Acceptable Use Policy for Computer Usage
The computing and electronic communications resources at Fairleigh Dickinson University support the instructional, research, and administrative activities of the University. Users of these facilities may have access to University resources, sensitive data, and external networks. Consequently, it is imperative for all users to behave in a responsible, ethical, and legal manner. This document presents specific guidelines to appropriate behavior and use of FDU computing resources.
These guidelines apply to all users of FDU computing resources. Users include all students, faculty, visiting faculty, staff, guests of the administration, and external individuals or organizations.
Computing resources include, but are not limited to, desktop and laptop computers, file servers, email and electronic communications, software, University-assigned email accounts, data storage, and networking equipment used to link these components together and to the Internet, whether owned, leased or rented by FDU. In addition, computing resources expressly include use of the University network via a physical or wireless connection, regardless of the ownership of the computer or device connected to the network. Moreover, this policy applies equally to all usage of University computing resources, whether that usage occurs through a University owned device or personal device.
University property, including computing resources, are provided to you in order to conduct University business. Although security protocols have been put in place to restrict access to computing resources in order to protect them against external parties or entities obtaining unauthorized access, employees should understand that these systems are intended for business use, and all computer resources are to be considered as University records.
Fairleigh Dickinson University is not responsible for the content of any material users prepare, receive or transmit. Thus, as a condition of using the University’s computer system, the user represents that he/she is in compliance with all federal, state and international copyright and other intellectual property laws and agreements and other federal and state laws, and that in his/her use of the system the user will not violate any federal or state civil or criminal laws. Furthermore, the user will indemnify, exonerate and hold the University, and its representatives, harmless from any claim, damage or cost related to the user’s use that is in violation of University policy(ies), including any legal fees the University decides it is necessary to incur to defend itself.
Those who make use of the FDU computing resources are required to behave in a manner consistent with FDU’s codes of conduct. As a user of this network, you agree to the following usage guidelines:
- You also shall not use an account not belonging to you. You will use only the computers, computer accounts and computer files for which you have authorization.
- You are responsible for any computer account you have been given. You shall set a password on the account that is in compliance with University password policies and you shall not share this password with other people. If you discover that someone has made unauthorized use of your account, you should change your password immediately and immediately report the event to one of the individuals listed in Appendix 1.
- You agree not to intentionally seek out information about, copy, or modify password files, other users’ files, or disks and tapes belonging to other people, whether at FDU or other facilities.
- You should not attempt to decrypt material to which you are not entitled or attempt to gain rights you have not been specifically granted by the owner. If you observe or discover a gap in system or network security, you agree to inform the one of the individuals listed in Appendix 1 and not to exploit the gap.
- You agree to refrain from any activity that interferes with a computer’s operating system or its logging and security systems, or that may cause such effects.
- You must be sensitive to the public nature of computing resources and agree not to transmit, post or otherwise display material that is threatening, obscene, harassing or defamatory. The use of University computing resources to libel, slander, or harass any other person is not allowed and could lead to University discipline as well as legal action by those who are the recipients of these actions.
- You agree not to make copies of or distribute software the University owns or uses under license, unless the owner of the software or the owner of the license has specifically granted permission to copy. If in doubt as to whether you have permission to copy software, assume you don’t.
- Messages, statements, and declarations sent as electronic mail or public postings should be treated as if they were tangible documents. From electronic identifiers used in the transmission of messages, addressees can see the University is the source of the message or its system is being used to transmit it, similar to how letterhead or return addresses on a tangible document would identify the University. SUGGESTION: Therefore, as a representative of the FDU community, you are expected to respect the University’s good name in your electronic dealings with those both within and outside the University. Moreover, in so far as employees make use of FDU computing resources to relay personal opinions, it is their obligation to make sure that no addressee can infer that their personal opinions are necessarily shared or authorized by the University, and they are obligated to clearly identify their opinions as their own and not those of the University.
- You agree not to create, alter, or delete any electronic information contained in any system that is not your own work.
- You agree not to create & send, or forward electronic chain mail letters. You agree not to attempt to alter or forge the “From” line or any other attribution of origin contained in electronic mail or postings. You agree not to use any of the University systems for sending what is commonly referred to as “SPAM” mail (unsolicited bulk email).
