Information Technology Services

Policy for the Use of Computing Facilities at Alfred University

Responsible Use of Computing Resources

The computers and networks at Alfred University support our educational mission and promote communication among members of the AU community. Appropriate technology use can enhance your experience at AU. Unlawful or inappropriate use may result in the loss of privileges.

The guiding principle for the use of computing resources at Alfred is respect for the rights of others.

User ID and Password Confidentiality
In order to assist with account issues, the ITS Helpdesk may ask for your username or password over the phone or in person ONLY. ITS will NEVER ask for this information in an email. In all other situations, you should follow the guidelines below:

  • Users are responsible for safeguarding their usernames and passwords
  • Never share your password with anyone
  • Never use anyone else's username and password
  • Users are responsible for anything sent or created using their username and password
  • Users may not falsify their identities when using AU resources and networks

Expectation of Privacy
Alfred University computer users can expect reasonable confidentiality. Information Technology Services (ITS) does not routinely monitor computer use or examine files, email, or personal web pages hosted on AU's network. However, ITS staff will respond to alleged abuses. ITS has the right to investigate suspected offenses, remove computing privileges, or deny access to inappropriate or illegal content.

System administrators may monitor system and network activities to ensure optimal performance and integrity.

Permitted Activities

Academic and Business Use

  • Users may conduct online research and complete course projects using AU's network, computers, printers, and other computing resources located in computer labs, classrooms, or libraries.
  • Users may access online materials required for courses; including online articles, websites, and content posted to Canvas.
  • Users may use AU email to communicate with instructors, classmates, or co-workers.
  • Users may log into Banner to register for classes, play student bills, check grades, or submit timesheets.
  • Users may use AU resources to communicate with internal and external parties in order to conduct official university business. These parties include but are not limited to current and prospective students, parents, colleagues, and vendors.

Personal/ Recreational Use for Students

  • Users may participate in recreational activities which require a network connection. These activities include but are not limited to streaming video (Netflix), personal use of the Internet (Facebook), and gaming.
  • Users may communicate with instructors, classmates, friends, and family over the AU network and/or using AU email.
  • Users may create personal web pages using AU resources.
  • Academic use should take priority over personal use, especially when use occurs on AU-owned computers.

Prohibited Activities

Unauthorized Access

  • Users may not access (e.g. read, copy, alter, or delete) anyone else's files, email, USB drives, printouts, or other content without permission from that user.
  • Users may not access another person's account.

Interfering with the Activities of Others

  • Users may not modify or disable any files, software, or equipment (computers, furniture, printers) owned by Alfred University.
  • Users may not attempt to bypass security measures in place on the AU network.
  • Academic work takes priority over personal and recreational use in computer labs, in the libraries, and on laptops borrowed from the ITS Helpdesk.

Harassment
Users may not use AU resources to send material that is threatening, offensive, unlawful, or inappropriate.

Unauthorized Use
AU computing resources may not be used for the following activities:

  • Personal gain or money-making purposes, unless permission is granted by the appropriate AU official.
  • Political campaigning, personal statements, or unauthorized solicitation.

Wasteful or Frivolous Use
Any wasteful uses of computer resources are prohibited. Examples of such include but are not limited to the following:

  • Mass mail -- access to mass mail is only available to college deans, vice presidents, and select directors.
  • Creating unnecessary network traffic.

Illegal Use
Examples of illegal uses include but are not limited to the following:

  • Illegal copying -- materials found on the Internet (text, images, videos, audio files) are protected by copyright. You should always obtain permission to use any material you did not create. Fair use of web-related copyrighted material may be allowed under certain circumstances. Librarians at Herrick or Scholes Libraries can assist you in determining fair use.
  • Software Piracy -- software is protected by copyright law.
  • Tapping phone or network lines.
  • Forgery -- sending email in someone else's name.
  • Child pornography -- uploading or downloading this material is a federal offense.
  • Distribution of pornography to minors.
  • Obscene language -- may not be used in email headers, computer names, file names, personal/organizational webpages, or any other output on AU-owned computers or systems.
  • Bomb threats or other threats -- it is illegal to send a message via email that threatens other people or property. Federal authorities may investigate these messages.
  • Any illegal activities - AU computing resources may not be used for the planning or execution of any illegal activities.

Security

Members of the AU community should take the following measures to ensure the security of their accounts and personal content:

  • Keep passwords private; users must not share their AU network passwords, Banner PINs, or any other AU-issued passwords.
  • Students and staff who use a phone or mobile device to access AU email or data must protect the device with a pass code.
  • Users must not infringe on the privacy of others. This includes but is not limited to using any hardware or software designed to steal information.
  • Users who keep or send confidential information on their computers are responsible for the safety of that information.
  • Users must follow AU's Information Security Policies.
  • Users should be aware of common online security hazards.

Communication

Email and Alfred Today are the official communication formats of Alfred University.

In keeping with the August 18, 2005 directive from President Edmondson, email is an official means of communication at Alfred University. This formal statement establishes electronic mail as a proper and legal means of reaching the entire University community. It serves notice that everyone on campus is responsible for being aware of official information communicated electronically.

All faculty, students and staff are expected to review their Alfred email and Alfred Today regularly and respond as needed to those communications. Alfred Today is the daily bulletin of campus announcements and events and is distributed via Alfred email and website.

In addition, all faculty, students and staff (in cooperation with ITS) are expected to keep their email accounts in working order, so that they can both send and receive email communication.

Email is used to communicate academic, employee, and administrative information.

Enforcement

Violation of AU's policies, as well as state, local, or federal laws may result in the removal of computing privileges. Disciplinary action by the University and/or law enforcement agencies may occur.

Information Technology Services reserves the right to prohibit activities that disrupt network services.

Violations of this policy should be reported to the Director of Information Technology Services or the Information Technology Services Helpdesk at 607-871-2222.

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