What's the lesson about?
This time, you’ll read about high-quality, effective, and useful services that you can use thanks to Masaryk University. Eduroam gets you online not just in Brno and sending research data via e-mail doesn't always pay off. Why and how behave differently?
We’ll ask you several questions in the lesson: about internet connection, guaranteeing your identity, secure communication, or sharing research data. It’s up to you to choose which is relevant to your needs and read the answers. Still, we can assure you that all is worth mentioning. We’ve selected, as we always do, carefully.
How to get online, e.g., on a train station, or even abroad?
You probably use Eduroam at the university daily. You may not know, however, what makes it different from other Wi-Fi networks and what advantages it brings.
Eduroam is a Wi-Fi infrastructure maintained by international research and educational community, which makes it a worldwide network with many involved partners. That’s why you may have already connected to the Eduroam network in another city or while on Erasmus or business trip. (Look at the map!) As a member of the involved organization (Masaryk University), you can connect by your identification number (we call it UČO) and a secondary password. Remember, you should install a configuration tool called Eduroam CAT in all your devices to improve the security of the connections. (How to install it?)
How to connect securely from anywhere?
It’s not just about being online; getting there should be secure too. VPN, a virtual private network, ensures a secure connection from a public Wi-Fi or access to MUNI services from home.
How does VPN work? It creates an imaginary tunnel, and no one can see inside – your work, communication, or passwords. Your device uses an encrypted connection, and so is protected from outside intruders. The device basically “thinks” it’s connected to the MU network and acts like that. This brings another advantage: even remotely, you can access ezdroje.muni.cz, university licenses, or servers dedicated to specific workplaces. MU offers a free VPN for students and employees. You can find the installation guide on the IT MUNI services webpage. We only briefly remind you that you must reconnect every time you switch on the device. However, consider when you want to connect because the university’s administrators will see your visited websites. The ideal use of a VPN is mainly for a secure connection outside your home (e.g., when paying online from a coffee house) or to use MU services remotely. VPN from MUNI is one of the most secure. We cannot guarantee VPNs from other providers, and you should (as always) be cautious.
How to share (not just) research data securely?
You’ll probably appreciate MU File Depository for sharing research papers or huge data packages. The shared content won't be revealed to third parties, so it stays secure.
You can find the File Depository in the MU Information system (type the term into the search bar). You can upload a file for yourself, send it to anyone from MU, or share it publicly. The file is stored for 30 days; after that, it’s deleted forever. This means you shouldn’t use File Depository for data backups. After uploading a file that you want to share, select it, and several options will appear on the right side (share, set rights, rename, copy, etc.). If someone else shares a file with you, you’ll receive an e-mail notification that includes the name of the sender and expiration date. You can only receive files from authorized persons (those logged in the system), which eliminates incidents with a fake identity. You can read more about the Depository in the IS MU Help section.
If you deal with your study or work agenda mostly in the Information System, the File Depository is an excellent solution. However, if you migrated from IS to Office 365, you may prefer sharing through OneDrive. (See the tutorial.) Also, CESNET offers another web service for sharing data; it is called File Sender.
How to send genuine and private e-mails?
When sending e-mails, you want to guarantee two things to the receiver. First, you want to prove to him/her that the received e-mail was truly sent by you – which means digitally signing it. Second, you want to assure him/her that no one except you two is reading the e-mail – which means encrypting it.
We’ll now show you encryption of e-mails in Outlook; however, you can set encryption in most e-mail clients based on online tutorials. All the guides for Outlook are available on the website of MUNI IT services. First, generate your personal certificate. No matter how complicated it sounds, the guide is detailed and straightforward. You’ll learn what to do with the certificate in the guide for importing it into Outlook. The final step is the shortest guide for encrypting and signing your messages to send truly private and secure e-mails.
It is crucial to store your certificate securely and back it up regularly. Without it (accidental deletion, destroyed laptop, etc.), you won’t be able to open the encrypted messages.
Why should you still use the university e-mail addresses?
You might not consider qualified e-mail signatures as the right choice for you. However, you must at least stick with a university e-mail address. Why?
Using the university account simplifies your identification, improves the trustworthiness of your messages, and speeds up solving possible online incidents (which are handled by the cyberteam CSIRT-MU). Also, the MU e-mail addresses are a part of the university’s internal policy. Maybe you’ve already experienced this – you e-mail the study department from your MU e-mail address, and the answer is forwarded to your private e-mail account (due to your settings). Without thinking, you reply from the personal account. In that case, the university employee probably asks you to resend the message from the official address. Using personal accounts is not so practical at MU.
Remember, using the advantages offered by Masaryk University pays off. Both parties win: you'll receive many quality services for free, and MU becomes a safer place with every new user of these services.
Bonuses for curious users
IT services at MU: we bet that you’re missing many benefits
The website MUNI IT lists services for employees, students, researchers, and the whole university (the offer differs based on the target group because everyone needs something else). Do you know that MU created its URL address shortener? Do you know we have MUNI Portal (you’ll be pleasantly surprised after signing in!). Also, thanks to digital libraries, you can access not only books? MU offers a variety of data repositories, too.
RemSig, a certificate from Institute of Computer Science (ICS)
RemSig is certificate management from the ICS focused on Masaryk University environment. It allows you to create a digital signature in the IS MU or INET MU.
@muni.cz, @mail.muni.cz, @phil.muni.cz?
Are you lost in all the university accounts? Visit the IT MUNI website with explanations. You can always use the IS e-mail; however, Microsoft Office is a more user-friendly alternative, which you can use for free. You can also set automatic forwarding of messages from IS MU to Outlook.