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Information Technology Resources
Usage Policy

Introduction

This document formalizes the policy for students, faculty, staff (both part‐time and full‐time) and all other authorized individuals (“Users”) at North Shore Community College (“NSCC” or “the College”) on the use of NSCC information technology resources. Information technology resources include but are not limited to: NSCC administrative and academic systems; college user accounts and services; college computers, tablets and software; NSCC networks (wired and wireless); college owned desk and mobile phones; personal tablets, computers and phones if connected to the NSCC wireless network; peripherals including copy machines, printers and scanners. Use of NSCC information technology resources by any User shall constitute acceptance of the terms of this policy.

User Responsibilities:

It is the responsibility of any person using NSCC information technology resources to read, understand, and follow this policy. Any person with questions regarding the application or meaning of this policy should seek clarification from the Chief Information Officer. Access to information technology resources imposes certain responsibilities and obligations on Users and is granted subject to this policy and other applicable local, state and federal laws.

The use of NSCC information technology resources is a privilege, not a right. Violations of this policy may result in removal of access in addition to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the College and termination of employment, as well as civil liability and/or criminal prosecution. Unacceptable uses may also constitute a violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, HIPPA, Massachusetts Wiretap and /or Privacy Laws, defamation, copyright and/or trademark infringement laws and state or federal sexual harassment or discrimination laws.

Violations of this policy or other complaints of this nature should be reported as follows:

  • Student violations to the Dean of Students
  • Employee violations to the Vice‐President for Human Resources
  • Other User violations to Vice‐President Administration

Acceptable Uses of NSCC Information Technology Resources

Acceptable use of NSCC information technology resources includes usage for academic, educational or professional purposes which are directly related to official College business and in support of NSCC’s mission. Acceptable use always is ethical, reflects academic honesty and shows restraint in the consumption of shared resources. It demonstrates respect for intellectual property, ownership of data and system security mechanisms.

Unacceptable Uses of NSCC Information Technology Resources

  • In furtherance of any illegal act, including violation of any criminal or civil laws or regulations, whether state or federal
  • For any political purpose not permitted under a collective bargaining agreement or contrary to any state or federal law;
  • Any attempt to breach system security, damage files or any use that causes interference with or disruption of network users and resources, including propagation of computer viruses or other harmful programs;
  • Unauthorized downloading, copying, sending or sharing of software or files;
  • For any commercial purpose, including but not limited to soliciting the purchase, sale, rental or lease of private personal property, goods, services or real estate;
  • Disregard of copyright, intellectual property and/or proprietary restrictions;
  • Misrepresentation or unauthorized use of another's work;
  • To access or share sexually explicit, obscene, or child pornography materials or communications
  • Utilizing material or communication which constitutes discrimination, including but not limited to sexual harassment Intentionally hindering others' ability to utilize any networks accessed from NSCC;
  • Unauthorized use of the name or logo(s) or graphical representation of NSCC without the express permission of the College
  • Intentionally seek information about, obtain copies of, or modify files, data or passwords belonging to another person unless specifically authorized by the college;
  • Share your username and / or password with any other person unless authorized to do so;
  • Use another person’s account or identify themselves inaccurately;
  • Use computing resources for personal profit, gambling, and/or unapproved solicitations.

Use which violates the College’s policies and procedures, including but not limited to the “Student Code of Conduct,” “Policy on Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity & Diversity,” and “Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy.

No Expectation of Privacy

NSCC information technology resources are the property of the College and/ or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and are to be used in conformance with this policy. When reasonable and in pursuit of legitimate needs for supervision, control, and the efficient and proper operation of the college, NSCC will exercise the right to inspect any User's computer, any data contained in it, and any data sent or received by that computer. Use of NSCC information technology resources constitutes express consent for NSCC to monitor and/or inspect any data that Users create or receive, any messages they send or receive, and any web sites that they access, as well as monitor network activity in any form that NSCC sees fit to maintain the integrity of the network. Therefore, Users shall have no expectation of privacy over any communication, transmission or work performed using NSCC information technology resources.

Copyright Protection & Software Licensing

Users are not permitted to use any software unless it is properly licensed to NSCC. The Information Systems Department reserves the right to remove any programs not properly licensed or authorized by the College. In addition to software, legal protections can also exist for any information published on the Internet, such as the text and graphics on a web site. As such, it is important that Users respect the rights of intellectual property owners. Copyright material may not be used without the permission of the creator and in compliance with NSCC’s Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy. Users should exercise care and judgment when copying or distributing information that could reasonably be expected to be copyrighted.

Data Confidentiality

Users shall not access, release, use, or disseminate confidential or proprietary information such as personal data about identifiable individuals or commercial information about business organizations, unless the individual User is authorized by NSCC to do so and such access, release, use, or dissemination is consistent with this policy and state and federal law. The confidentiality of student educational records shall additionally be subject to the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Computer Viruses

All college‐owned computers are deployed with anti‐virus software approved by the Information Systems department. Users should exercise reasonable precautions in order to prevent the introduction of a computer virus into the local area or wide area networks by:

  • Ensuring virus scanning software is used at all times and, specifically, to scan storage media used to transport data such as floppy diskettes, CDs, flash drives, etc.
  • Scanning computer hard drives periodically to see if they have been infected.
  • Contact the Information Systems Help Desk (helpdesk@northshore.edu) or 978‐762‐4167 with any questions

Social Media

Information technology resources are property of the college. Users shall also have no expectation of privacy when using such resources for social media activities. All information technology resource use including social media, but not limited to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogs or other forms of social media, shall be limited to academic, educational or professional purposes, which are directly related to official college businesses and in support of the College’s mission. All such uses shall comply with this and other applicable College policies and procedures (e.g. Social Media Guidelines) as well as local, state and federal laws.

Email

Electronic mail (email) and services within the NSCC Campus Portal are official methods of communication at the college, delivering information in a convenient, timely, cost‐effective and environmentally sensitive manner. It is the policy of this institution that:

  • All students, faculty and staff have access to, and will use, email
  • The College sends official communications via email and via online services within the Campus Portal for (registration, payment, grades, financial aid, tax reporting 1098‐t, etc.)

No Warranties

NSCC makes no warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, for the service it is providing. NSCC will not be responsible for any damages a User suffers. Users agree to waive any claim and release NSCC, its employees and agents, from any claim, demand, liability, cause of action, or suit for damages arising out of their use of NSCC information technology resources, including but not limited to: loss of data, equipment failure, service interruptions or transmission delays caused by NSCC negligence or user errors or omissions.

NSCC specifically denies any responsibility for a User's encounter, access or use of any inappropriate or controversial materials from NSCC information technology resources, including the Internet. Users must notify appropriate staff listed in section 2 “User Responsiblities” if they identify information technology resources being used in a manner inconsistent with this Policy.

It is possible that personal and commercial web sites are linked to official NSCC web pages. It is understood that the College is neither responsible for, nor maintains control over any 3rd party sites linked to its web pages.


Pending Board Approval

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