Information Technology

General Information

Information Technology's intentions for publishing an Acceptable Use Policy are not to impose restrictions that are contrary to The College of Idaho's established culture of openness, trust and integrity. Information Technology is committed to protecting The College of Idaho's faculty, staff, students, 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 the College of Idaho. These systems are to be used for educational, research, and administrative purposes in serving the interests of the college in the course of normal operations.

Effective security is a team effort involving the participation and support of every The College of Idaho faculty, staff, 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 The College of Idaho. These regulations are in place to protect faculty, staff, student, and The College of Idaho. Inappropriate use exposes The College of Idaho to risks including virus attacks, compromise of network systems and services, and legal issues.


This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, contractors, consultants, temporaries, and other workers at The College of Idaho, including all personnel affiliated with third parties. This policy applies to all equipment that is owned or leased by The College of Idaho and all devices connected to the college's network that are not owned by the College of Idaho.


Any user found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the college, termination of employment, or legal action.


Spam - Unauthorized and/or unsolicited electronic mass mailings.

User - A "user" is any person, whether authorized or not, who makes any use of any college resource from any location. For example, users include those who access IT resource in a College computer lab, or via an electronic network. A "user's status" means their relationship with the College, i.e., student, faculty, staff, contractor, alumni/alumnae, member of public, etc.

General Use and Ownership

  • While The College of Idaho's network administration desires to provide a reasonable level of privacy, users should be aware that the data they create on the college systems remains the property of The College of Idaho. Because of the need to protect The College of Idaho's network, management cannot guarantee the confidentiality of information stored on any network device belonging to The College of Idaho.
  • Everyone is 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, users should be guided by departmental policies on personal use, and if there is any uncertainty, users should consult their supervisor or manager.
  • For security and network maintenance purposes, authorized users within The College of Idaho may monitor equipment, systems and network traffic at any time, per Information Technology's Audit Policy.
  • The College of Idaho reserves the right to audit networks and systems on a periodic basis to ensure compliance with this policy.

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 College confidentially guidelines. Examples of confidential information include but are not limited to: Datatel, WebAdvisor, Blackboard Envision, Moodle, and research data. Users should take all necessary steps to prevent unauthorized access to this information.
  • 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 may contact the Registrar of The College of Idaho. There is also information on FERPA in the Student Life Honor Code. When you are in doubt as to whether or not you are permitted to release some information, do not release the information until you know for sure. Please review Human Resources policies for further details in regards to this policy.
  • 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 locking your workstation (control-alt-delete for Win2K/XP users) when the host will be unattended.
  • You should also log off your computer at night, but do not shut the computer down. Your machine does its Windows Updates & Virus Scan Updates during the night time hours. This helps keep your machine safe and secure.
  • 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 users from a The College of Idaho email address to newsgroups should contain a disclaimer stating that the opinions expressed are strictly their own and not necessarily those of The College of Idaho, unless posting is in the course of business duties.
  • All hosts connected to The College of Idaho's network are required to run an antivirus software program with current virus definitions. It is the user's responsibility to keep their virus definitions up to date and to apply any appropriate critical updates to the operating system.
  • All college users must use extreme caution when opening e-mail attachments, which may contain viruses, e-mail bombs, or Trojan horse code.

Unacceptable Use

The following activities are, in general, prohibited. Users 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 a user at The College of Idaho authorized to engage in any activity that is illegal under local, state, federal or international law while utilizing The College of Idaho-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 company 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 The College of Idaho.
  • 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 The College of Idaho 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 an The College of Idaho 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 The College of Idaho 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 user is not an intended recipient or logging into a server or account that the user 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 you have explicit permission from the Director of Information Technology.
  • Executing any form of network monitoring which will intercept data not intended for the user'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 user'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, The College of Idaho employees to parties outside the College of Idaho.

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), which is not considered official college business.
  • 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 The College of Idaho of Idaho's networks of other Internet/Intranet/Extranet service providers on behalf of, or to advertise, any service hosted by The College of Idaho or connected via The College of Idaho's network.
  • Posting the same or similar non-business-related messages to large numbers of Usenet newsgroups (newsgroup spam).