Safety and Security on the Computer Network
The University’s campuswide computer network is part of the Internet, and when you use it, you have the ability to interact with people, both good and bad, all over the world.
You are bound by the University’s rules governing acceptable computer use whether or not you have read them. Here is a summary of the rules:
- The University’s computers are for the University’s use. Unless specifically authorized, it is illegal to use the University’s computers for outside money-making enterprises. In particular, you cannot place commercial advertising on a University Web page (though you are free to recommend commercial sites on your own initiative, as long as you are not being paid to do so).
- Passwords must be kept confidential. Never give your password to an unauthorized person. (Disclosing a password endangers the whole system, not just your own account, and can be a crime under Georgia law.) Do not store your password in your computer if there is a chance an unauthorized person may gain access to it. Do not choose a password such as your name or initials.
- “Account cracking” and deliberate tampering or disruption of the University’s computer system are not tolerated and are in violation of federal and state laws. Unless specifically authorized, do not read, alter, or delete another person’s computer files or electronic mail, and do not deliberately interfere with another person’s access to the computer, even if the computer permits you to do so.
- Do not place information into e-mail or computer files that would be damaging if made public; the University cannot guarantee the privacy nor security of computer transactions. Do not violate copyright laws or software licenses.
- You are responsible for the messages you transmit through the University’s facilities, including Web pages. Obey the policies of discussion forums in which you participate. Remember, you are accountable for what you say — laws against fraud, harassment, and obscenity apply to electronic communication. The reproduction of copyrighted material on Web pages is illegal without the copyright holder’s permission.
- Not everything on the Internet is what it appears to be. Hoaxes and scams are common. Do not send chain letters via computer, especially letters containing false warnings about computer viruses, promises of prizes, or appeals for charity. Forward to firstname.lastname@example.org any message that raises concerns.
Meeting people, making friends, and doing business on the Internet are risky activities. Use directories, the telephone, and other media to confirm that people are what they claim to be. For your own safety, when arranging your first face-to-face meeting with someone you met online, be sure to meet in a public place with friends present.
Losing your computer account isn’t the only penalty for violating the University’s rules; University discipline and, in serious cases, state and federal law enforcement, can be involved. You can also be liable for deliberate damage.
If you encounter a case of computer misuse, and especially if you are the victim, report the incident to email@example.com — the University’s incident handling team will promptly investigate the problem and refer it to appropriate authorities.