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Latest Updates from ITS (30 Oct 2019)

[The following message is sent to List C on 30 Oct 2019.]

Dear Heads

Please find below some latest updates for the information of you and your colleagues; and participation and appropriate actions by your department would be appreciated.

1. Information Security and Personal Data Protection Awareness Week 2019 (Awareness Week) 

The Awareness Week will be organized from November 4 to 8 2019.  This is an annual event organized by ITS for increasing University members’ awareness on information security and personal data protection.  It covers a series of activities including Information Security and Personal Data Protection Seminars, Cybersecurity Health Check Station as well as Game and Quiz.   Please encourage your colleagues to join these events for getting the latest information related to information security and data protection.  More details can be found here

2. End of Support for Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2

Microsoft has announced that Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 will go out of support on January 14, 2020.  To avoid the risk of hacking led by these sunsetting products’ security vulnerabilities, we have reminded departments in May 2019 that all Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 machines must be removed from the campus network or otherwise protected by effective anti-intrusion means on or before January 14, 2020.  Departments are urged to upgrade all of their PCs and/or servers soon before the end of support date.  For more details, please visit here.  

To check the list of PCs and/or servers of your department which are still running these end-of-support versions on the campus network or seek for our advice on the upgrade, please contact our colleague Mr Ken Ng at 3917 5186 or chikaing@hku.hk.

3. Standardization of Student Email Address  

There will be an upcoming change in the HKU Connect Email service being used by HKU students. 

At present, students are provided with an HKU email account PortalUID@connect.hku.hk on the outsourced email platform powered by Google.   On top of the said email account, an email alias PortalUID@hku.hk is provided for use by students for receiving emails by default.  This email alias is valid for use until student’s graduation. 

What is the change?

We will stop providing the email alias PortalUID@hku.hk for use by new students admitted in academic year 2020/2021 and onwards.  PortalUID@connect.hku.hk will be the single and standardized email address for students to receive emails.

Why this change?

Graduating students using PortalUID@hku.hk have to take extra efforts to update their contacts the change of email address as this email alias will become invalid after graduation. The standardization of using a single email address (PortalUID@connect.hku.hk) also ensures departments can keep continual communication with their graduates without being affected by the invalidity of the email alias.

ITS has consulted the ex-IT advisory committees, the IT Advisory Committee (ITAC) and the Advisory and Coordination Group on Information Infrastructure and Services (ACGIIS) as well as the HKU Students’ Union in the past few months which indicated their support on this change.  

What actions are required by Faculties/Departments?

1. For all current and new students with an email address mentioned in any website or published materials, please use the standardized email address PortalUID@connect.hku.hk

2. For departmental IT systems or mailing lists using a student email address field, please update and standarize to use the format of PortalUID@connect.hku.hk

3. For computer programs maintained by your department which are using “PortalUID” for sending emails, please modify these programs to make sure it is appended by @connect.hku.hk for sending emails to students and @hku.hk for sending emails to staff.

Students admitted before academic year 2020/2021 can continue using PortalUID@hku.hk until graduation and they will not be affected by the above mentioned change.

We are updating the student-related central IT systems, including Student Information System and Moodle System, to accommodate the above change and all student email addresses used in and captured from these systems will be updated to PortalUID@connect.hku.hk by end of 2019. 

For any questions on the above, please feel free to contact our Service Desk at 3917 0123 or ithelp@hku.hk.


P T Ho
Director of IT Services
Information Technology Services