Network / Computer Acceptable Use Policy

Acceptable Use Policy - Summary

Below is a summary of the Computer Acceptable Use Policy, which should guide students in use of these resources. The full Acceptable Use Policy can be found below the summary. It is strongly recommended that students read the full policy.
  • Access to college computers, software and related network services is a privilege, not a right.
  • Acceptable use of the college computer/network resources includes only those activities associated with college course, programs and services, and the college mission in general. When in doubt, ask your teacher or computer technician if what you are planning is permitted.
  • Violation of the acceptable use policy may result in immediate loss of computer/network access and/or other disciplinary action, including financial restitution.
  • Unacceptable uses of computer/network resources include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Using network access to alter or destroy information belonging to others
    • Using profanity, obscenity or other language which may be offensive or abusive to another person
    • Copying personal communications to others without the original author's permission
    • Copying software or other copyright-protected material in violation of copyright law
    • Using network for any illegal activity or private business purpose
    • Spreading computer viruses deliberately or by importing files from unknown sources
    • Using resources to harass or impersonate another person
    • Using the network to disrupt college business or educational activities
    • Destroying or disabling computer hardware, software or processing
    • Loading or downloading unauthorized software
    • Engaging in destructive computer activities such as "hacking," "spamming," etc.
    • Using computer/network resources for cheating, plagiarizing or assisting in such activities
    • Using any computer, network, software package or program in a manner other than that for which it was intended

Student E-Mail Policies and Guidelines

  • A student E-Mail account will be created for each new student upon registration. Students will be encouraged to use and check their NWF State College E-Mail account regularly. Important College information will be communicated to students through the NWF State College student E-Mail system. Administrative issues such as class cancellation notification, room changes for classes, room assignments for distance learning orientation classes, college closures for emergencies and instructor issues such as assignments, deadlines, changes in class meeting times, homework grades, and progress reports are among the many uses of the NWF State College student E-Mail system.
  • The College will not allow students to update their E-Mail addresses with private or other E-Mail addresses. Only the assigned NWF State College Student E-Mail addresses will be used by the College for E-Mail communications with students.
  • Prohibited uses of E-Mail include:
    • Forgery or attempted forgery of E-Mail messages.
    • Impersonation of other students or staff.
    • Access/interception or attempted access/interception of E-Mail transmissions without authorization.
    • Breach or attempted breach of security measures.
    • Use of E-Mail to violate copyright laws or state and federal statutes.
    • Use of E-Mail to intimidate, harass, annoy or threaten or cause harm to the E-Mail recipient.
    • Use of E-Mail to interfere with College business.
    • Use of E-Mail to send or create junk mail, chain letters, computer viruses or hoaxes or other disruptive materials.
    • Pursuit of commercial activity not under the auspices of the College.
    • Access or attempted access of pornographic or obscene materials.
    • Use of the network for mass (SPAM) mailings will not be permitted.
  • Violation of E-Mail policy may result in suspension of all network access rights, dismissal and/or suspension from the College as stipulated under the Student Disciplinary Policies. Students may be subject to prosecution by law enforcement agencies if appropriate.
  • Students are required to support the College's efforts to insure E-Mails are secure and private by not sharing E-Mail passwords or E-Mail accounts with any other person. The College makes no guarantee that the E-Mail address will remain private.
  • College policy allows system administration to view E-Mail files in the course of trouble shooting or maintaining systems. E-Mail is the property of the College.
  • The College cannot guarantee that, in all instances, mail will be delivered and copies of critical data will be retained on the College mail systems. It is ultimately the responsibility of the E-Mail user to provide for backup copies of essential files.
  • A student E-Mail account may be terminated, if it is consuming excessive system resources, degrading system response, or threatening system integrity.
  • Each student mailbox will have a limit of 10 GB. Individual E-Mails or files that are excessively large, such as those containing pictures or other attachments may be removed administratively.

Guidelines / Responsibilities for the Use of College Computer / Network Resources

Electronic Communication and Access to Information

  • Northwest Florida State College 's internal networks and online connections provide a wide range of facilities for worldwide communication between individuals and for disseminating information and ideas. Electronic communication and information resources will be increasingly important to college faculty, staff, and students. The college supports and encourages open access to electronic communication and information, such as:
    • Communication with researchers and educators in connection with research, curriculum development or enrichment, or instruction.
    • Communication and exchange for professional development, to maintain currency, or to debate issues in a field of knowledge.
    • Use as part of a class studying networking or using a network on a regular basis as part of class assignments.
    • Administrative communications or activities in direct support of college business and management.
  • Since the resources at Northwest Florida State College are not unlimited, the college may give priority for resources to certain uses or certain groups of users in support of its mission. Consistent with the college's policy on equity and access, the use of information resources should not be denied or abridged because of age, color, ethnicity, disability, marital status, national origin, race, pregnancy, religion, genetic information, or gender.

