Download Microsoft Office 2016 for Free

Yes, you read that right! Where and how?! Is this for students only?!

Great questions! All current Sam Houston State University students, faculty, and staff can take advantage of this resource.

First, go to:,

Then, type in your SHSU email and hit enter. You’ll be redirected to another login page where you can log in with your SHSU email and password.

You now have access to the benefits of Office 365! You can now download a copy of Microsoft Office 2016, access online versions of Office 2016 from any browser anywhere, and 1 terabyte of OneDrive cloud storage.

Feel free to contact us at the Service Desk with any questions at 936-294-1950 or


Security Tip: Avoiding Online Tax Scams

Should you respond to an e-mail or phone call claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)?

The short answer, no. Phone and e-mail phishing scams are still on the top of the IRS’s “Dirty Dozen” tax scams for 2016. Numerous online scams are circulating this time of year in an attempt to steal people’s tax refunds, bank accounts, and identities.

Be on the lookout for unsolicited e-mails, texts, social media posts that ask you to share valuable personal and financial information. According to Truste and the National Cyber Security Alliance, 75% of Americans believe they adequately protect their personal online data, yet statistics show they don’t take the appropriate precautions to do so. Only 39% look for a website’s privacy trust seal/logo, or lock icon before deciding whether to trust the site.

limited privacy awarenessenabling trust

The IRS has received new reports of scammers impersonating IRS employees and calling to verify tax return information over the phone. The scam tries to get you to give up personal information such as a Social Security number or personal financial information, such as bank numbers or credit cards.

Last month, The IRS discovered that their Electronic Filing PIN application on was accessed by hackers. Using previously stolen personal data, identity thieves used malware to generate more than 100,000 tax return PIN codes. The IRS said no personal taxpayer data was stolen, only the tax return PIN codes. The IRS is taking immediate steps to notify affected taxpayers by mail.

Remember, the IRS will never:

  • Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.
  • Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
  • Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
  • Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.

According to the IRS, if you know you don’t owe taxes, follow these guidelines:

  • Do not give out any information. Hang up immediately.
  • Contact TIGTA to report the call. Use their “IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting” web page. You can also call 800-366-4484.
  • Report it to the Federal Trade Commission. Use the “FTC Complaint Assistant” on Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” in the notes.

Carefully select the tax sites you visit and always secure your computer with the latest security updates and anti virus. If you are concerned your personal information has been stolen please visit to report the crime and find out how you can recover from potential identity theft.

The IRS has many more resources and contact information listed here in case of identity theft.


Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center



Network Outage Updates

We are still experiencing intermittent Internet outages. We are working closely with Juniper Networks to resolve networking issues. Any internet outages experienced from this time until noon should not last more than fifteen minutes. Internal campus resources and communications will still be accessible. Communications to and from off-campus locations will be affected.

In order to fix the issue, emergency maintenance will need to be performed starting at noon and concluding at 1 pm. This will be a complete outage and as a result you will not have phone service, e-mail, S and T drive access. There may be some intermittent outages while the system is brought back online. Please be sure to save your work prior to noon. Another e-mail will be sent once the maintenance has been completed.

We do apologize for the inconvenience that this and other outages have caused. Please contact the Service Desk at x4-1950 with any questions or concerns.

Upgrades During Winter Break

Internet security

Winter break is a little over a week away! We know there are many last minute things to take care of before you sign off for the semester. While you will be out (and possibly signing in from home from time to time), we want you to make a note of these upgrades happening so that you can plan accordingly. Some of these upgrades will cause service outages, and the Service Desk will be operating on modified hours.

Service Desk Winter Break Hours

The Service Desk will have modified hours starting December 12.

December 12 – 22: 8 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday

December 23 – January 3: Closed

January 4 – January 8: 8 am – 5 pm, Monday – Friday

The Service Desk will resume normal hours of operation on Monday, January 11.

Banner ERP Upgrades

On Friday, December 18, beginning at 6 pm and concluding at 1 am the Banner HR module will be upgraded to include the latest tax rules patches. The Banner system will be unavailable during this time.  Please be sure that you are logged out of the system before maintenance begins.

SHSU Program Installation Menu Upgrade

Over the winter break the SHSU Program Installation Menu will be upgraded. This upgrade will allow users to manage what software they install and when. The new software will also allow for uninstalling optional software, a feature that was not previously available. You should notice no impact to your daily computing environment by this upgrade, other than the change to the interface.

Mail Server Upgrade – Exchange 2013

During the winter break, IT@Sam will be upgrading our e-mail system to Exchange 21013. This upgrade could cause a service interruption lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour during the time that your mailbox is migrated to the new server. The moves will occur between Monday, December 28 and Friday, January 1 to minimize the impact of any downtime.

Before leaving for winter break, we recommend cleaning up mailboxes by deleting any unneeded e-mails and emptying the sent and deleted items folders. You will also want to ensure that you log off, or at least make sure that both Outlook and Lync are closed. This will help the upgrade process run more smoothly.

Deployment of Software Upgrades (Windows)

On Friday, December 18, beginning at 9:00 pm, the following software will be deployed to all Windows workstations: Java 8.65, Firefox 38.4.0, and Adobe Acrobat 11.0.13. Please be sure to save your work and log off of your computer prior to this time.

Phished: Did You Click the Link?

Did you notice the random package delivery notice in your email during the last week of October? We hope you didn’t click on it! Over the last two years, IT@Sam security personnel have sent a fake phishing e-mail as a means to understand how well our security awareness programs are working. Good news: It’s working!

Phishing is a serious attempt cyber criminals use to get your personal information by pretending to be a trustworthy site. In the October IT@Sam Newsletter, our Vice President, Mark Adams, shared how many phishing attempts we catch on a daily basis. On a recent day, SHSU received 230,519 e-mails. Of these 174,192 were evaluated as potential valid e-mails and 56,327 were considered malicious and were rejected.PHISHING 2015

According to statistics from Information Security Officer, Tim McGuffin, we had a surprising total click-through rate at 36%.  We sent 22,332 emails to faculty, staff, and students and had just over 8,000 page views. We’ve included an infographic breaking down the numbers and comparing them to last year. The number of emails sent out this year compared to last year are different because alumni emails were not included.

“Phishing is still our number one source of compromise on campus,” McGuffin says. “But we’re down approximately 30% from where we were last year on actually compromised accounts.”

If you you’d like to know where our fake link sent people, you can look at it here.

Please remember, if you are ever suspicious of an email, don’t hesitate to forward it to us at