Responsible Use of Information Technology Resources Policy

Introduction

The purpose of Bethel's Information Technology (IT) resources is to ensure an information infrastructure that supports our mission and values.

Access to IT resources is a privilege and must be treated as such by all users. Certain responsibilities come with this privilege and it may be revoked if you do not abide by this policy.

This policy outlines the expectations for responsible use. Your acceptance of an account constitutes your agreement to abide by this policy. Ignorance of the policy will not be considered an excuse for noncompliance. You are responsible for being aware of the information contained in this policy. This policy is intended to be an addition to existing University rules and regulations and does not alter or modify any existing University rule or regulation. The University reserves the right to modify or amend this policy at any time in its sole discretion.

If you have questions regarding this policy, contact ITS helpdesk at 651.638.6500 or helpdesk@bethel.edu.

Characteristics of Responsible Use of IT Resources

  1. Compliance with Bethel policies: All use of IT resources must abide by the guidelines set forth in other Bethel policies. IT resource use is guided by the same principles and subject to the same disciplinary sanctions as for other campus activities.
  2. Compliance with Federal, State and Local Laws: Use of IT resources should comply with all federal, state and local laws.
  3. Stewardship of resources: Bethel expects its community to make the most effective use of its resources, for example minimizing disk storage space and printing.
  4. Respect for other users: Users are expected to be respectful of each other. For example:
    1. Seek to not interfere with the work of other users of the network
    2. Maintain courteous levels of noise in public areas
    3. Utilize the printers and computers fairly
    4. Log out others who have inadvertently left their accounts open
    5. Prioritize academic use over personal use.
  5. Understanding data privacy: As a general rule, Bethel employees will not access your email or private files. However, Bethel expressly reserves the right to inspect and examine any Bethel owned or operated computer system, computing resource, and/or file(s) or information contained therein at any time. Additionally, information and messages stored on or sent over the Bethel network are not secure and can be intercepted in a variety of ways. Therefore, users accessing the Bethel network cannot assume such information will be or remain inaccessible or confidential. Accordingly, Bethel cannot and does not guarantee user privacy.
  6. Abiding by guidelines for general use:
    1. Software and Hardware:
      1. It is not acceptable to alter, disable, or remove any software which resides on a machine in Bethel's public computing areas or accessible via Bethel's network.
      2. It is not acceptable to physically tamper with, tap, disable, or remove any equipment, wiring, or networking hardware from the public computing areas, classrooms, offices, student house, or equipment areas.
      3. It is not acceptable to possess or use any software or hardware designed to disrupt the security of the campus network and all devices attached to the network. Likewise, it is unacceptable to engage in any activities designed to spy on the network traffic of other users.
      4. It is not acceptable to read or electronically bring to campus pornographic material of any type. If ITS has evidence that you have stored files with inappropriate content (such as pornography), those files are subject to review without notice by the appropriate ITS staff.
    2. Network integrity: You may not tamper with any network cabling or electronic devices beyond the wall plate in your office or room. Refrain from interfering with an active client computer or network server. Any problems with these devices or cabling will be serviced by ITS. Likewise, you may not extend the network from your wall plate to another room or building.
    3. Viruses: Users should be vigilant in watching for and preventing viruses. The Help Desk should be notified immediately of anything suspicious.
    4. Network scanning: Scanning machines on the Internet and on the network for security vulnerabilities by "port scanning" and other means is not allowed.
    5. Electronic mail: Refrain from sending spam or large forwards to lists or individuals. Please be aware that email is not completely secure and users should be cognizant that the information sent needs to be in compliance with existing regulations such as FERPA and HIPAA.
    6. Computer accounts and security: Users are responsible for the protection of sensitive institutional data. Accounts are to be used only by their assigned owner. Account names and passwords should not be shared. Users are ultimately responsible for all violations committed with their account. Users who suspect that their password has been compromised have responsibility to report this information to the help desk as soon as it is discovered.
    7. Disguised use: Users must not conceal their identity when using IT resources, except when the option of anonymous access is explicitly authorized. Users are also prohibited from masquerading as or impersonating others or otherwise using a false identity.
    8. Network services: Users are not prevented from setting up their own computers as servers. However, a service which is inappropriate or degrades network availability will be shut down. Further, the server's owner is responsible for all content.
  7. Understanding responsible personal use of IT resources: Bethel acknowledges that its users utilize IT resources for personal use (for example, email). Such use is permitted if it is non-commercial and not excessive. Use for personal financial gain in connection with non-Bethel consulting, business, or employment is strictly prohibited except for authorized faculty and staff authorized in writing by the Bethel Administration at the appropriate level.

Results of Irresponsible Use of IT Resources

Violations of the IT Resources Responsible Use Policy shall subject users to the regular disciplinary processes and procedures and may result in loss of computing privileges. Illegal acts involving computing resources may also subject violators to prosecution by federal, state, or local authorities.

Decisions as to whether a particular use of IT resources conforms with existing policies shall be made by the office that serves that user (for example, Office of the Provost Office for Faculty and Student academic issues, Office of Student life for non-Academic student issues, Office of Human Resources for Staff issues).

Disclaimer

As part of the services available through the University network, the University provides access to a large number of conferences, lists, bulletin boards, and Internet information sources. These materials are not affiliated with, endorsed by, edited by, or reviewed by the University, and the University takes no responsibility for the truth or accuracy of the content found within these information sources. Moreover, some of these sources may contain material that is offensive or objectionable to some users.