Residence halls to use new Internet access program

By Gus Bode

System will protect network from viruses, spyware

When students return to residential halls in August, they will be introduced to Clean Access Agent, a new Internet access program.

“The Clean Access program will replace the system that we put in about two to three years ago, and will address the problems of viruses and spyware that the previous program did not address,” said Charlie Campbell, associate director of networking engineering.


The old program identified students as they logged in while limiting an individual’s bandwidth, but it did not restrict viruses and spyware from being spread through the network, Campbell said.

Clean Access makes it harder for either a virus or spyware to invade the network.

“We were having problems with students not keeping their computers up to date and this will allow us to enforce a security policy for everyone’s benefit and protection,” network security officer Curt Wilson said.

On the first attempt to access the Internet from the dorms, a student will be prompted to provide a user name and password, and then asked if they agree to a $45 Ethernet fee, which is the same as previous semesters, Campbell said.

After the student accepts the fee, the program will check to see that all computers have been updated before granting Internet access.

“Before a student is allowed to log onto the network, the Clean Access program will make sure that Microsoft, Windows and McAfee virus updates have been done every day,” Campbell said.

The student will not be given Internet access until the programs are updated. If the software is not up to date, a page with directions on how to fix the problems will appear.


The program will be in all the dorms by fall, Campbell said.

“This program will force computer systems to be more secure, which will save pain and protect people’s information,” Wilson said.

In the fall, a pilot run with Clean Access was done in Wright Hall, Campbell said. It reduced the number of calls about problems by 10 percent, Campbell said.

“The program is not going to spy on a student’s activities, but just checks to make sure their computer is being updated every day,” Wilson said.

Reporter Christina Smith can be reached [email protected]