Acceptable Use Policy

Access to computing and networking resources is a privilege to which all Western State Colorado University faculty, staff, and students are entitled. Certain responsibilities accompany that privilege; understanding them is important for all computer users.

I. Institutional Purposes

The use of computing and networking resources is for purposes related to the University's mission of education, scholarship, and public service. Members of the Western State Colorado University community may use computing and networking resources only for purposes related to their studies, their instruction, the discharge of their duties as employees, their official business with the University, and their other university-sanctioned activities.

II. Security

Each user shares the responsibility for maintaining the security of stored information. A summary of the security procedures relevant to the end users of computing and networking resources are:

  1. Do not share username and password with anyone else. Your username and password is your identity on campus, if you share your identity, you may end up being held responsible for something you didn’t do.
  2. Ask questions! If you see someone you don’t recognize using or removing a computer, ask them who they are and what they are doing. If they do not identify themselves, or you are not sure they are from WSC Information Technology Services, by all means call us.
  3. Secure removable media. CD’s and USB flash drives should be kept locked up or should have all information removed from them.
  4. Physically secure your computer. Lock your computer by clicking the Windows Logo Key + L or by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete and selecting Lock Computer to log off if you are away from your desk. Computers left unattended with a user logged on pose a serious security problem.
  5. Know your data. Ultimately you are the person who knows what’s on your computer. Don’t keep sensitive data you don’t need. If you need it, make sure it’s encrypted.

III. Confidentiality

Information stored on computers is considered confidential unless the owner intentionally makes that information available to other groups or individuals. Information Technology Services will maintain the confidentiality of all information stored on its computing resources. Similarly, each user is expected to maintain the confidentiality of all information stored on computing resources in his or her charge. However, the system administrator may access user files as required to protect the integrity of computer systems. For example, following organizational guidelines, the system administrator may access or examine files or accounts that are suspected of unauthorized use or misuse, or that have been corrupted or damaged. Requests for the disclosure of confidential information will be governed by the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and the Colorado Open Records Law. All such requests will be honored only when approved by University officials who are the legal custodians of the information requested, or when required by state or federal law, or court order.

IV. Academic Freedom

Free expression of ideas is central to the academic process. Western State Colorado University computer system administrators will not remove any information from individual accounts, servers or electronic bulletin boards maintained in individual accounts unless it is determined that:

  1. The presence of the information in the account or on the bulletin board involves illegality (e.g., copyrighted material, software used in violation of a license agreement).
  2. The information in some way endangers computing, networking resources, or the information of other users (e.g., a computer worm, virus, or other destructive program).
  3. The information is inappropriate, because it is unrelated to or is inconsistent with the mission of the University, or is otherwise not in compliance with the legal and ethical usage responsibilities outlined in Federal, State, System and University policies. The Western State Colorado University computing center will remove from campus computers any information that is inappropriate as defined above. Users whose information is removed will be notified of the removal as soon as possible. Users may appeal any such action by contacting the Director of Computing, Media and Telecommunications Services.

V. Inappropriate Usage

Computing and networking resources should be used only in accordance with the guidelines indicated herein. Examples of inappropriate and unacceptable use of computing and networking resources include:

  1. Harassment of other users.
  2. Destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to Western State Colorado University or other users.
  3. Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications.
  4. Violations of computer system security.
  5. Unauthorized use of computer accounts, access codes, or network identification numbers assigned to others.
  6. Use of computing facilities for personal or business purposes unrelated to the mission of the University.
  7. Violation of copyrights and software license agreements.
  8. Violation of the usage policies and regulations of the networks of which the University is a member or has authority to use.
  9. Violation of another user's privacy.
  10. Academic dishonesty (ex. plagiarism or cheating).

VI. Sanctions

Violators of the Acceptable Use Policy are subject to disciplinary procedures of the University and, in addition, may lose computing privileges. Illegal acts involving Western State Colorado University computing and networking facilities may also be subject to prosecution by state and federal authorities.