Alumni Technology Guide

The Division of IT is here for you even after you have left GW campus. Find helpful information on accessing accounts, how to connect when you visit campus and learn about the various support options available to you through the IT Support Center. 

GWeb Information System

The GWeb Information System, sometimes referred to as Banner or Banner Self Service, allows online access to GW student services, such as viewing student accounts and grades.  Students are assigned a GWeb account and pin when they have been accepted and signified their intent to attend GW, by paying a deposit.

To log into GWeb, you must use your GWid, which is an alphanumeric value used to identify an individual’s records within GW’s administrative systems. Your GWid is the letter G followed by an 8-digit number. You must also use a PIN, which is usually a 6-digit number, to log in to the GWeb Information System. If you have forgotten your GWid, you may submit a GWid retrieval request.

GWid Retrieval Request


How to login to the GWeb Information System


A GWid is an alphanumeric value used to identify an individual’s records within GW’s administrative systems. Your GWid is the letter "G" followed by an 8-digit number.

The use of GWids reduce the use of Social Security numbers, where possible, in administrative records and university systems. 

If you have forgotten your GWid you may retrieve your GWid through the GWid Retrieval Request Form.  Please review the GWid retrieval and terms of use information before requesting to retrieve your GWid.

GWid Retrieval Request


GWid Retrieval and Terms of Use
What's the difference between a GWid and NetID?


A NetID is a single username that provides access to multiple GW resources.  Some of these resources include the myGW Portal, GW's wireless networks, GW email and calendar systems, Blackboard and other University systems. Your NetID is the portion of your GW email address that precedes the "@" symbol.  

Claim your NetID


NetID password requirements
Change your NetID password
What's the difference between a NetID and GWid? 


GWMail is the University's email system for students and alumni. GWMail features enhanced storage capabilities and access to GWCalendar. You may access GWMail by visiting the myGW Portal, selecting "email" on the left menu and then under "Students" or "Alumni", selecting "Go to GWMail". Log in with your GW NetID and corresponding password.

Access GWMail

Your GWMail address is your GW NetID followed by ""

GW uses two-step authentication in conjunction with GW Google apps (email, calendar, drive, etc.)

How to Set-up Two-Step Authentication  Two-Step Authentication FAQs


GWmail FAQs
GWmail for Alumni FAQs

Wireless Internet Access


GWconnect is a wireless network that is reserved for guests of the university including parents, university event attendees and other visitors. 

Connect to GWconnect




eduroam (education roaming) is a secure, worldwide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community, and it allows visitors from participating institutions to connect to the Internet across GW's campuses and when visiting other participating institutions using their university login credentials. For more information and a list of participating U.S. institutions, visit “Where can I eduroam?”. 


Anti-Virus Protection

The Division of Information Technology uses Symantec software for anti-virus protection. GW-owned and managed computers come pre-configured with this software. For non-managed computers including personal laptops and desktops, GW students, faculty and staff may install the Symantec software on the Division of IT Software Downloads page. Downloads are available for Windows- and Mac OS-based systems.

If you need assistance uninstalling or determining your current version of Symantec Endpoint Protection and/or the Symantec firewall, please contact the IT Support Center.

Backup and Storage

Google Drive is Google’s online storage service that allows for added convenience, seamless storage and access to data between multiple devices. The Google Drive service is available as part of your GW email (GWMail) account.

Access Google Drive

GW uses two-step authentication in conjunction with GW Google apps (email, calendar, drive, etc.)

How to Set-up Two-Step Authentication  Two-Step Authentication FAQs


How to access Google Drive
How to switch between multiple Google Drive accounts

Choose Strong Passwords

Passwords are used every day for a variety of reasons, and choosing strong passwords is crucial in protecting your privacy. When you create a password, be sure to:

  • Use numbers and/or punctuation
  • Use at least eight characters 
  • Mix uppercase and lowecase letters
  • Avoid using "dictionary words," or words that are properly spelled and not separated by punctuation or numbers
  • Avoid including personal information, such as your name or other easily determined information
  • Change your password regularly, once every few months or more frequently
  • Use different passwords for different sites and applications
  • Never share your passwords with anyone

Microsoft Password Checker


Credit Reports

The Division of Information Technology encourages all GW community members to take advantage of the credit report services available to them in order to help protect their information and privacy. Federal legislation gives users the ability to access their credit reports free of charge every 12 months. Credit reports can be used to protect users' credit card information and detect identity theft and fraud. 

To learn more about credit reports and request a copy of your report, visit Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission is a valuable resource for credit report information and tips for avoiding and dealing with identity theft.


Encryption is the conversion of data into a format that is not understandable to users without information such as a username and password. Encryption protects computers and mobile devices in the event of loss or theft. In order to ensure your devices are well encrypted, be sure to set up a very strong password.

Procedure to Encrypt Computers and Removable Storage Media

The encryption procedure is designed to cover computers and removable storage media that store and process confidential and sensitive electronic data corresponding to the definitions of confidential and sensitive data in the GW Data Classification Policy, which is designed to comply with federal regulations.

