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.

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

Monday, March 16, 2020

Physical IST Service Desk Locations Closed - March 16

What is happening? All physical locations of the IST service desks will be closed starting Monday, March 16 at 12 p.m. until further notice. The desks will continue operating remotely and staff can be reached via phone, email or live chat during regular business hours (Monday-Friday 8:30 am - 8:30 pm, Saturday-Sunday 12:30 pm - 8:30 pm).

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

Monday, March 16, 2020

Resolved: Wired network connectivity degraded for some external sites - March 16

What is happening? Some users may have experienced issues connecting to external sites, including but not limited to, Office 365, PowerBI, Unit4. A core router was reloaded at 10:15 a.m. to fix the issue. Connectivity has been restored as of 10:30 a.m.
Questions or concerns? Please contact the IST Service Desk, or ext. 44357.
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