What Is Alertus Desktop?
Alertus Desktop is a software program licensed by VIU for delivering emergency notifications to desktop and laptop computer systems. When activated, Alertus will pop up a full-screen alert, taking over the whole screen with a warning that's impossible to miss. The alert can be easily dismissed by simply clicking on the 'Acknowledge' button.
Students, Staff, Faculty, or other members of the VIU community (see note about network connectivity).
Alertus is designed to alert members of the VIU community during an emergency that poses an imminent, ongoing, campus-wide threat or danger to the safety of the VIU community. This could include, but is not limited to, a severe storm forecasted to strike VIU or an active shooter at large on campus.
Alertus will NOT be used for general crime alerts or other situations on campus that do not pose an imminent threat or danger. It will also not be used for non-emergency communications such as campus event announcements, class reminders, news or advertisements.
Tests of the Alertus system are conducted at regular intervals.
Only computers connected to the VIU network will receive alerts, either hard wired or using wireless (viu-secure or s-wisp). The Alertus Desktop client icon will indicate your connection status. Yellow means it is connected to the VIU network and notifications will be displayed. Red means there is no connection, and notifications will not be displayed.
For assistance connecting to the VIU network, please contact IT Helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No personal information is gathered or transmitted from computers running Alertus Desktop.
The alert screen displays the time and date that the alert was issued. VIU can cancel an alert as needed, as well as provide an 'expiry time'. Desktop alert clients that come online after an alert has been cancelled / has expired will NOT display the alert.
The Alertus Desktop client will only contact the server it is configured to look for. Once a connection is made, cryptographic verification is used. The software uses a uniquely identifiable encryption key, and a matching certificate which is securely signed by Alertus. The client requests this certificate from the server, and verifies that it was issued by Alertus. When the server sends a message, it uses the encryption key to digitally sign the message. If the signature is invalid, or the certificate was not issued by Alertus, the message will not be displayed.
Not at this time. However, for Android and Apple iOS devices, the VIU Safety app is available for download from the respective app stores.
Windows XP, Windows 7/8 with the .NET 2.0 Framework (or greater) installed
Mac OSX 10.5+
The Alertus Desktop client is designed to be as light-weight as possible. The application requires less than 20 MB of free hard disk space, and uses less than 15 MB of memory while running. Network bandwidth use is less than 1KB per minute during regular (nonemergency) use.
The Alertus Desktop client is only active when the computer is powered on and logged in. This means that a computer a) in standby b) at the log-in screen c) in screen saver lockout – will not display the alert (until a user logs in).