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IT implements password system with Otka

BY Veronica Sansur

Since last Tuesday, Jan. 30, all UT students received access to the Okta portal. Okta is a service that faculty, staff and student employees have used since a year ago. Now, every student will be using Okta, which is provided by the Information Technology and Security. Its main purpose, is to reduce the number of passwords that students use.

Almost every  system students already know we will be now on one page. Students just have to put their username and password in utampa.okta.com and then they will have access to the different portals (Blackboard, Residence by Simplicity, Spartan Mail, etc.) without logging in again.

This has been a project from the Information Technology and Security for the last two years, according to Bill Arnold, senior information security analyst. IT started to follow how Okta works and, according to Arnold, it does everything that they wanted to change to old system.

“We kept hearing from many staff, faculty, and students that everybody has many passwords to remember,”Arnold said. “So, before you have different passwords for Blackboard, the email, the housing website, orgsync, and others.”

Charlotte Navarro, a senior biology major, is looking forward to the change.

“In my opinion, it is a really great idea because I always have to search for all my passwords that are saved in my cellphone’s notes,” Navarro said. “This will be so beneficial for us, UT is definitely improving and looking forward with Okta.”

Arnold also said that staff, faculty, and student employees have been using it for a year now. He said that the responses have been so far, so good.

“So, we will put Blackboard into the Okta system this spring, likewise the housing and the health center portal. Those are initiation forms. Then, we will include the Spartan Mail next fall.”

Arnold said that they are going to provide more in the following semesters. Although, the only portal that will not be included is SpartanWeb because according to Arnold, Spartan Web is a legacy system, which in computing, means an old method.

This means that Spartan Web is being phased out with the coming of Workday Student. He did not make any further comments.

“I am constantly using my Blackboard’s passwords for my email, and the one for the email for other pages too,” said Lisa Asadoorian, a freshman education major. “So, I am really grateful that UT is doing something about this mess.”

If a student wants to change a password they can go into Okta’s settings and change it themselves, instead of having to go to the computer center, according to Arnold.

If any of them, forget the password, they can reset it through a receiving a text message, or they can add a secondary email and do it that way as well.

Moreover, there are links in Okta  to YouTube videos that provide an explanation on how to login if a student has a question.

“It is a really good system,” Arnold said. “It is still new so we are trying to get things in there to make this a better experience for students, which I think we are doing. We will put everything in there in the following semesters.”

You can reach the writer at mariav.sansur@spartans.ut.edu.

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