4.47 Acceptable Use of College Technology

(Adopted 6-14-2021)

Use of East Central College’s technology resources (hardware, software, wired and wireless networks, telephones, etc.) is granted to the College’s faculty, staff, and students and is restricted solely to purposes related to the College’s mission.  Individuals outside of the College may be granted access to the College’s technology resources only with the authorization of the Director of Information Technology, President, or appropriate administrator, and only for a purpose consistent with the College’s mission.

Authorized users of the College’s technology resources are expected to act responsibly, ethically, and lawfully.  Violations of these procedures may result in limitation, suspension, or revocation of access to the College’s technology resources. Violators may also be subject to discipline under the College’s disciplinary procedures and/or prosecution under federal, state, and/or local law.

The term “computer” as used herein shall include computers and computing devices, as well as mobile computing devices, including, but not limited to, laptops, smartphones, tablets, or other portable computing devices.

Procedures (Adopted 6-14-2021) 

4.47.1   College technology resources shall not be used without proper authorization from the College.  Assisting in, encouraging, or concealing either unauthorized or attempted unauthorized use of the College’s technology resources is prohibited.  Users shall take reasonable steps to ensure the confidentiality of passwords or user IDs and to protect files, data, printouts, and electronic mail from access by unauthorized users.  Unauthorized use of an employee or student account, password, or user ID must be reported to the Director of Information Technology.

4.47.2   College technology resources shall not be used for illegal, commercial, or profit-making purposes. Excessive personal use is also forbidden.  Personal use may be considered excessive if it interferes with an employee’s job performance, results in network saturation or undue burden, results in excessive data storage, or otherwise subjects the College to increased costs or risks.

4.47.3   College technology resources shall not be used to purposely interfere with, or gain unauthorized access to, another user’s computer or network facility, regardless of where such computer or network facility is located.  Prohibited actions include but are not limited to using the College’s technology resources to:

  • Obtain, or attempt to obtain, system or administrative privileges for which the user is not authorized.
  • Access, or attempt to access, another user’s account, system, files, or data without proper authorization.
  • Engage in any form of academic dishonesty.
  • Unnecessarily impede or disrupt the computing activities of others.
  • Prevent, or attempt to prevent, others from accessing services (“denial of service attacks”).
  • Participate in any scheme to deliberately flood a computer with excessive amounts of electronic mail (“mail bombing”).

4.47.4   Users shall not endanger or breach, or attempt to endanger or breach, the security or operation of any of the College’s technology resources.  Users are required to verify with Information Technology staff that a program or application will not harm or endanger the College’s system prior to installing, testing, running, or distributing the program or application

4.47.5   Users shall not knowingly create, install, or distribute a computer virus or any other type of destructive or malicious program or application on any of the College’s technology resources, or otherwise damage or destroy any equipment, software, or data belonging to the College or any other user.

4.47.6   Users must secure proper authorization before modifying or reconfiguring the software or hardware of any of the College’s technology resources.

4.47.7    The College’s technology resources shall not be used in a manner that violates the privacy and/or productivity of others.  The following privacy restrictions must be followed when using the College’s technology resources:

  • No user’s account information will be accessed, altered, or deleted without proper authorization.
  • Files stored on another user’s device, the College’s network, or a College managed cloud space shall not be accessed, read, copied, altered, or deleted without proper authorization.

4.47.8   The College’s technology resources shall not be used to access, download, or transmit images, messages, communications, or other materials that can be deemed to be obscene, sexually explicit, threatening, harassing, annoying, defamatory, fraudulent, unlawful, or designed to trick or deceive users into revealing confidential information about themselves.  This restriction shall not apply to information that is part of legitimate academic research or assignments that have been authorized by the College provided that such information is not used for unlawful or harassing purposes.

  • Receipt of a threatening, obscene, harassing, annoying, or defamatory message, communication, or other material shall be reported to the Human Resources Director if received by an employee, or the Chief Student Affairs Officer if received by a student.
  • Receipt of a fraudulent, unlawful, or unwanted message or other material shall be reported to the College’s Information Technology Department.

4.47.9   Users shall not misrepresent their identity or relationship to the College when obtaining computing or network privileges, when using any of the College’s technology resources, or in any electronic communication.  Users will not falsely attribute or forge the origin of electronic mail, messages, or postings.

4.47.10 Users shall not install, copy, or otherwise use any software or data in violation of applicable copyrights or license agreements.  Unauthorized copies of software or data contained in the College’s technology resources shall not be made or distributed, nor shall unauthorized or pirated software be installed or used on any of the College’s technology resources.

4.47.11 Users of the College’s resources will only communicate or distribute electronic mail to clearly identified groups of interested individuals who may reasonably be expected to want to receive the transmission, and will not engage in the mass broadcasting of electronic mail nor the distribution of chain letters (messages asking the recipient to distribute further copies).

4.47.12 The College considers its website and social media accounts to be official College publications and reserves the right to actively monitor, modify, and remove pages and messages.  Any posts or changes which do not conform with the procedures in this Policy and/or other applicable rules and policies of the College will be removed.

4.47.13 The College cannot guarantee against a loss of data, files, and/or software as a result of system crashes, network outages, power outages, malicious software, or similar interruptions in service. Accordingly, the College disclaims any liability for loss of data, damages, service interruptions, or failure to deliver services. The College also disclaims any responsibility and/or guarantees for data, information, and materials contained in systems or sites not developed by the College, such as those obtained through the Internet.

4.47.14 The use of College technology resources does not create nor imply any specific rights of privacy.  To ensure the integrity of the College’s technology resources and compliance with the procedures set forth in this Policy, or serve another legitimate business need of the College, the College reserves the right, without notice, to monitor, inspect, and review all systems, files, data, e-mail communications, and other transmissions created, compiled, accessed, stored, or sent on any of the College’s technology resources.

4.47.15 Users of College technology resources should be aware the College is subject to the Missouri Open Meetings and Records Act (“Sunshine Law”) section 610.010 RSMo. As such, e-mail and other electronic information is subject to request and possible disclosure (if deemed an open record) to the public.

4.47.16 The College reserves the right to discard incoming mass mailings that involve unsolicited commercial advertising (“spam”) without notifying the sender or recipient, as well as the right to block all Internet communications from sites that are involved in extensive mass mailings or other disruptive practices or which contain sexually explicit content or other content that inconsistent with the College’s mission.

4.47.17 Employees are expected to preserve any text, email, or other electronic communication relevant to pending litigation/possible litigation.

4.47.18 Suspected violations of the above rules should be reported to the College’s Director of Information Technology.  Users of the College’s technology resources are expected to cooperate with the Director of Information Technology in the operation of these resources and with the College regarding the investigation of any misuse or abuse.

4.47.19 College technology resources must be used in a manner that is compliant with any federal, state, or local law or regulation, as well as all College policies and procedures.