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Responsible Use Guidelines

DIVISION: Administration and Finance


DEPARTMENT: Information Technology Services


SUBJECT: Responsible Use of Computing and Information Technology Resources



To establish guidelines that promote the responsible use of the University's computing and information technology (CIT) resources while maintaining the basic tenets of academic freedom.



None. This guideline is published as a supplement to the policy entitled Network Acceptable Use Policy and is for informational purposes only. It does not supersede or modify existing University policies and regulations.



The University's CIT resources are limited. It is essential that every student, faculty, staff, and other constituent member of the University community use these resources responsibly and within the parameters of Federal, state, and local laws, rules, and policies. Issues addressed in this document include: network etiquette ("netiquette"), computer viruses, and chain letters.




Network Etiquette

There is a certain level of network etiquette ("netiquette") that is expected of responsible network citizens ("netizens"). Netiquette incorporates many of the aspects of everyday etiquette, though many aspects of networking and the global nature of the Internet require that we expand our concept of communication. Good netizens respect the rights and privacy of other netizens. They are sensitive to regional, cultural, language, and other differences. They realize that in the electronic world of (primarily) text-based electronic mail (see also the supplemental guideline on Electronic Mail), they do not have the benefit of face to face communication. In most cases, there is no opportunity to hear inflection or see facial expressions and gestures. Consequently, they choose their words carefully and make every effort to express their thoughts clearly.


Good netizens understand that network resources are not unlimited, that there are real costs associated with providing network services, and that they should conserve these resources just as they would any of our natural resources. They refrain from remaining dialed in to remote access services for extended periods and from circumventing efforts to discourage this activity. They are conscious of peak periods of network utilization (which, of course, will vary depending on factors such as differing time zones), and refrain from peforming resource intensive tasks (such as large file transfers) during these peak periods.


There are dozens of additional resources on this topic, many of them available via the world wide web (www.) Netizens are encouraged to use the search tools available in their favorite web browser and consult these resources for more information on proper netiquette.


Computer Viruses

The use of media (CD, USB storage, etc.) acquired from external sources or files downloaded from remote sites (including the Internet), carries a risk of introducing viruses into computer systems. This is true regardless of the source of the media/files. Viruses have even been known to be transmitted in commercial software. Viruses are destructive to computer systems and can destroy files and data. It is not uncommon for all information on a storage device to be corrupted by the introduction of a virus from an external source. The possibility for infection is increased on local area networks (LANs). It is the responsibility of each user to use due caution to prevent the invasion of viruses into his/her system, and the possible further destruction of other systems by sharing foreign information with other users. Every external media storage device and/or file should be scanned with a virus detection program prior to its first use.


Information Technology Services (ITS) maintains site licenses for selected virus software for both and Macintosh computers. These programs are available to any faculty and staff member for use on University-owned machines. To obtain a copy of the software, please contact either the ITS Support Center at 620-HELP (4357) or your CTech


Chain Letters  

As with traditional chain letters, members of the University community are discouraged from responding to and promulgating electronic chain letters. If you receive a chain letter you should not respond to it. If the chain letter originated from on campus, you should report it immediately to ITS.


L. Taylor



J. Durfee