- You shall not use FDU computing resources as a means of obtaining unauthorized access to any other computing systems.
- FDU’s data storage, on University servers, hosted servers, third party storage or hosted storage, is an FDU computing resource with costs attached and should be used with care and discretion. It is not meant to be used for archiving programs and data not currently being used or for storage of files publicly available elsewhere. It is meant for current class work, research and development projects, business files and temporary storage of other files. Users shall attempt to keep their disk usage minimized and will refrain from maintaining duplicate copies of software already installed, or other files stored, on the system.
- Network addresses such as TCP/IP addresses and machine addresses are assigned by University Systems and Networking staff and may not be altered or otherwise assigned without the explicit permission of the Associate Vice President of Technology Infrastructure and CTO/CISO. In addition, no equipment may be attached to the network without the explicit permission of the the Associate Vice President of Technology Infrastructure and CTO/CISO.
- FDU’s computing resources are not to be used for the transmission of commercial or personal advertisements, solicitations, and promotions or for extended reproduction of political, ideological or commercial material originated by a person or organization. This includes but is not limited to the execution of revenue-generating advertising programs which pay users when the programs are run. The Associate Vice President of Technology Infrastructure and CTO/CISO may suspend this rule when it is in FDU’s best interest to permit such activity.
- Users may not contract with external Internet services, service providers or the like without the explicit approval of the Associate Vice President of Technology Infrastructure and CTO/CISO.
- Without the explicit permission of the Associate Vice President of Technology Infrastructure and CTO/CISO you agree not to run any of the following protocols or services:
A. Port scanners, network monitors or other types of utilities that probe any other computer, be they inside or outside FDU’s network.
B. Routing or network serving protocols such as RIP, IGRP, OOTP or DHCP on the network.
C. Daemons, processes or programs that accept incoming connections, as a server would.
D. Streaming media servers or any other server that broadcasts continuous data streams.
- FDU’s computing resources, including equipment,, network, services, and wiring may not be modified or extended beyond the areas of their intended use.
- Network connections may not be used to provide network access to anyone outside the University community or for any purposes other than those that are in direct support of the academic mission of the University.
- All computers connected to FDU’s network must run an operating system and configuration that is supported by its vendor with regard to security patches and updates, as well as antivirus software with current virus definitions. It is the user’s responsibility to keep their virus definitions up to date and to apply all critical operating system updates. For more information or questions email email@example.com.
- Users may not alter the operating system or configuration of University owned computers without the explicit authorization of the Associate Vice President of Technology Infrastructure and CTO/CISO.
Computing resources are created to support the instructional, research, and administrative activities of the University, and are the property of the University. Personal use of the University’s computing resources, except for students enrolled at the University , should be incidental and kept to a minimum. Use of such resources by an employee for other than work-related matters should be reasonable and limited so that it does not prevent the employee from attending to and completing work effectively and efficiently, does not incur additional cost to the University, and does not preclude others with work-related needs from using the resources, including the shared campus and Internet bandwidth.
Department Heads and other administrators may enact additional restrictions to further limit employees’ personal use of University computing resources. These restrictions may include but are not limited to: limiting time spent reading or writing personal email or visiting web pages, and limitations on acceptable content due to the possible exposure of screens to other individuals. Human Resources must be consulted, in advance, about any proposed restrictions.
Users should use any available methods to safeguard their data, including regular changes of passwords, making duplicates of files, and encrypting sensitive data. In the event that files have been corrupted as a result of intrusion, you should notify a system administrator immediately. Please note that FDU’s computing resources are not completely secure. It is possible that others will be able to access files by exploiting shortcomings in system security. For this and other reasons, FDU cannot assure confidentiality of files and other transmissions.
Information Systems and Technology (“IST”) and each of its departments attempt to provide reasonable security against damage to files stored on FDU’s computing resources by filtering all outgoing and incoming electronic mail for viruses and junk mail and making regular backups of systems. In connection with the University’s migration to Office 365, the University adopted a policy of retaining copy of each fdu.edu email for three (3) years. This means, regardless of individual user action, the University will maintain a copy of all email traffic for a period of 3 years.
