to any other online presentation software.
  4. Zoom does not make use of end-to-end encryption. That is to say, while communications between various clients and Zoom are encrypted, those communications are potentially visible to Zoom employees. While this is true of many platforms, it underlines the importance of the service's privacy policies and practices. 

The Keep Learning and Staying connected while working remotely sites provide advice on our recommended tools for use in teaching, thesis defences, and meetings. If strict confidentiality is a primary concern for conversations, please contact IST for additional advice.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Microsoft Teams dial-in feature now available

Please forward to staff and faculty in your department.

What is happening? As mentioned in the Staying connected with Microsoft Teams Daily Bulletin article, Information Systems & Technology (IST) has enabled a “dial-in” feature for Microsoft Teams meetings. 

What is the impact? Meeting attendees can dial-in to a meeting by phone when they are unable to join via the Teams application or an Internet connected device. The feature will be enabled and available for use within the next 24-48 hours. Once enabled, all employees will receive an email indicating audio conferencing for Microsoft Teams has been enabled and will include dial-in and PIN details. 

How do attendees access or use the dial-in number? Attendees will dial-in to the meeting using the toll-free number included in the meeting invite they receive, and then enter the conference ID number when prompted. Both the phone and conference ID numbers are included in the meeting invitation by default when the meeting is booked. 

Important: The Teams application should be used whenever possible. If attendees must dial-in to a meeting, please encourage use of the toll-free dial-in number.

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, or ext. 44357.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Online training session for Working Remotely with Microsoft Teams - March 31

Please forward to staff, faculty, and graduate students employed by the University in your department.

What is happening? IST is hosting an online training session on Working Remotely with Microsoft Teams; this will be an introductory course for new Teams users.

When is this happening? Tuesday, March 31, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. 

How do I join the session? Click to join the session in the Teams app or click the 'Watch on the web instead' button to log in or join anonymously. 

Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, or ext. 44357.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Temporary Access to Adobe Creative Cloud desktop applications

Please forward to faculty and students who use Adobe Creative Cloud for course work.

What is happening? As a result of the recent campus closure, students no longer have access to Adobe Creative Cloud in labs and classrooms. Adobe has provided temporary at-home access for impacted students and faculty so that they can continue their work remotely. These temporary licenses are for 'product download only' and will be available until May 31, 2020.

To get access to Creative Cloud Desktop applications on your personal device: 

  1. Provide your email address to; your email will be used for your Adobe ID. Note: Ensure that the email address used to create your Adobe ID matches the email address provided to request the software. (e.g. if was requested, then will not work.)
    1. For Faculty of Arts: 
      1. Staff and Faculty have been given access by default. Please use your 8-character email address for your Adobe ID. 
      2. Fine Arts and Stratford students have been given access by default. If assistance is needed contact

  2. Once your account has been set up, go to:
    1. Use your UWaterloo email address to create an Adobe ID. It is recommended you set your Adobe ID password to be something different from your other passwords. If you already have an Adobe ID set up with your UWaterloo email address, you can use your existing Adobe ID
    2. If prompted, select Company or School Account and then enter your password. 
  3. From the Creative Cloud website, browse for and download your desired app. Click 'Apps' on the top of the page to view all apps.

For detailed instructions with screenshots, installation notes, and additional resources, go to:

Questions or concerns? Please contact

Friday, March 20, 2020

MATLAB access for faculty, researchers, students and staff

What is happening? The University of Waterloo has obtained a site license for MATLAB and Simulink until June 30, 2020. All faculty, researchers, students and staff are eligible to download and install Matlab on their personally-owned computers, university-issued computers, or use Matlab Online in a web browser. Please note that commercial use of MathWorks products is not covered by our Campus-Wide License; if you are using a commercial license, please continue to do so. 

To download or use MATLAB online:

  1. Go to the University of Waterloo’s MATLAB Portal.
  2. Click 'Sign in to get started' under the Get MATLAB and Simulink section. 
    1. If you have an existing MathWorks account (set up with your email), use your email address to log in.
    2. If you do not have an existing MathWorks account, or your MathWorks account was not set up with a email address, create an account using your email address.
  3. Once your account is set up, you will be linked to our MATLAB license and will be able to:
    1. Download and activate software on your personal computer.
    2. Start using MATLAB Online from a Web browser without installing anything.

Where can I learn more?

  • Access free, self-paced training to get started in less than 2 hours: MATLAB Onramp
  • If you have trouble installing MATLAB, go to the MATLAB Portal and click 'Need Installation Help' to get support. 

Questions or concerns? Please contact

  1. 2020 (43)
    1. April (3)
    2. March (13)
    3. February (10)
    4. January (17)
  2. 2019 (124)
    1. December (17)
    2. November (12)
    3. October (11)
    4. September (8)
    5. August (12)
    6. July (9)
    7. June (9)
    8. May (13)
    9. April (8)
    10. March (8)
    11. February (7)
    12. January (10)
  3. 2018 (112)
    1. December (6)
    2. November (7)
    3. October (8)
    4. September (10)
    5. August (9)
    6. July (11)
    7. June (11)
    8. May (12)
    9. April (9)
    10. March (8)
    11. February (5)
    12. January (16)
  4. 2017 (113)
  5. 2016 (136)
  6. 2015 (203)
  7. 2014 (210)
  8. 2013 (95)
  9. 2012 (187)
  10. 2011 (120)
  11. 2010 (114)
  12. 2009 (233)
  13. 2008 (100)
  14. 2007 (2)