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Acceptable Use Policy

Department of Information Technology
Acceptable Use Policy
 
Overview
As part of its educational mission, York College of Pennsylvania acquires, develops, and maintains computers, computer systems and networks. These computing resources are intended for college-related purposes, including direct and indirect support of the college’s instruction, research and service missions; college administrative functions; student and campus life activities; and the free exchange of ideas within the college community and among the college community and the wider local, national, and world communities. Appropriate use of computers and information networks includes adherence to the normal requirements of ethical and legal behavior in a college community.
 
Purpose
This policy is designed to outline the various responsibilities that users have with regard to their use of network resources in order to protect the College, its faculty, staff and students from electronic and legal harm resulting from improper use of information technology.
 
Scope
This policy applies to all users of College computing resources, whether affiliated with the college or not, and to all uses of those resources, whether on campus or from remote locations. Additional policies may govern specific computers, computer systems or networks provided or operated by specific units of the college.
 
Policies
Users who connect to York College’s network must abide by the acceptable use policy described here, as well as any relevant campus computing policy and all relevant State and Federal laws, regulations, and contractual obligations. The use of York College’s technology resources is a privilege, which may be revoked if users fail to comply with these policies.
 
Rights and Responsibilities
The rights of academic freedom and freedom of expression apply to the use of College computing resources. So too, however, do the responsibilities and limitations associated with those rights. The College supports a campus and computing environment open to the free expression of ideas, including unpopular points of view. However, the use of College computing resources, like the use of other college-provided resources and activities, is subject to the requirements of legal and ethical behavior. Thus, legitimate use of a computer, computer system or network does not extend to whatever is technically possible.
 
User Responsibilities
As a user of Information Technology resources you have the following responsibilities:
  • You are responsible for registering your network devices with York College’s Network Access Control system in order to maintain access to the network
  • You are responsible for all traffic originating from the network devices that you register regardless of whether you generate the traffic or not
  • You are responsible for abiding by all applicable laws set forth by Federal, State and Local governments
  • You are responsible for protecting your privacy
  • You are responsible for not violating the privacy of others
  • You are responsible for keeping your network devices up to date with current security patches
  • You are responsible for using anti-virus software and ensuring that such software is not more than 10 days out of date
  • You are responsible for protecting any and all sensitive data that you have access to
  • You are responsible for following all applicable college policies relating to your use of Information Technology resources
Security and Privacy
The College employs various measures to protect the security of its computing resources and its user's accounts. Users should be aware, however, that the College cannot guarantee security and confidentiality. Users should therefore engage in "safe computing" practices by establishing appropriate access restrictions for their accounts, guarding their passwords and changing them regularly.
 
Users should also be aware that their uses of College computing resources are not completely private. While the College does not routinely monitor individual usage of its computing resources, the normal operation and maintenance of the College's computing resources require the backup and caching of data and communications, the logging of activity, the monitoring of general usage patterns and other such activities that are necessary for the provision of service. Therefore, users of College computing resources have no reasonable expectation of privacy in what they do over the College's computer systems. The College may also specifically monitor the activity and accounts of individual users of College computing resources, including individual login sessions and the content of individual communications, without notice, when:
  • The user has voluntarily made them accessible to the public, as by posting to social media, web pages or other public forums;
  • It reasonably appears necessary to do so to protect the integrity, security, or functionality of the College or other computing resources or to protect the College from liability;
  • There is reasonable cause to believe that the user has violated or is violating this policy, any other York College policy, or the law;
  • An account appears to be engaged in unusual or unusually excessive activity; or it is otherwise required or permitted by law.
  • As part of the College's investigation or for other business purposes.
The College, in its discretion, may disclose the results of any such general or individual monitoring, including the contents and records of individual communications, to appropriate College personnel or law enforcement agencies and may use those results in appropriate College disciplinary proceedings.
 
Commercial Use
Computing resources are not to be used for personal commercial purposes or for personal financial or other gain. Further limits may be imposed upon personal use in accordance with normal supervisory procedures concerning the use of College equipment.
 
Network Infrastructure/Routing
Users must not attempt to implement their own network infrastructure. This includes, but is not limited to, installing basic network devices such as hubs, switches, routers, network firewalls, and wireless access points. Users must not install or create alternate methods of access to York College IT resources such as modems and virtual private networks (VPNs). Users must not offer network infrastructure services such as DHCP and DNS. Exceptions to this policy must be coordinated with the Information Technology Department.
 
Harassment
All users must adhere to the policies set forward in the Student, Faculty, Administrator and Staff Handbooks regarding sexual and other forms of harassment. These policies apply in any format or forum including electronic.
 
Security Breaches
Attempts to alter system software, to bypass security protocols, to introduce viruses, worms, or other malicious or destructive programs, or otherwise “to hack” are expressly forbidden. Users should never try to circumvent login procedures on any computer system or otherwise attempt to gain access where they are not authorized. Any member of the College community, including a student, who intentionally breaches or willfully attempts to breach security, will be subject to disciplinary action, including suspension and dismissal.
 
Copyright Compliance
It is a violation of College policy and federal law to participate in copyright infringement. The College complies with all legal requests for information and will not hesitate to provide information about users who are engaging in copyright infringement in response to a lawful request. Copyrighted materials include, but are not limited to, computer software, audio and video recordings, photographs, electronic books, and written material. If you share movies or music that you did not create, you may be infringing on another's copyright. Consequences of copyright infringement can include disciplinary actions by the College. In addition, copyright owners or their representatives may sue persons who infringe on another's copyright in federal courts.
 
Enforcement
Users who violate this policy may be denied access to College computing resources and may be subject to other penalties and disciplinary action, including possible expulsion or dismissal. Alleged violations will be handled through the college disciplinary procedures applicable to the user. The College may suspend, block or restrict access to an account, independent of such procedures, when it reasonably appears necessary to do so in order to protect the integrity, security, or functionality of the College or other computing resources or to protect the College from liability. The College may also refer suspected violations of applicable law to appropriate law enforcement agencies.
 
Related Documents
York College Information Technology DMCA Compliance Policy
York College Information Technology HEOA Compliance Policy
York College Information Technology Email Usage and Retention Policy
York College Information Technology Password Policy
 
Revised November 5, 2013
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