Help - Technical FAQ
If you can see the link for your Status Report but cannot open the document, you may need to install or update Adobe® Acrobat® Reader.
Adobe Acrobat Reader is free software that allows you to view and print PDF files. You can download the most current version of this software by going to the Adobe Reader Web site. On the page, uncheck any requests for additional bundled software tools and download only the free Adobe Reader software, following the instructions provided.
If the link for your Status Report displays “none,” then your advisor may need to officially sign off on or release the document to your account. Please contact your advising team to let them know that you are not able to view your Status Report information.
If you continue to experience problems, please contact Technical Support.
It is our goal to provide you with consistently reliable and secure access to Excelsior College student services. This means, however, that at times, our Web site will be unavailable so that we may conduct routine system maintenance and upgrades.
In an effort to allow us to continually improve our online technology resources, while minimizing disruptions to you, the College has established a regularly scheduled time for system maintenance.
Upgrades and routine maintenance will be conducted
- Every Wednesday
5:00 am - 7:00 am (ET)
In addition, the Excelsior College courseware system will be unavailable:
- Every Sunday
3:00 am - 3:45 am (ET)
During this time period, online services will not be available for use. This schedule was chosen as it coincides with our lowest usage times for online services.
Visit the Password Help page to retrieve your login information. For security reasons, your username will be displayed on the screen and you should receive a system-generated response with your password.
If you do not receive this email within a few hours, please contact Technical Support.
Check to be sure you are entering your login information exactly. The username and password are case sensitive. To verify your username and password, visit the Password Help page to have your login information emailed to you.
If you continue to receive the “Login Incorrect” error message after you have confirmed your login information, you may need to check your browser settings to make sure you are allowing cookies.
You change easily change your password (log in required).
Once on this page, scroll down to the heading CHANGE YOUR PASSWORD AND SECRET QUESTION.
Visit the browser web site to download and install the most current version of each browser.
Excelsior College supports many of the most popular browsers. This includes Internet Explorer versions 7 and 8, Firefox version 3, and Safari version 3 and 4.
Open up your Web browser like you normally would to connect to the Internet. Each browser has slightly different menu options, but most of them provide this information from the Help menu in the top navigation bar:
For example, if you are using Internet Explorer, select Help from the top menu and choose About Internet Explorer from the drop down menu. The version of the browser software is listed on the dialog box. Other browsers such as Firefox and Safari offer the same option to determine browser version.
Find out more about the type of computer and other necessary equipment by visiting the Computer System Requirements page
Security and privacy settings are very important for protecting your computer from spam email, phishing scams, viruses, and spyware. There are recommendations specific to each browser. Visit the Browser Settings page to find out how to apply the appropriate security and privacy settings in your browser.
Many web pages now feature Web 2.0 options to increase or decrease the text size on a page. If your Web page does not offer this feature, you can still change the text size by using your browser. For example, if you use Internet Explorer, click View on the top navigation bar and scroll down to Text Size in the drop down menu. Scroll over the arrow next to Text Size to launch another drop down menu and choose from the options to make the text larger or smaller. Please be aware that changing the setting to Larger or Largest may prevent you from accessing all of the features of some tools.
Spyware is software which collects demographic and usage information from your computer. Some types of spyware can make changes to your computer, causing it to run slower or even to crash. Spyware programs can also change your Web browser’s home page or add toolbars that you may not need or want. Other programs called browser hijackers can be used to direct you to rogue search engines or they can display a message that a requested page is no longer available. Adware applications install advertising components on your computer system that download ads and waste your system resources. Many of these applications or components can be running on your system even if you are not using the software that initially installed them.
First, be selective about the programs that you download from the Internet. If software is free or doesn’t require a license to use it, you run a higher risk of being exposed to spyware programs. Second, you can install an anti-spyware program on your computer. These programs are similar to antivirus software packages that protect your computer from viruses.
There are two well-known companies that offer personal editions of their spyware detect and remove software free of charge:
For more information on spyware, visit:
* Please note that as these programs are not developed by Excelsior College, you will need to contact the respective program vendor with any technical support questions or problems.
The most common way to get spyware is by downloading file-sharing software, screensavers, or other freeware programs.
Pop-ups are a form of online advertising used to attract web traffic or capture email addresses. Pop-ups are web browser windows that open on top of the active browser window, often used to display advertisements, special offers, or other ancillary information.
Pop-unders are a variation on the pop-up window, typically an advertisement, which opens a new browser window that is hidden under the active window. Pop-unders do not interrupt the user immediately and are not seen until the active window is closed, but this makes it more difficult to determine which web site opened them.
Many browsers now include pop-up software to keep pop-ups from launching. To activate your browser’s pop-up blocking software, visit the Browser Settings page and follow the instructions for your browser.
Some pop-ups are useful, such as context-sensitive help windows that can assist you when you are filling out an online form. If you have pop-ups blocked, your browser will display a message at the top of the main window that shows a pop-up has been blocked. If you want to view that pop-up, you can click a button to allow that specific pop-up to display. Visit the Browser Settings page for more information.
Spam and Fraud
Email fraud is similar to other kinds of mail or phone fraud. You may receive an email that looks like it is from a company that you do business with, but it is actually a spoofed email from someone pretending to represent that company. The email may ask you to verify account information or provide an updated account number. Other forms of email fraud include phishing, bogus offers of goods and services, an announcement that you’ve won a prize or sum of money, or a request to help someone in need.