In the event of lost or damaged files, a reasonable attempt will be made to recover the information; however, the University and the University Information Technology staff cannot guarantee recovery of the data or loss of data due to media failure, floods, fires, etc.
University Systems and Networking and each of its departments will make reasonable attempts to provide error-free hardware and software on our computing resources, however, it is not possible to guarantee this, and information provided by staff members is not guaranteed to be correct.
Users should exercise caution when storing any confidential information in electronic format, because the privacy of such information cannot be guaranteed. User(s) must be aware that any personal files, including e-mail, maintained on University computing resources are University property and are subject to University storage, retrieval and review. Users of the University’s computing resources are hereby informed that they have no justified expectation of privacy in material processed, sent, or stored on or through the systems, and that the consent of the user to give access to his or her electronic documents is a condition precedent to the user’s use of University’s computer resources.
Even though the electronic data transmitted by or stored on University equipment is the property of the University, the IST staff will not normally log into another user account or access user’s files unless specifically granted permission by the user, or as otherwise permitted under this Policy. Student staff should avoid situations where helping another student or a faculty member would give them access to data relevant to a course that the student staff person is currently taking.
Exceptions to this practice are made under certain circumstances. These include: system backups, which access all files in a user’s account; software upgrades which may require editing startup files in a user’s account; diagnostic and trouble-shooting activities, which may, for example, require viewing the address headers of e-mail messages to determine the cause of problems; and keystroke monitoring of sessions to determine inappropriate use of the computing facilities. Another exception is a suspected violation of the tenets in this policy, the Student, Faculty, or Employee Handbooks, University employment policies, rules or practices or local, state or federal law, or as required by court order. In such situation(s), University computer resources in the possession of a user, or otherwise assigned to an individual, may be accessed, reviewed, duplicated and/or stored for later review by appropriate personnel without the user’s permission or knowledge.
Because employees are granted access to and use of FDU’s computing resources to conduct University business, the University reserves the right to access electronic mail messages left on or transmitted through the University’s computing resources. Employees should not assume that such messages are private and confidential or that the University or its designated representatives will not have a need to access and review this information. Individuals using the University’s computing resources should also have no expectation that any information stored on the University’s computing resources, whether the information is contained on a computer hard drive, computer disks, University or third party server or in any other manner, will be private.
In the event that user files need to be copied or viewed for reasons other than security, diagnostic, system backup or in compliance with law enforcement, or internal investigations authorized by the Associate Vice President of Human Resources and the General Counsel, University Systems and Networking staff may attempt to inform the user of this access.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) binds all users who have access to student data. Its application relevant to this Acceptable Use Policy centers on a student’s right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information. FERPA does permit certain information to be released without consent and this information is referred to as “Directory information”. To find out specifically what information you may or may not give out and to whom, you must contact the respective Dean of Students office.
Policy violations should be reported immediately to any one of the individuals listed in Appendix 1.
Violations of this policy will be dealt with as described in the Student, Faculty and/or Employee Handbooks, any relevant contracts, and possibly State and/or Federal law or regulations. University students and employees who violate this Policy will be met with appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, expulsion or termination from the University. Third parties who violate this Policy may have their relationship with the University terminated and their access to campus restricted. In addition, a user’s system privileges can be suspended for a specified time period or revoked and/or a monetary fine may be imposed on those in violation to reimburse the University for the staff time and other costs of investigating and rectifying the violation.
The University reserves the right to suspend computing resource privileges while investigating a complaint or troubleshooting a system or network problem.
This policy is subject to revision. Comments and suggestions are welcome and should be sent to Neal Sturm, Vice president & Chief Information Officer, mailstop M-DB2-01, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This document will be reviewed semi-annually and is available both electronically and in printed form at each of the Campus Computing Centers.
It is the user’s responsibility to remain informed about the contents of this document.
Vice president & Chief Information Officer
Mailstop M-DB2-01 973-443-8689 email@example.com
Associate Vice President of Management Information Systems
Mailstop T-BH2-03 201-692-2065 firstname.lastname@example.org