  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

The following devices and removable media storing confidential or sensitive GW data require encryption:

  • Laptops
  • Desktop computers
  • USB flash drives
  • CD and DVD media
  • External hard disks
  • Portable hard drives
  • Files sent out as email attachments

How to Encrypt Your Devices

  • All workstations that store or access sensitive and confidential data as defined in the GW Data Classification Policy must be encrypted by installing encryption software. Files and backups from medical devices stored on removable media that store confidential or sensitive data must also be encrypted.
  • Whenever confidential or sensitive information is placed on removable media such as CDs, DVDs or portable hard drives, such data must be encrypted. Any time files containing confidential or sensitive data are emailed, such file attachments must be encrypted.
  • Strong passwords must be used to protect computers. Password-protected screensavers that lock the computers after five minutes of inactivity must be used to protect the computers. Files transferred to removable storage media using encryption software or files sent out as attachments after they are encrypted using encryption software must be protected with strong passwords.
  • Removable media containing confidential or sensitive data must be kept safe and in secure locations.


A firewall acts as a barrier between the Internet and your computer or GW network and protects your device from viruses and other threats.  Firewalls serve as a first defense against threats, and you should make sure you have them on your devices, but they do not protect your devices against all potential dangers. 

The Division of IT provides Symantec Endpoint Protection, which includes a firewall, to all active GW students, staff and faculty; this software can be downloaded on the Division of IT Software Downloads page.

To ensure your firewall is protecting your computer, use Symantec's Security Check.

Get Safe Online: Use a Firewall

Identity Theft

Identity theft occurs when criminals take users' personal information, such as their credit card numbers or Social Security numbers, and use it to commit crimes such as fraud. Identity theft can take many forms, and it can be very difficult to detect and deal with identity theft should you fall victim to it. Protecting GW students, faculty and staff from identity theft is a shared responsibility between the Division of Information Technology and all GW community members.

Awareness of the ways in which identity theft can take place can help you protect yourself from criminals. The Federal Trade Commission offers a wealth of information on identity theft and how you can protect yourself and your information. 

Test Your Knowledge about Identity Theft – Take the OnGuard Online Quiz

Physical Security

Physical device security involves taking steps to protect your devices from theft and keep unwanted users from logging in to your computers or accessing your information. 

To protect your computer and other devices, you should always:

  • Avoid leaving your devices unattended or setting them on the floor when you are in public places.
  • If you need to leave your laptop in your car, keep it in the trunk or another out-of-sight place.
  • Avoid using obvious-looking laptop bags for your devices; instead, carry a subtle shoulder bag or backpack.
  • When you are away from your computer or desk, store your devices in a locked drawer if possible or make use of a physical computer lock.
  • Configure your computer to lock after a brief period of inactivity ,and set your screen saver to require a password.
  • Never allow your web browser to automatically set a password for you.

Physical locks are the best means to prevent your laptop from being stolen, as they deter thieves looking for easy targets.  Computer cable locks are easy-to-use solutions that loop and attach to inserts or brackets on your computer.

Learn 8 ways to prevent laptop theft.

Search Engines and Your Privacy

Many people occasionally "egosurf," or search for their names with an online search engine in order to see what information appears. Egosurfing can be used to find information about yourself that you may not want to be publicly available.

In order to avoid the spread of unwanted information, it is recommended that you avoid posting such information anywhere on the Internet. The Division of Information Technology works to help protect the privacy of GW community members; please see these useful links for steps you can take to guard your information online.

Social Engineering

Social engineering occurs when criminals trick people into revealing confidential information. Social engineering can take many forms, including pretexting, diversion theft, phishing, quid pro quo and tailgating, and criminals may ask for users for information such as their ATM card PIN numbers, home addresses and other personal data and use it to commit fraud.

The Division of Information Technology offers awareness training on how to recognize malicious social engineering attempts and how to mitigate the risks associated. For more information about these services, contact us at [email protected].

Phishing Scams

Phishing is a type of online scam that uses false emails, forms and websites to collect personal information for identity theft. Such information can include usernames, passwords, Social Security numbers, credit cards and other information. Many of these scams appear legitimate but should be avoided and reported to [email protected].

Detecting a Phishing Scam

Phishing messages are designed to look like official correspondence and can be very difficult to detect. However, one thing that may indicate a message is malicious is if it asks for personal or financial information. A phishing email may ask you to visit a link that appears to go to a legitimate site but actually sends you to a malicious site or webform designed to steal your account or personal information.

To avoid phishing scams and to help prevent these attacks at GW, please follow these important guidelines:

  • Always be wary of emails and ads from unknown senders or messages requesting account verification, confirmation or upgrade, payment or personal information such as your passwords, GWid, Social Security number or credit card information. Be wary of any unexpected or unsolicited attachments.
  • Never plug in a USB stick into a GW-issued computer unless it is a GW-issued USB or from an otherwise trusted source
  • Please ensure that your computer is patched with the most recent operating system updates.
  • The Division of IT recommends not using the same password for multiple accounts.

