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SafeConnect FAQs

If your question is not answered below, email resnet@ucsd.edu or call (858) 246-4357.

What is SafeConnect?

SafeConnect is a network access control mechanism that was first used on the ResNet network in the Fall Quarter 2013 to provide network services to machines that comply with UCSD’s Minimum Network Security Requirements. This tool is part of UC San Diego’s effort to keep computers and networks protected from malware, spyware, exploits, and operating system security holes.

Why is ResNet using SafeConnect?

A network registration system, simply put, allows network access to users who are authorized and ensures that the University's resources are being used appropriately. Additionally, protected network access, currently-patched operating systems, and antivirus software on every computer are parts of a comprehensive security model to limit the risk of exploit to user computers and data while connected to the ResNet network. SafeConnect allows us to enforce both at once, ensuring a safe computing environment for all involved.

Who must use SafeConnect?

SafeConnect must be used by everyone accessing ResNet in the residential halls and on-campus apartments. SafeConnect can currently only enforce the minimum network connectivity requirements on systems running the Microsoft Windows or Apple macOS operating systems. Linux systems and mobile devices are not required to download the Policy Key to access the residential network. They are, however, still required to authenticate on the ResNet registration page AND abide by UCSD's Minimum Network Security Requirements.

How does SafeConnect benefit me?

Computers protected by the SafeConnect system generally perform much better and require much less downtime due to damage caused by the spread of malicious software. When connected to the ResNet network, you can be sure that your computer is protected from malware and other computers are less likely to pose a threat to you.

What is the SafeConnect Policy Key, and what does it do?

The SafeConnect Policy Key is small client software that must be installed on Windows and Macintosh computers before they can access the network. It continuously verifies that your system is compliant with minimum security requirements as outlined in the ResNet Acceptable Use Policy.

The Policy Key can help to ensure that the average user has the fastest possible browsing experience while connected to the ResNet network by ensuring that communication from malicious software does not flood your Internet connection.

Is the SafeConnect Policy Key client compatible with my computer?

The SafeConnect Policy Key is compatible with and required for Windows and Mac computers. At the present time, Linux systems, mobile phones, and other network devices are not required to install the Policy Key.

Do I have to install the Policy Key?

If you have a computer running Windows or Mac, yes. The Policy Key is required for network access.

How long will it take to install the SafeConnect Policy Key?

Typically less than 1 minute.

Where can I download the Policy Key?

You will be automatically prompted to download the Policy Key during ResNet registration.

If you would like to download the Policy Key now, choose the installer that is most appropriate for your computer's operating system.

You must be on the ResNet network to download the policy key files:

Why does my computer need to be identified on the ResNet network?

If a computer is compromised by malicious software, it can quickly spread to other computers on the network. SafeConnect allows ResNet to be proactive and contact the computer owner of problems with their device.

Will SafeConnect change settings on my computer?

The SafeConnect Policy Key is an extremely lightweight and unobtrusive program. It communicates only with the SafeConnect servers to ensure that your computer is compliant with the ResNet Acceptable Use Policy. The SafeConnect Policy Key will not alter any settings on your computer and should not interfere with normal functionality.

What do I need to do to set up SafeConnect?

  1. Connect to a wireless ResNet network in your area (usually RESNET-LOCATION or RESNET-LOCATION-E)
  2. Open your Internet browser
  3. Within a minute or so you will be prompted to log in
  4. Authenticate to the network using your UC San Diego username and password
  5. Click on the link to accept the ResNet Acceptable Use Policy and install the Policy Key

A few minutes after the installation is complete, you will be redirected to a web page informing you of any steps required to ensure your system's security. If your system is already in compliance with the ResNet Acceptable Use Policy, you will be free to access the Internet immediately.

What if my system is not up-to-date, I don't have an antivirus, and/or my firewall is not turned on?

If your system has been determined out of compliance with the ResNet Acceptable Use Policy, your computer will be quarantined. While quarantined, you will only have access to places you need to fix your computer and get out of quarantine. This includes software updates, antivirus download websites, and access to update Adobe software and Java.

What about my privacy?

At ResNet, your privacy is paramount. SafeConnect does not record information about a computer unrelated to the identification of the computer and the security tools needed to implement UC San Diego’s security policies, in order to protect the health and operation of the network. The information captured by the tool includes the following:

  1. Computer's MAC address
  2. Operating System version in use
  3. IP address assigned to the computer
  4. Date and time the device was last observed on the network
  5. Type of antivirus software installed

What happens if I uninstall the Privacy Key?

You have the ability to remove the Policy Key at any time. However, you will not be able to access the Internet while on ResNet, within a few minutes of removal. You will then be required to reinstall the Policy Key to regain access to the Internet, while on ResNet. 

How do I know the Policy Key is running?

On Windows machines, you can see it under the Processes tab in the Task Manager. Look for the process "PolicyKey.exe." On Mac computers, you can check the Activity Monitor and look for “SafeConnect” and “scManagerD.”

My gaming console doesn't have a web browser. How will I connect to the Internet?

Game systems and other network devices without a built-in browser can be connected to the Internet by filling out a registration form. Learn more about connecting your gaming devices.

How often will I be asked to re-authenticate?

You will need to register your connection with ResNet every year on each device. You will no longer need to register every quarter as was required in the past.

How do I manually re-authenticate?

If your device is connected to the ResNet network, you can log out of SafeConnect by going to this link. Please note, you will need to log back in to regain access to the ResNet network.

Will SafeConnect recognize my antivirus software?

SafeConnect currently recognizes most commercial antivirus programs and continually updates its compatibility list. The current list of supported antivirus programs include:

  • Authentium
  • AVGuard
  • CarbonBlack
  • Cylance
  • F-Secure
  • Gdata
  • Intego
  • Kaspersky
  • MacKeeper
  • Microsoft
  • PC Tools
  • Sophos
  • Webroot
  • Avast
  • Avira
  • ClamXAV
  • ESET (NOD32)
  • Faronics
  • iAntiVirus
  • iolo System Shield
  • Landesk
  • Malwarebytes
  • Norton
  • SecureIT
  • Symantec
  • Vipre Antivirus
  • AVG
  • BitDefender
  • Comodo
  • EZ Antivirus
  • Fortinet
  • Immunet
  • Ivanti
  • LightSpeed
  • McAfee
  • Panda
  • SentinelOne
  • TrendMicro
  • ZoneAlarm


If you're using an antivirus software that is not currently recognized by SafeConnect, please contact ResNet so we can have it added.

Will SafeConnect be configured on UCSD-PROTECTED, UCSD-GUEST, Eduroam, or VPN?

No. At this time, SafeConnect is only active on ResNet networks. The process to log into the campus wireless networks will remain the same.

What other universities are using SafeConnect?

Various universities including UC Los Angeles, UC Santa Cruz, CSU Sacramento, Northern Arizona University, Colorado State, American University, University of Florida, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of North Dakota, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City all use the SafeConnect system on their networks currently, or have used it in the past.

Contact Us

Phone: (858) 246-4357
Chat: Connect to an agent
Portal: servicedesk.ucsd.edu
Email: resnet@ucsd.edu