Information Technology Appropriate Usage

Responsible Department
Information Technology
Effective Date

  1. .


    This policy establishes the appropriate use of Information Technology (IT) resources at the University of North Georgia (the “University”). 

  2. .


    1. Authorized Use

      Any scholarly activity, University business activity, or personal activity by an authorized user that does not violate any Federal or state law, University System of Georgia (USG) policy or University policy.

    2. Authorized Users

      1. Current faculty, staff, and students of the University;
      2. Anyone connecting to a public information service;
      3. Others whose access furthers the mission of the University and whose usage does not interfere with other Users' access to resources.

    3. IT Resources

      Any facilities, equipment and services owned, operated or provided by contract to the University or Affiliated Organizations for the use of members of the University community. By way of example, this includes e-mail and telecommunications systems, information technology systems, traditional and electronic bulletin boards, computers, mail, websites, broadcasts, fax machines, and photocopiers.  Information Technology Resources also include, but are not limited to, equipment, software, wired or wireless networks, data, and telephones whether owned, leased, or otherwise provided by the University (hereinafter IT Resources).

    4. Public Record

      All documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, computer based or generated information, data, data fields, or similar material prepared and maintained or received by an agency or by a private person or entity in the performance of a service or function for or on behalf of an agency. To include even when such documents have been transferred to a private person or entity by an agency for storage or future governmental use.

  3. .


    1. This policy is binding and applies to all Authorized Users.

    2. Expectations

      Authorized Users are expected to abide by the following standards of appropriate and ethical use:

      1. Use only those IT Resources for which you have authorization;

      2. Protect the access and integrity of IT Resources;

      3. Abide by applicable local, state, federal laws, University policies;

      4. Respect the copyrights and intellectual property rights of others, including the legal use of copyrighted material;

      5. Use IT Resources only for their intended purpose;

      6. Respect the privacy and personal rights of others;

      7. Access to this environment and the IT Resources is a privilege and is to be treated with the highest standard of ethics; and

      8. Do no harm.

    3. Individual Responsibilities

      1. Accountability – Each Authorized User is held accountable for his or her actions.

      2. Common Courtesy and Respect for Rights of Others – Authorized Users are responsible for respecting the rights of privacy for all.

      3. Privacy Requirements – Authorized Users of IT Resources will make every reasonable effort to ensure the privacy of the information entrusted to the University.

      4. Public Records of the University, including those stored on IT Resources or personal devices, are subject to the Georgia Open Records Act.

      5. Authorization – Users should not connect to any local host on the wired or wireless network without authorization or advance permission.

      6. Harassment – No User may, under any circumstances, use the University’s IT Resources to libel, slander, or harass any other person.

      7. Responsible Use of Resources – IT Resources, including paper, are for Academic and Administrative Use Only. Authorized users shall be responsible for ensuring that the use of IT Resources complies with all University and University System of Georgia/Board of Regent policies.

      8. The University prohibits the intentional accessing, downloading, printing, or storing of information with sexually explicit or other illicit content on IT Resources, unless it can be demonstrated that such content is reasonably intended to contribute to academic inquiry.

      9. Authorized Users shall be responsible for complying with all state and federal laws when using information systems including all relevant copyright laws.

      10. Authorized Users shall not use IT Resources in such a way that violates the University’s contractual obligations, including limitations defined in software or other licensing agreements.

      11. Computing Devices – Authorized Users are responsible for the security and integrity of University information stored on any device (University issued devices or personal).

      12. Attempts to Circumvent Security

        1. Subverting Security Measures – Authorized Users are prohibited from attempting to circumvent or subvert any system's security measures.  This includes, but is not limited to, using unapproved software for remote access or attempting to bypass network or host based firewalls.  Exceptions include security tools utilized by systems and security administration personnel in the course of business.

        2. Harmful Activities
          • Creating or propagating viruses; disrupting services; running unauthorized wired or wireless equipment; damaging files; intentional destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the University or other Users is defined as harmful activities and are prohibited.

          • Authorized Users shall not perform wired or wireless network scans, probes, or deploy monitoring services, or unapproved hardware or software without appropriate permission.

          • Authorized Users shall not misrepresent themselves as someone else, or intentionally damage or destroy equipment, software, or data.  
      13. Personal Business – University IT Resources may not be used in a manner that violates the Non-Solicitation Policy or in connection with compensated outside work or for the benefit of organizations not related to the University, except in connection with traditional faculty pursuits such as teaching, research and service.

      14. Reporting Violations – Authorized Users shall report all violations of this policy as required by the University Employee Handbook.

    4. University Privileges

      1. Allocation of Resources – The University may allocate resources in differential ways in order to achieve its overall mission

      2. Monitoring of Usage, Inspection of Files – The University maintains the right through its authorized agents to actively access, obtain, collect, maintain, and review information concerning any use or access to IT Resources.

      3. Suspension of Individual Privileges – The University may suspend computer and wired or wireless network privileges of an Authorized User for reasons relating to his/her physical or emotional safety and wellbeing, or for reasons relating to the safety and wellbeing of other members of the University community, or University property.
  4. .

    Support Info

    1. Governance / Compliance / Authority – The University’s Information Security Program Policy establishes the governance, compliance, and authority required to define appropriate usage. Nothing in this document should be taken to contradict policies, standards and guidelines made mandatory and binding by The University System of Georgia, the Board of Regents, the Georgia Technology Authority or other higher entity.

    2. The following documents and policies support this definition:

      1. Board of Regents Policy Manual - Section 11 “Information Technology (IT)”
      2. Board of Regents Business Procedures Manual - Section 12 "Protection and Security of Records"
      3. Board of Regents Information Technology Handbook - Section 5.8.1 USG Appropriate Use Policy and Section 5.8.2 USG AUP Interpretation and Administration Guideline
      4. PeachNet Acceptable Usage Policy
      5. Georgia Computer System Protection Act - O.C.G.A. § 16-9-90 & HB1630
      6. Georgia’s Obscenity and Related Offenses – O.C.G.A § 16-12-80
      7. Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA-20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99)

    3. Continuance – This policy may be reasonably modified at any time by the President of the University. This document replaces the Information Systems Acceptable Use Policy v2.1 (NGCSU-Revised 2010) and the v2.0 Computer and Network Usage Policy v1.2 (GSC-Revised 2009).
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    Any related operating procedures must comply with and should reference this policy.