Policy on Appropriate Use of Network and Computing Resources

In effect as of: 3/27/2012

 

Policy on Appropriate Use of Network and Computing Resources


Intended Users

The Greenville University network and computing resources are provided primarily for the use of students, faculty and staff. These resources are intended to be used for educational purposes and to carry out the legitimate business of the University. Appropriate use of the resources includes, but is not limited to, instruction, study assignments, research, communication and the official work of campus organizations and agencies of the university. In each area of our campus community, users are expected to use Greenville University computer resources first and foremost for tasks related to their respective roles.


This policy applies specifically to students, employees and guests of Greenville University who use any of the network and computing resources of the university.

 

Access Privilege

The privilege of using the network and computing resources provided by the university is not transferable or extendible by members or guests of the college community to people or groups outside the university, other than by use of the Sponsored Account system, without the written approval of the Director of Information Technology.

 

Expected Behavior

Any student, employee, or guest of Greenville University who uses the network and computing resources must comply with the guidelines set forth in this policy and with federal, state and local laws. In addition, student usage must be consistent with the Student Code of Conduct and the Lifestyle Statement. This includes the use of any university or personally-owned electronic device connected to the university network, campus personal computers, departmental computing facilities, general-use computers, personally-owned computers connected to the university network, printers, and campus network resources. Improper use of university network and computing resources may result in disciplinary action.


Greenville University faculty and staff may not use Greenville University resources (email, buildings, computers, photocopiers, office supplies, network, etc.) to encourage people to vote for or against a candidate or ballot proposition.


In all communications, individuals must be civil and respectful toward other people and perspectives.


Furthermore, any person using Greenville University network and computing resources is responsible for reading all email notifications sent by the Information Technology department and following any instructions contained therein.


Improper E-mail

Access to e-mail systems is provided by Greenville University for communicating electronically. Use of such capabilities is a privilege afforded to students, employees and guests of the university.

The following are improper use of e-mail:


  • Mass mailing by students to more than 15 persons

  • Sending e-mail with a falsified source address, thereby making it appear to have come from someone else (known as “spoofing”)

  • Sending a message from an e-mail account belonging to another person without their prior consent

  • Sending harassing or abusive e-mail

  • Sending email that encourages people to vote for or against a candidate or ballot proposition.


NOTE: The information contained in the following three sections, Account Security, Information Privacy and System Security, is a summarization of the more detailed information on these topics contained in the Policy on Data Security and Privacy. In the event of a conflict in the information contained in this policy and in the Policy on Data Security and Privacy, the information in the Policy on Data Security and Privacy takes precedence.


Account Security

For any computer account, the account holder is responsible for how the account is used. All accounts are required to be protected from unauthorized access by the use of a password. The account holder is responsible for guarding against unauthorized use of their account. If the account holder discovers that someone has made unauthorized use of their account, they must immediately report the intrusion to the Information Technology (IT) department. Account passwords are not to be shared with anyone else, nor is anyone (including family members) to be allowed access to an account that is not their own.

 

Information Privacy

Information stored on Greenville University computers and network equipment, or transmitted over the Greenville University network, is private property. Some of it is personal property (e-mail messages, class assignments, term papers, etc.) and some of it is the property of Greenville University (information produced by, or for, Greenville University employees in carrying out the legitimate business of the university). Along with the privilege of using the university computer and network resources comes the responsibility to honor the privacy of other people’s information. Any attempt to browse, copy, or modify files or passwords, to discover passwords belonging to other people or organizations, or to view or intercept any information transmitted over the Greenville University network or elsewhere, is prohibited.

 

System Security

Access to information stored on Greenville University computers and network equipment is controlled by assignment of accounts and passwords. This security information is the property of Greenville University. Any person using Greenville University network and computing resources who becomes aware of a vulnerability in system or network security is obligated to report this information to the IT department or the Director of Information Technology. Any attempt to access, copy or modify this security information or to obtain system privileges beyond those that have been granted, or perform any action which interferes with the supervisory or accounting functions of the systems, or that is likely to have such effects, is prohibited. Information Technology personnel may routinely monitor an individual's computer use, although they do not routinely examine files or read electronic mail in an individual's account. However, they have the right to do so, and will investigate and report on evidences of misuse. Account holders are encouraged to use their accounts wisely.