The best advice is “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” You can learn to recognize suspicious emails easily if you keep in mind that legitimate businesses will never ask you to provide private information via email. If you receive an email, even from a company that you regularly do business with, that asks for any personal or account information, chances are it is not a legitimate email. If you are in doubt, call the company and speak to a representative.
Take a look at the sample email below. Note that although the email appears to come from a valid source, the following identifying characteristics clearly show that it's part of an email scam:
- A company logo stolen from the legitimate business.
- A clickable link that appears to be credible, but actually takes you to the counterfeit Web site.
- In the email program's status bar, notice the address of the link (http://188.8.131.52/mytocc/imp/.../) does not match where it should legitimately go (http://www.ebay.com/etc. ...).
More information on phishing is available at:
Notify your email program provider. Most providers offer an online form with specific instructions to report spam email.
Phishing is an unauthorized attempt to obtain your personal information. An email is sent to you, claiming to be from a place where you legitimately do business in an attempt to get you to volunteer personal information such as your Social Security number, credit card information, or password. Typically, these bogus emails link you to a counterfeit Web site where you're asked to enter account usernames, bank account numbers, and other personal identifiers. If you receive a suspicious email, do not open any attachments or click on any links.
Excelsior College will not ask your personal information such as credit card or Social Security numbers via email. If you have any question about the legitimacy of the email that appears to be coming from the College, please contact Technical Support.
Detailed information about phishing, ways to avoid email scams, and how to report them, are included on the Federal Trade Commission Web site:
FTC Consumer Alert: "How Not to Get Hooked by a 'Phishing' Scam"
Within your MyExcelsior account click the My Profile link on the My Details page. In the Contact Information section you may select to opt in or opt out separately to receive news broadcasts, Message Center notifications, and electronic deliveries of your billing information and Status Report.
|*Please select the emil format type you wish to receive:|
|*Electronic Document delivery of Status Report via email:|
|*Excelsior College news broadcasts via email:|
|*Send me an email when I have a new message in my Message Center:|
|*Electronic delivery of student bill via email:|
To subscribe to electronic delivery of your Status Report via email, sign into your MyExcelsior account, go to My Details, and click on the link for My Personal Profile. On your My Personal Profile page, you may select your preferred email format and subscribe or unsubscribe to email delivery of status reports, broadcast emails, notification of new message center activity, and student bills.
Spam (unsolicited or unwanted electronic messages) accounts for more than half of all email sent. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use spam filters to keep these unwanted emails from reaching your Inbox. As a result, even if you've signed up to receive email from Excelsior College, our emails may be blocked, routed to your spam folder, or displayed incorrectly by these filters. Add us to your email address book and make sure our emails get through. To learn more about adding Excelsior College to your email address book, visit the Email Help.
Visit the Email Help page and click on the Send button to send a test message to the email account you have on file with us.
A computer virus is a software program deliberately designed to interfere with your computer’s operation. These programs can corrupt or delete your files, access your personal data, and will often use the Internet to spread to other computers.
Basic viruses rely on computer users to inadvertently share them. Some viruses, such as Trojans, can masquerade as beneficial programs in order to lure users into downloading and installing them. Other viruses, known as worms, replicate and automatically send themselves to other computers through software programs such as email.
To increase your computer’s security and decrease the change of a possible virus, we recommend that you keep your computer’s operating system up to date as well as install an antivirus software package. If you don’t have an antivirus software package already installed on your computer, you can download a free, personal version from several reliable vendors. Visit one of the sites listed below to download virus protection software, and follow the provided instructions for installation and usage.
- AVG Anti Virus Free Edition for Windows*
- AntiVir Personal Edition for Windows*
- Agax Anti-Virus for Macintosh*
The most important thing to remember when using antivirus software is to keep it current. Antivirus software is continually updated to guard against the latest threats. Updates are typically available through your antivirus software vendor.
For more information about viruses and antivirus software, visit:
* Please note that neither Excelsior College nor the colleges and universities working with Excelsior to offer online courses are responsible for preventing virus infections or providing technical support for any antivirus software you may choose to install.
If you suspect you have a virus, open your antivirus software and run a scan on your computer. Many times, a simple scan of the antivirus software can catch and quarantine problems. If you still experience problems, you may have to call a computer repair service to run a diagnostic and recommend the next steps.
A cookie, also known as a web cookie, browser cookie, and HTTP cookie, is a piece of text stored by your web browser. A cookie can be used for authenticating your identity when logging into a secured site, storing site preferences, shopping cart contents, or anything else that can be accomplished through storing text data. For example, cookies can remember your username and password for a site so that you don’t have to log in every time you visit.
Most browsers allow cookies by default, but you can modify the settings to control the type of cookies that are loaded and stored on your system. Refer to your browser’s Web site to learn more about enabling and disabling cookies.
Some cookies expire automatically, depending on their purpose. You can also delete cookies by using your browser’s options menu. For example, if you use Internet Explorer, select Internet Options from the Tools menu in the top navigation bar. Checking “Delete browsing history on exit” will delete your browsing history, including cookies.