User Guidelines and Responsibilities

  • Northwest Florida State College provides a wide variety of computing and network resources for college students, faculty, and staff. Those resources are intended for the legitimate business of the college. Appropriate use of information resources includes instruction; research; and the official work of the offices, departments, recognized student and campus organizations, and other agencies of the college. Members of the college community should use information resources responsibly and considerately.
  • The following guidelines apply for all computers and networks at Northwest Florida State College.
    • The computing and network resources of the college may not be used to impersonate another person or misrepresent authorization on behalf of others or the college. All messages transmitted from college computers should correctly identify the sender; users may not alter the attribution of origin in electronic mail messages or postings and may not send anonymous messages.
    • The computing and network resources of the college may not be used to harass another person. Users should not transmit to others or display images, sounds, or messages that might be perceived by a reasonable person as harassing. See the college policies on sexual harassment.
    • College computers and networks may not be used to invade the privacy of others or make unauthorized use of their work. Users should not attempt to read or copy files belonging to others or decrypt or translate encrypted material, unless the files have deliberately been made accessible by the owners or authorization has been obtained to do so.
    • Electronic forums such as mail distribution lists and newsgroups all have expectations regarding subject area and appropriate etiquette for postings. Members of the college community should be considerate of the expectations and sensitivities of others on the network when posting material for electronic distribution.
    • Theft or other abuses of computer time are prohibited, including but not limited to the following:
      1. Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose
      2. Unauthorized transfer of a file
      3. Unauthorized use of another individual's identification and password
      4. Use of computing facilities to interfere with the work of another student, faculty member, or college official
      5. Use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages
      6. Use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the college computing system

Other User Responsibilities

  • Computer users must observe and comply with Federal, State, and local laws governing computer and information technology, as well as all college rules and Board of Trustees regulations.
  • The computing and network resources of the college must be used in a manner consistent with Chapter 815, Florida Statutes Computer Crimes Act and Title 18, United States Code, Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. Unauthorized or fraudulent use of the college's computing resources may result in felony prosecution and punishment as provided for in Florida Statutes, Chapter 775, Florida Criminal Code.
  • The computing and network resources of the college may not be used for personal financial gain or commercial purposes.
  • Owners of computer accounts are responsible for all use of the accounts. They should follow guidelines to prevent unauthorized use by others and report intrusions to the system administrators.
  • Individuals must not attempt to undermine the security or the integrity of computing systems or networks and must not attempt to gain unauthorized access. Users may not use any computer program or device to intercept or decode passwords or similar access control information. If security breaches are observed, they should be reported to the appropriate system administrators.
  • Individuals must not intentionally damage or disable equipment or software.
  • Copying or using software, except as explicitly permitted under licensing agreements, is a violation of the federal Copyright Act of 1976 as amended (Title 17 U.S. Code). Computer users should be able to prove ownership of software in their possession.
  • To help maintain the proper functioning of computer and networking hardware and software, the college will take reasonable steps to ensure its computing resources are free of deliberately destructive software, such as viruses. Individuals must share responsibility for protecting college computers, and should ensure the integrity of any electronic media they introduce.
  • Individuals should avoid using college computers and networks for frivolous purposes, make excessive demands on network or computing resources, or incur additional costs for the college.
  • Unauthorized use of the college's computing facilities or systems for personal use beyond coursework assignments or work-related activities is prohibited.

Disclaimers

  • The college supports each individual's right to private communication and will take reasonable steps to ensure security of the network. However, messages on college computing resources are potentially accessible to others through normal system administration activities and to the public through public records laws. Hence, the college cannot guarantee absolute privacy of electronic communication.
  • The college supports each individual's right to privacy of personal files. However, in the normal course of system administration, the administrator may have to examine user files to gather information to diagnose and correct problems. Additionally, with reasonable cause for suspicion and appropriate administrative authority, files may be examined by system personnel to determine if a user is acting in violation of the policies set forth in this document.
  • The college cannot guarantee that, in all instances, copies of critical data will be retained on college systems. It is ultimately the responsibility of computer users to obtain secure backup copies of essential files for disaster recovery.

Accountability

  • Violations of computer and network policy as outlined in this document can be dealt within three ways:
    • Minor violations may be handled informally by system and network administrators or area Directors/Department heads.
    • More serious violations by students or employees of college rules may be referred to the appropriate Dean, Provost, or Vice President for action.
    • Suspected student violations of Federal, State, or local laws will be reported to the Dean of Student Services office for action.
  • Any of the violations described above may result in immediate loss of access privileges.