 

Viewing or Accessing Inappropriate Material

Use of university network or computing resources for the viewing or accessing of pornographic or otherwise offensive material is strictly forbidden. This applies to any screen display or printing of images, sounds or messages that could reasonably be considered pornographic or offensive.

 

Transmitting Inappropriate Material

Use of university network or computing resources to transmit pornographic, harassing or otherwise offensive material is strictly forbidden. This applies to any screen display or printing of images, sounds or messages that could reasonably be considered pornographic, harassing or offensive.

 

Respect for Copyrights and License Agreements

The university presents for use many programs and data, which have been obtained under contracts, or licenses stating that they may be used but not copied, cross assembled, or reverse-compiled. In addition, other institutions and individuals on attached networks make software available under similar conditions. Any person using Greenville University network and computing resources is responsible for determining that programs or data (including music or video files) are not restricted in this manner before copying them in any form. If it is unclear whether permission exists to copy such files, assume that they may not be copied.

 

Computer Malware

Computer malware is a term used to refer to a category of computer programs and/or scripts that are potentially damaging to computer and network-based information and resources, or that can potentially compromise personal information and/or identity. Examples of computer malware are spyware, viruses, worms, Trojan horses and rootkits. All students, employees and guests of Greenville University should be aware of the ease by which systems are infected with malware and must take all necessary steps to insure that computing devices and data are malware-free. Any person connecting a computing device to the Greenville University data network must take all commonly recommended steps to ensure that the computing device is protected from malware infections. Any person using Greenville University network and computing resources who suspects that any computing device or data is infected with malware must report the situation immediately to the IT department.


Network Interference

The use of any device by any student, employee or guest of Greenville University, which interferes with the normal operation of the Greenville University network and computing resources, is prohibited. These devices include, but are not limited to, equipment which produces 2.4 GHz and/or 5 GHz radio signals in such a way as to interfere with the Greenville University wireless data network, and other networking devices such as hubs, switches, routers, wireless networking equipment, etc. that have not been approved for installation by the Director of Information Technology. Tampering with network equipment or cabling in any way is prohibited. Operating an otherwise approved computing or network device in a manner that causes interference or disruption for others using the network, such as ad-hoc wireless networking, is also prohibited.


Computing System Maintenance

Any person using a computing device attached to the Greenville University data network is expected to keep the operating system of the device up-to-date with the latest service packs and vulnerability patches. Furthermore, any person using a computing device attached to the Greenville University data network is expected, when notified by IT personnel of a procedure to follow to correct a system vulnerability, to follow said procedure as soon as possible.


File Sharing

Downloading, distributing, or storing data objects by any person using a computing device attached to the Greenville University data network for which they do not have rights as provided by copyright law is prohibited. The term “data objects” includes, but is not limited to, music files (commonly referred to as “mp3s”), video and movie files, photographic files, and computer programs. Unless specific rights have been granted to possess a copy of the data object, assume the data object may not be copied.


Other misuses of network resources


  • Greenville University reserves the right to monitor and/or filter access to resources on the Internet. When such monitoring and/or filtering is in place, any attempt to circumvent the monitoring and/or filtering process is prohibited.

  • Utilizing Greenville University network and computing resources to operate a business unrelated to the normal operations of Greenville University, unless granted permission in writing by the Vice President for Finance, is prohibited.

  • The Information Technology department will announce any other activity utilizing Greenville University network and computing resources that is determined by an official body of Greenville University to be a misuse of those resources. Once announced, the offending activity is considered prohibited according to the terms of this policy.


Potential Impact to Greenville University

There are many local, state, and federal laws that apply to the use and misuse of e-mail and the Internet. The implications of illegal use of our network in violation of these laws are far reaching for the university and could even jeopardize our tax-exempt status as an institution, the results of which could impact our very existence as a university.


Consequence of Violating Appropriate Use Policy

Any person using Greenville University computing or network resources that in any way violates this appropriate use policy is subject to any or all of the following disciplinary actions:


  1. Verbal or written warning to the offender

  2. Restrictions of system access for a specified period of time or until acts of restitution have been performed

  3. Revocation of all system privileges for a specified period

  4. Statement of charges sent to the Dean of Student Development (for student offenders) or to the appropriate Director or university Vice President (for employee offenders), which could lead to other penalties depending on the seriousness of the offense


Appeals

Appeals concerning disciplinary action taken may be addressed through the standard appeals process of Greenville University.



Minor edits were made to this document on 6/30/2014 and 6/19/2015. The edits did not affect the substance of the policy.