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Office of Information Technology

Frequently Asked Questions About the System Health Check

Using SafeConnect

What is SafeConnect?

SafeConnect is a system that uses Impulse's SafeConnect Policy Key agent to ensure that computers connecting to the AU wired network meet our minimum security standards. The system also creates a record of your machine's MAC address (which is a unique identifier) and your user name, so that OIT can contact you if there is a problem with your machine that necessitates restricting your access to the network (such as a virus infection or if the machine has been hacked). Restricting network access is important to help prevent the spread of viruses, trojans, and spyware to other users on our network. Malware can damage legitimate software and cause networking problems, such as slow or no movement on large networks such as ours. Back to List


Do I have to use the Health Check System?

Any AU student, staff, or faculty member connecting to the wired network will have to log on to the SafeConnect system. Everyone will also be required to install the SafeConnect Policy Key agent and verify the configuration of their computer. Back to List


How do I log on to the Network?

You will be prompted for your user name and password if you connect to the wired network. Use your credentials to log on to the network. If you are not prompted with a SafeConnect login window, open youe Web browser to initiate the SafeConnect prompt. Back to List


How can I tell if I am logged on or not?

If you are connected to the wired network but not logged on to SafeConnect, you will be prompted to log on through the SafeConnect login page when you try to open a non-AU webpage using your web browser. Logging in through the web page on a Windows or Mac computer for the first time will always present the agent download page, which will prompt you to download and install the Policy Key agent. Once the Policy Key agent is installed and you connect to the network, a SafeConnect page should pop-up automatically and prompt you to login. Currently, SafeConnect does not offer an agent for Linux users. Therefore, Linux users must log in through the Web page each time they connect to the network. Back to List


How often will I be prompted to log in to SafeConnect?

As long as your machine is running and connected to AU's wired network, SafeConnect will maintain your login. If your machine is powered off, logged out or otherwise not connected to AU's wired network for over 30 days, when you re-connect you will be prompted to log in to SafeConnect again. You will not be prompted to re-install the SafeConnect Policy Key agent again unless it has been removed.

PLEASE NOTE: for Linux users this authentication timeout is shorter due to the current lack of SafeConnect Policy Key agent for Linux. Back to List


Will SafeConnect change settings on my computer?

The SafeConnect Policy Key agent is an unobtrusive program. It communicates exclusively with the SafeConnect servers to ensure that your computer is protected from malicious software. The SafeConnect Policy Key agent will not alter any settings on your computer and should not interfere with normal functionality. Back to List


Will my computer still work when I connect to my home network?

The SafeConnect Policy Key agent is only active while your computer is connected to the AU wired network. If you connect your computer to a different network, the agent will simply lie dormant and will not interfere with network communication. Back to List


Can I connect my Xbox, PlayStation, or other non-computer equipment to AU's wired network?

Yes. SafeConnect will recognize game consoles and other non-computer devices automatically and allow them on the wired network with no authentication necessary. All you need to do is plug in your ethernet cable and your device will be recognized and allowed to connect to the internet. For instructions on connecting specific game consoles, click here

If you have any problems connecting your device to the network, please contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550,, or AskAmericanUHelp. Back to List

How do I log out of SafeConnect if I am on a shared computer?

To log out of SafeConnect on a shared computer, just copy and paste this URL into the address bar of your browser:

The next person to use the computer will then be prompted to log in to SafeConnect when they try to access the network. Back to List