Blue Ridge Community and Technical College Acceptable Use Policy
Blue Ridge Community and Technical College intentions for publishing an Acceptable Use Policy are not to impose restrictions that are contrary to BRCTC established culture of openness, trust and integrity. BRCTC is committed to protecting BRCTC’s employees, students, partners and the college from illegal or damaging actions by individuals, either knowingly or unknowingly.
Internet/Intranet/Extranet-related systems, including but not limited to computer equipment, software, operating systems, storage media, network accounts providing electronic mail, WWW browsing, and FTP, are the property of BRCTC. These systems are to be used for business purposes in serving the interests of the college, and of our partners and students in the course of normal operations. Please review Human Resources policies for further details.
Effective security is a team effort involving the participation and support of every BRCTC employee, student and affiliate who deals with information and/or information systems. It is the responsibility of every computer user to know these guidelines, and to conduct their activities accordingly.
The purpose of this policy is to outline the acceptable use of computer equipment at BRCTC. These rules are in place to protect the employee, student and BRCTC. Inappropriate use exposes BRCTC to risks including virus attacks, compromise of network systems and services, and legal issues.
This policy applies to employees, students, contractors, consultants, temporaries, and other workers at BRCTC, including all personnel affiliated with third parties. This policy applies to all equipment that is owned or leased by BRCTC.
4.1 General Use and Ownership
- While BRCTC’s network administration desires to provide a reasonable level of privacy, users should be aware that the data they create on the corporate systems remains the property of BRCTC. Because of the need to protect BRCTC’s network, management cannot guarantee the confidentiality of information stored on any network device belonging to BRCTC.
- Employees and students are responsible for exercising good judgment regarding the reasonableness of personal use. Individual departments are responsible for creating guidelines concerning personal use of Internet/Intranet/Extranet systems. In the absence of such policies, employees should be guided by departmental policies on personal use, and if there is any uncertainty, employees should consult their supervisor or manager.
- BRCTC recommends that any information that users consider sensitive or vulnerable be encrypted. For guidelines on information classification, see BRCTC Information Sensitivity Policy. For guidelines on encrypting email and documents, go to BRCTC Awareness
- For security and network maintenance purposes, authorized individuals within BRCTC may monitor equipment, systems and network traffic at any time.
- BRCTC reserves the right to audit networks and systems on a periodic basis to ensure compliance with this policy.
4.2 Security and Proprietary Information
- The user interface for information contained on Internet/Intranet/Extranet-related systems should be classified as either confidential or not confidential, as defined by corporate confidentiality guidelines, details of which can be found in Human Resources policies. Examples of confidential information include but are not limited to: college private, corporate strategies, competitor sensitive, trade secrets, specifications, customer lists, and research data. Employees should take all necessary steps to prevent unauthorized access to this information.
- Keep passwords secure and do not share accounts. Authorized users are responsible for the security of their passwords and accounts. System level passwords should be changed quarterly; user level passwords should be changed every six months.
- All PCs, laptops and workstations should be secured with a password-protected screensaver with the automatic activation feature set at 10 minutes or less, or by logging-off (control-alt-delete for Win2K users) when the host will be unattended.
- Because information contained on portable computers is especially vulnerable, special care should be exercised. Protect laptops in accordance with the “Laptop Security Tips”.
- Postings by employees from a BRCTC email address to newsgroups should contain a disclaimer stating that the opinions expressed are strictly their own and not necessarily those of BRCTC, unless posting is in the course of business duties.
- All hosts used by the employee that are connected to the BRCTC Internet/Intranet/Extranet, whether owned by the employee or BRCTC, shall be continually executing approved virus-scanning software with a current virus database. Unless overridden by departmental or group policy.
- Employees and students must use extreme caution when opening e-mail attachments received from unknown senders, which may contain viruses, e-mail bombs, or Trojan horse code.
4.3 Unacceptable Use
The following activities are, in general, prohibited. Employees may be exempted from these restrictions during the course of their legitimate job responsibilities (e.g., systems administration staff may have a need to disable the network access of a host if that host is disrupting production services).
Under no circumstances is an employee of BRCTC authorized to engage in any activity that is illegal under local, state, federal or international law while utilizing BRCTC-owned resources.
The lists below are by no means exhaustive, but attempt to provide a framework for activities which fall into the category of unacceptable use.
System and Network Activities
The following activities are strictly prohibited, with no exceptions:
- Violations of the rights of any person or college protected by copyright, trade secret, patent or other intellectual property, or similar laws or regulations, including, but not limited to, the installation or distribution of “pirated” or other software products that are not appropriately licensed for use by BRCTC.
- Unauthorized copying of copyrighted material including, but not limited to, digitization and distribution of photographs from magazines, books or other copyrighted sources, copyrighted music, and the installation of any copyrighted software for which BRCTC or the end user does not have an active license is strictly prohibited.
- Exporting software, technical information, encryption software or technology, in violation of international or regional export control laws, is illegal. The appropriate management should be consulted prior to export of any material that is in question.
- Introduction of malicious programs into the network or server (e.g., viruses, worms, Trojan horses, e-mail bombs, etc.).
- Revealing your account password to others or allowing use of your account by others. This includes family and other household members when work is being done at home.
- Using a BRCTC computing asset to actively engage in procuring or transmitting material that is in violation of sexual harassment or hostile workplace laws in the user’s local jurisdiction.
- Making fraudulent offers of products, items, or services originating from any BRCTC account.
- Making statements about warranty, expressly or implied, unless it is a part of normal job duties.
- Effecting security breaches or disruptions of network communication. Security breaches include, but are not limited to, accessing data of which the employee is not an intended recipient or logging into a server or account that the employee is not expressly authorized to access, unless these duties are within the scope of regular duties. For purposes of this section, “disruption” includes, but is not limited to, network sniffing, pinged floods, packet spoofing, denial of service, and forged routing information for malicious purposes.
- Port scanning or security scanning is expressly prohibited unless prior notification to BRCTC is made.
- Executing any form of network monitoring which will intercept data not intended for the employee’s host, unless this activity is a part of the employee’s normal job/duty.
- Circumventing user authentication or security of any host, network or account.
- Interfering with or denying service to any user other than the employee’s host (for example, denial of service attack).
- Using any program/script/command, or sending messages of any kind, with the intent to interfere with, or disable, a user’s terminal session, via any means, locally or via the Internet/Intranet/Extranet.
- Providing information about, or lists of, BRCTC employees and students to parties outside BRCTC.
Email and Communications Activities
- Sending unsolicited email messages, including the sending of “junk mail” or other advertising material to individuals who did not specifically request such material (email spam).
- Any form of harassment via email, telephone or paging, whether through language, frequency, or size of messages.
- Unauthorized use, or forging, of email header information.
- Solicitation of email for any other email address, other than that of the poster’s account, with the intent to harass or to collect replies.
- Creating or forwarding “chain letters”, “Ponzi” or other “pyramid” schemes of any type.
- Use of unsolicited email originating from within BRCTC’s networks of other Internet/Intranet/Extranet service providers on behalf of, or to advertise, any service hosted by BRCTC or connected via BRCTC’s network.
- Posting the same or similar non-business-related messages to large numbers of Usenet newsgroups (newsgroup spam).
Any employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Any student found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including loss of BRCTC computer account privileges.
BRCTC – Blue Ridge Community and Technical College; Spam – Unauthorized and/or unsolicited electronic mass mailings.