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Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources Policy

Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources Policy

Authority: 
Information Technology
Date enacted or revised: 
Enacted February, 2016; Revised July 2016; October 24, 2018

Overview

McNeese State University provides access to Information Technology (IT) resources in support of its vision, mission, philosophy and responsibility for education, research and service in Southwest Louisiana. Accordingly, the University encourages and promotes the use of these resources by the University community, within institutional priorities and financial capabilities.  Access to, and use of, these resources and services are privileges which must be accepted in strict compliance with all applicable laws and with the highest standards of ethical and professional behavior.
 
Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to guide all users in the acceptable use of IT resources at McNeese State University.
 
Definition
 
IT resources at McNeese State University include, but are not limited to, the following:
 
  • Computers and mobile devices
  • Network infrastructure, both wired and wireless
  • Software
  • Physical facilities
  • Data communications systems and services
  • Support personnel

Scope

This policy applies to anyone utilizing McNeese IT resources, whether affiliated with the University or not. This policy is applicable to all users regardless of the following:
  • Ownership (University or personally owned computer or device)
  • Location (on or off campus)
  • Method of connectivity (wired or wireless)
 
Policy

User Responsibilities:
 
  • Users must abide by all federal, state, and local laws
  • Users must abide by all applicable copyright laws and may be held personally liable for any infractions
  • Users must abide by all license agreements including legal restrictions of use and copying
  • Use of IT resources for political purposes is not permitted
  • Use of IT resources for personal commercial purposes or for personal economic gain is not permitted
  • Use of IT resources to gain unauthorized access to anything is not permitted
  • Disruptive use of University IT resources is not permitted
  • Users may not manipulate or augment the University network infrastructure without prior approval
  • Users may not intentionally damage, or render useless, any equipment, software, or data
  • Users shall only use equipment, accounts, passwords, and services for which they have authorization
  • Users shall not allow unauthorized users to access IT resources, which includes sharing login credentials for any accounts for which they have authorization
  • Users are reminded to exercise appropriate language, behavior, and style in their use of IT resources
  • Users shall not access websites and protocols that are deemed inappropriate for a public university

Policy Administration

  • The University does not generally monitor or limit access to the campus network. However, it reserves the right to monitor, access, and review information under certain conditions such as a court order, subpoena, or other legally enforceable discovery request.
  • The University may suspend, block, or restrict access to an account when it appears necessary to do so
  • Communications made concerning University business are subject to Louisiana Public Records Law and retention requirements.
  • Individual units within the University may define additional conditions for acceptable use of resources under their control which are consistent with this policy statement, and which may provide additional detail, guidelines, and restrictions.

Internet Monitoring and Filtering
 
Web Site Monitoring
 
The Information Technology Department shall monitor Internet use of all computers and devices used for instructional and university business purposes and connected to the corporate network.  For all traffic, the monitoring system will record the source IP Address, the date, the time, the protocol, and the destination site or server.  Where possible, the system should record the User ID of the person or account initiating the traffic.  Internet Use records must be preserved for 180 days.
 
Internet Use Filtering System
 
The Information Technology Department shall block access to Internet websites and protocols that are generally deemed inappropriate for the University’s educational and work environment.  The following protocols and categories of websites should be blocked:
 
  • Adult/Sexually Explicit Material
  • Advertisements & Pop-Ups
  • Chat and Instant Messaging
  • Gambling
  • Hacking
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Peer to Peer File Sharing
  • Personals and Dating
  • SPAM, Phishing and Fraud
  • Spyware
  • Tasteless and Offensive Content
  • Violence, Intolerance and Hate
 
Internet Use Filtering Rule Changes
 
The Information Technology Department shall periodically review and recommend changes to web and protocol filtering rules to the Chief Information Technology Officer (CITO).  CITO will recommend any changes to Senior Staff, which shall review these recommendations and decide if any changes are to be made.  Changes to web and protocol filtering rules will be recorded in the Internet Use Monitoring and Filtering Policy. 
 
Internet Use Filtering Exceptions
 
If a site is misclassified as inappropriate, employees may request the site be un-blocked by submitting a ticket to the Information Technology help desk.  The CITO will review the request and un-block the site only if it is misclassified. 
 
Employees may access blocked web sites, with permission, if appropriate and necessary for business purposes.  If an employee has a business need to access a web site that is blocked and appropriately categorized, the employee may submit a written request for approval to their immediate supervisor who will request approval from their division vice president.  The request shall include the person making the request, the web site name, a web site content description narrative, the business reason for the request, and the time period that access is needed.  Once appropriately approved, the requesting employee shall present the approved exception request to Information Technology in writing.  Information Technology will unblock that site or category for that employee and for the approved time period only.  If approval is for a specific time period, IT will re-establish the web site block when time expires.
 
Non-Compliance

An employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Policy Compliance

Users found to have violated this policy may be subject to the following:
  • Suspension of access to IT resources
  • Penalties and disciplinary action, including expulsion or dismissal
  • Referral of suspected violations of law to appropriate law enforcement agencies for further investigation or action

Inquiries or Reporting Violations

Office of Information Technology
Burton Business Center, Room 433
337-475-5524

Communication

This policy is distributed via the Academic Advisory Council, the Administrative Advisory Council, the University Listserv, the Student Listserv, University’s website, and through routine communication between departments.