Policy: Acceptable Use of Information Technology

Policy Number: 8008
Policy Date: Revised 1/12/2015

Purpose: The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) provides a rich information technology environment to support its educational activities and administrative functions. These resources, including computing systems and software, as well as internal and external data, voice, and video networks, are shared resources. To preserve them for the common good, the college expects all users, including students, faculty, staff, administrators, other employees, and members of the general public using the college’s information technology resources, to comply in all respects to institutional and external standards for their appropriate use. Although incidental personal use is permitted, these resources should be used primarily for college educational and administrative purposes, and such incidental personal use must conform to these same standards of appropriate use. By using college information technology resources, users agree to abide by all college acceptable use and related policies and procedures, as well as applicable federal, state, and local laws. The college reserves the right to bar access to its network or other information technology resources to those who violate its acceptable use and related policies and procedures. Further, violations will be investigated and may result in disciplinary action, including suspension, dismissal, and legal proceedings. The college can monitor any or all transmissions on campus computers or systems. All electronic, print, or other media are the sole property of CCBC. No rights or privacy should be inferred or expected. The general public may be granted limited access to the Internet or restricted access to academic computing resources.

Serious and/or repeated violation of this policy will result in consequences up to and including: disciplinary action (for CCBC employees), Code of Conduct violation (for CCBC students), or a notice of trespassing (for non-CCBC users).

Policy: This policy applies to any individual using the college’s computer and/or communication facilities. Every user of these systems is expected to know and follow this policy.

2.1. General Principles
Data communication facilities at the college have been developed to encourage widespread access and distribution of data and information. Non-CCBC users may be required to register for a guest user ID and password. A photo ID will be required. Computing systems facilitate manipulation and sharing of data and information. Together, these systems and facilities can be used in a fashion similar to mail and telephone services, and so are governed by principles of appropriate use for these services.

College data communication and computing resources are used to support the education, research, and public service missions of the college. Activities involving these resources must be in accordance with the faculty/employee handbooks, the student codes set forth in the college catalog, and relevant local, state, federal, and international laws and regulations.

In order for use and administration to be acceptable, it must demonstrate respect for the following:

  • The rights of others to privacy;
  • Intellectual property rights (e.g., as reflected in licenses and copyrights);
  • Ownership and confidentiality of all CCBC owned, leased, or licensed programs, files and information;
  • System mechanisms designed to limit access; and
  • Individuals’ rights to be free from intimidation, harassment, and unwarranted annoyance.

2.2 Acceptable Use Guidelines
Related college policies and guidelines that must be respected by such individuals include the following
acceptable uses of resources:

  • Use only your CCBC authorized user ID and password.
  • Use resources only for authorized purposes.
  • Protect your user ID and system from unauthorized use. You are responsible for all activities on your user ID and all activities that originate from your user ID.
  • Access only information that is your own, that is publicly available, or to which you have been given authorized access.
  • Those whose job duties require local data storage should, in addition to encryption, provide access instructions to their supervisors to prevent data loss in the case of personal tragedy, death, etc.
  • Use only legal versions of copyrighted software in compliance with vendor license requirements.
  • Be considerate in your use of shared resources. Refrain from monopolizing systems, overloading networks with excessive data, degrading services, or wasting computer time, connect time, disk space, printer paper, manuals, or other resources.

The following are not acceptable: 

  • Using another person’s user ID and password or permitting another to use your user ID and password under any circumstances. Office of Information Technology will disable any user ID account detected as being shared.
  • Using another person’s system files, or data without permission.
  • Using computer programs to decode passwords or access control information.
  • Attempting to circumvent or subvert system or network security measures.
  • Engaging in any activity that might be purposefully harmful to systems or to any information stored thereon, such as creating or propagating viruses, disrupting services, damaging files or making unauthorized modifications to college data.
  • Using college systems for downloading and storing large amounts of personal video, music, and pictures.
  • Using college systems for printing large amounts of personal documents or pictures.
  • Using college systems for commercial or partisan political purposes such as using electronic mail to circulate advertising for products or for political candidates.
  • Making or using illegal copies of copyrighted materials or software, storing such copies on college systems, or transmitting them over college networks.
  • Downloading, storing, creating and/or displaying threatening, obscene (including material as defined in Title 11, Section 203 of the Criminal Law of the Maryland Annotated Code*), pornographic, racist, sexist, or harassing material, including broadcasting unsolicited messages or repeatedly sending unwanted mail, unless legal and for the purposes of specifically meeting course learning objectives.
  • Downloading or storing personally identifiable information such as Social Security Numbers and/or Date of Birth and/or Credit Card Numbers, unless required by one’s job duties. In which case, such downloaded information must be stored in an encrypted and password-protected location behind CCBC firewall.
  • Transmitting PII through email and/or other unsecured technologies, devices and media.
  • Using the college’s systems or networks for personal gain; for example, by selling access to
    your user ID or to college systems or networks, or by performing work for profit with college
    resources in a manner not authorized by the college.
  • Engaging in any other activity that does not comply with the General Principles presented

*§11-203. “Obscene” means:
(i) that the average adult applying contemporary community standards would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;
(ii) that the work depicts sexual conduct specified in subsection (b) of this section in a way that is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable material;
(iii) that the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious artistic, educational, literary, political, or scientific value.