Network Usage and Access Policy

Purpose

The electronic networks at George Fox are maintained to support the academic and administrative goals of the University. Priority will always be given to these uses whenever possible. It is clear that in today's world our electronic networks are mission critical to the University. These policies have been adopted to ensure the usability, reliability, and recoverability of these resources.

Policies

Use of the network is a privilege, not a right. The University, and the IT department, reserve the right to suspend or revoke some or all network privileges in order to protect network resources and/or as part of disciplinary actions of the University.

Non-mission uses. Some uses of the network may seem appropriate, or "innocent," but can lead to traffic overloads. We ask that our users practice good stewardship when pursuing network usage (such as transferring very large amounts of data, pushing video or audio over the network, and/or network gaming) that may adversely impact other users.

If a situation arises where a network cannot handle the traffic load being placed on it, IT reserves the right to limit or deny any traffic on the network, or a portion of the network, that is not related to the University's mission.

Peer to Peer File Sharing. In order to comply with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), IT has blocked Peer to Peer File Sharing (P2P) at the campus firewall for most users. Educause maintains a current list of legal alternatives for obtaining digital content such as movies, music, and games. For more details review the George Fox HEOA Compliance Policy.

Backup of central servers. Central servers located on the University network backbone are backed up regularly by IT staff. Contact the Service Desk if you need to recover a past file from one of these servers. There may be costs involved with such a recovery . Backups are only maintained for a limited time and some files may not be recoverable.

Backup of local servers. Individual departments are responsible for backing up any local servers that they maintain. The IT department is available to consult on such efforts, and assistance can be provided for recovery efforts when data is unexpectedly lost. Departments that desire to be included in the central server backups are encouraged to do so. All associated costs will be passed on to the requesting department.

Backup of individual, University-owned computers. It is the user's responsibility to ensure accurate, timely backups are performed and that University property (including data and files) are protected from loss. The more critical your data and files are to performing your job the more frequently they should be backed up.

IT is available to consult on local backup options, and a central service is available to backup University-owned computers across the network on a regular basis. Contact the Service Desk to make arrangements.

Backup of non-University (including student) computers. There are no resources currently available for backing up non-University owned and/or student computers. Users are encouraged to pursue local options (i.e. zip drives or CD burners). Students, through use of "Dormnet," may want to consider backing up their files to a friend's hard drive and vice versa. This will ensure that your files survive even if your computer is lost, damaged, or fails.

Integrity of backups. The IT department will make a good-faith effort to ensure that backups are being made, and to recover data from backups when requested, but no guarantee is made by IT that files and/or data will be recoverable. In the event of technical problems or other circumstances, backups may fail and/or data previously backed up may be lost or damaged. Critical data should always be backed up through multiple methods. Alternate methods of backup are the responsibility of the user.

Passwords. Many University computing and network resources are password protected. Only those authorized to use these resources are allowed access. Sharing of login names and/or passwords is specifically prohibited. This policy includes, but is not limited to, access to the University electronic messaging system, even by immediate family members.

If you have reason to believe that your password has been compromised, you are required to change it immediately, or to contact the Service Desk to have it changed. Additionally, you are strongly encouraged to strengthen the security of your password by mixing letters, numbers, and characters and by making it at least six characters long.

Most email programs and many remote access setups can remember or "auto-save" your password. You are strongly encouraged not to use this feature as it makes your email and/or the University network accessible to anyone gaining physical or electronic access to your computer. Remember, anyone with access to your email can act on your behalf and you may be liable for their actions.

Web aliases. Directors or supervisors of departments and programs may request web aliases that describe the general purpose or function of the department or program. All such requests must be made to the Service Desk . Whenever possible, web aliases and e-mail aliases should be equivalent.

All computer equipment, servers, and software are University owned, including the network hardware, software and associated data. The University reserves the right to access any data contained in or passing through University owned network equipment, servers and software, including but not limited to network traffic passing through our network. Standard examples of Internet packet access include:

  • At user request.
  • As needed by Network Services to maintain efficient network and server operations and/or to resolve problems including potential security threats.
  • As needed to comply with University policy.
  • At the request of a University authorized official (Director of Human Resources for employees, Vice President of Academic Affairs for faculty, Vice President of Student Life for students).
  • As required to comply with local, state, and federal authorities.

In all cases, the Provost will be notified of the request.

Unauthorized monitoring. All monitoring of network traffic by any unauthorized user constitutes a violation of Federal Communication Commission administrative rules and is classified as an "illegal wire-tap." In compliance with federal law, these activities are strictly forbidden. An "unauthorized user" shall include any student, employee, guest, or other person not specifically instructed by an authorized University official, or any such authorized person operating outside of or beyond the specific instructions given by an authorized University official.

Violations. If violations of University policies and/or community standards are suspected, the University reserves the right to take action. Actions may include but are not limited to further investigation of suspected violations, access to email and network traffic (i.e. network "sniffers"), and possible disciplinary action. If violations of policies are confirmed, disciplinary actions may include suspension of email privileges, referral to the appropriate University authorized officials and other actions as deemed necessary, including legal action.

Procedures

Unusual or significant network usage. If you plan to use the network in a way that may significantly impact network utilization or other users, contact the Service Desk for assistance. All requests will be reviewed in light of current policy and capacity, and will be approved or denied based on University priorities and goals.

Password access or changes. Contact the Service Desk for assistance if you have forgotten your password, need to change your password, or need a password to access a University system.

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