Don't Get Caught

Never reply to an email with your password, GWid or PIN. Always hover over links to verify them before clicking. If you have any questions about the validity of a link you see or a message you receive, please forward it to [email protected] or contact the IT Support Center at 202-994-GWIT (4948) or [email protected]



Send an email to [email protected] at any time. 

The IT Support Center, available Monday - Friday, 7:00am - 10:00pm, is your one-stop shop for all of your technology needs at GW, and offers support for the following:

  • GW accounts
  • Email
  • Getting connected: phone, data and cable TV
  • Technical endpoint support: computers, laptops and mobile devices
  • Enterprise applications
  • Commercial off-the-shelf software support


GWiz Knowledge Base


Call the IT Support Center at 202-994-GWIT (4948) or 4-4948 if calling from a campus phone.

The IT Support Center, available Monday - Friday, 7:00am - 10:00pm, is your one-stop shop for all of your technology needs at GW, and offers support for the following:

  • GW accounts
  • Email
  • Getting connected: phone, data and cable TV
  • Technical endpoint support: computers, laptops and mobile devices
  • Enterprise applications
  • Commercial off-the-shelf software support



Submit a web request support ticket on IT.GWU.EDU at any time. 

The IT Support Center is your one-stop shop for all of your technology needs at GW, and offers support for the following:

  • GW accounts
  • Email
  • Getting connected: phone, data and cable TV
  • Technical endpoint support: computers, laptops and mobile devices
  • Enterprise applications
  • Commercial off-the-shelf software support


Digital Millennium Copyright Act

What is File Sharing?

File sharing refers to the process of distributing and/or receiving digital files.  The most frequent form of exchange over the internet is through the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) protocols such as BitTorrent.  

What is Illegal File Sharing?

Using P2P to share content breaks the law when the files being transferred have copyright protection and there is not expressed permission from the copyright owner to serve out or download a file without payment.  


The vast majority of available media you will enjoy is material with copyright protection. It is important to understand the basics of copyright law and how it affects you. Media that is protected by copyright includes but isn’t limited to music, movies, television shows, magazines, photographs, books, and software. Copyright law aims to protect artists by giving a creator rights to his/her intellectual property, its use, reproduction and distribution. The law, called the U.S. Copyright Act, was enacted by Congress in 1976 originally aimed to protect authors and their original writings but the ever changing landscape of technology has forced the expansion of the law to cover digital media.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), enacted in 1998, is intended to create an updated version of copyright laws to deal with the challenges of regulating digital media. The purpose of the DMCA is to protect the rights of both copyright owners and consumers.

The DMCA outlines a process for a copyright owner or their legal representative to notify an Internet Service Provider (ISP) of an alleged copyright infringement. Notices are based solely on the observation of inbound and/or outbound traffic- the sharing of intellectual property that the person associated with the registered IP has no right or permission to obtain or share.

GW receives Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices that state that an IP address at GW is engaged in unauthorized copying and distribution intellectual property such as music, movies, TV shows, software, games, etc. The claims are an indication that the rights of the persons involved in creating these works have been violated.

How is the DMCA enforced?

DMCA Notices

A DMCA notice is a request by a copyright owner to have an individual using a specific IP address stop engaging in copyright infringement. The notice contains the following:

  • The title of the copyrighted work(s)
  • The date and time the work was shared
  • The specific sharing protocol used for the referenced infringement
  • The IP address observed in the sharing event.

GW then identifies the person whose device is registered to that specific IP address and contacts that individual.  There are consequences for participating in copyright infringement, ranging from a losing access to the university network, being referred to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities for disciplinary action up to and including facing legal action from the copyright owner. The copyright holder retains the rights to pursue the identity of the registered owner in both civil and criminal sanctions.

Files Protected by DMCA

Any copyrighted electronic media. Examples include pictures, music, movies, television shows, games, graphics, etc.  

DMCA Violations

Sharing, downloading and/or streaming copyright materials without explicit permission from the copyright owners is a violation of the DMCA.

DMCA Consequences

Potential consequences include losing access to the university network, being referred to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities for disciplinary action and/or legal action from the copyright owner.

How should I access music and movies?

Legal Media

There have never been more options for acquiring media legally than there are today. From streaming to owning, dozens of websites are competing for your business.  GW’s high speed networks allow you to easily download, stream or rent media. Here are some legal options to consider:


Streaming media allows you to instantaneously watch or listen directly from the provider without the necessity of downloading a copy onto your device.  

Resources for Streaming:

Residential Hall Compatible Streaming Devices
Apple TV
Roku (ethernet capable)
Xbox 360


For more information, or if you have a specific question about DMCA or legal media, please contact the IT Support Center at 202-994-GWIT (4948).