The overall computing structure at Penn State can be viewed in three layers:  University-wide, College-level and Department-level.  In the Department, procurement and support is provided for classroom desktops, personal desktops and laptops, research servers, and departmental shared servers.  At the College level, networking of systems, email spam filtering and system backup services are provided.  The University level provides networking connectivity to points outside the college, authentication services, wifi, email services, and numerous others.

A primary concern of computing within Penn State is security.  A simple logon account can provide access to immeasurable amounts of data and services, some of which are licensed exclusively for use by Penn State affiliates, and some of which may be highly sensitive, including your own personal information accessible through the eLion or ESSIC portals.  For this reason, issuance and usage of Penn State access accounts is governed by strict rules which all account-holders should be aware of.  They can be reviewed in the following links:

AD 20 – Computer and Network Security

ADG01 – Glossary of Computer Data and System Terminology

ADG02 – Computer Security

In addition to standard logon procedures (account name and password) for securing your account, Penn State began rolling out 2-factor authentication in 2015 which greatly enhances the security of login accounts by requiring a 2nd, independent, form of acknowledgement that any particular login attempt is actually being performed by an authorized user.  This login validation is typically done through a smartphone “Duo” app, but can also be handled through a plain cell phone, a tablet, or even a desktop phone.  More details on can be found at http://identity.psu.edu/services/authentication-services/two-factor/.

Once your account at Penn State has been established, you’re ready to log in to virtually any Penn State system authorized for your work or study.  This is also the point at which you may have further questions or may run into problems.  This FAQ is meant to provide a first line of defense for you to solve the most common of these problems.  However, if you are unable to resolve an issue, please contact the appropriate support personnel at one of the following email addresses or phone number:

Department issues (local servers, desktops):  l-meteo-support@lists.psu.edu

Networking Issues:  network@ems.psu.edu

University-wide support:  helpdesk@psu.edu, Phone:  814-865-4357

If you’re not sure where to send your request, send it to the department support list (l-meteo-support@lists.psu.edu) and we will direct your request to the appropriate support personnel.

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