Information Technology Resource Acceptable Use Policy
Policy Category: Division of Technology Services
Effective Date: 9/13/2023
Responsible Officer: Vice President of Technology & Chief Information Officer
Responsible Office: Division of Technology Services
This policy sets forth the procedures and expectations regarding Wentworth Institute of Technology’s (university) efforts regarding the acceptable use of information technology.
This policy applies to all users of Wentworth ITRs, whether they are affiliated with Wentworth or not, and to all uses of those resources, whether on campus or from remote locations.
This policy is supplemented by all other Wentworth policies, standards, and guidelines, and by the policies and standards of organizations with which Wentworth is formally affiliated, including – but not limited – to Colleges of the Fenway and related consortia.
Third-party service providers and contractors must communicate this policy to any of their workforce members who are authorized to access ITRs and monitor for compliance.
Protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of Information Technology Resources (ITRs) is a cooperative effort that requires each member of the Wentworth Institute of Technology (henceforth known as “the university” or “Wentworth”) community to stay informed about Wentworth standards of acceptable and unacceptable ITR usage and communicate their concerns about unacceptable ITR usage to Wentworth.
Wentworth makes available information technology resources (ITRs) to authorized faculty, staff, students, and other Wentworth community members for teaching, learning, research, administration, and approved purposes. ITRs must be 1.) used in a manner that is consistent with university policies, standards, and applicable law and 2.) respectful of the rights of the Institution and the members of its community.
Wentworth only grants use, which shall be limited and conditional, of ITRs to appropriately authorized individuals who agree to the terms and conditions of this Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).
Information technology resources (ITRs) are Wentworth owned, leased, and/or managed information, technology, or IT services, which include but is not limited to computer accounts (email, network, system, application, et al), computers (desktops, laptops, workstations, servers, classroom A/V, and all mobile devices), printers and other peripherals, telephones and facsimile machines, electronic technology (i.e., computer programs, folders, and files), local and wide area networks, Internet access, digital storage media, and any information that resides on or traverses these resources.
User Privacy Considerations
Wentworth information technology resources are the property of the university. Use of these resources is intended primarily for educational, scholarly and university business purposes. While technical staff and administrators will not casually or routinely monitor content or search files without a justified business cause, Wentworth reserves the right to scan all network, systems, devices, as well as review any information stored or transmitted on this network, in response to a judicial order or other actions required by law or permitted by Wentworth policy or as otherwise considered reasonably necessary to protect or promote the legitimate interests of the organization, without notice. Wentworth respects individual privacy, however, these information technology resources should not be considered private, and appropriate discretion should be used when sending and storing highly sensitive or confidential information.
Loss of Personal Data
Wentworth provides recommended cloud storage locations for Wentworth related data. Wentworth does not back up personal data (i.e., data created by an end user that is not for a sanctioned Wentworth business or academic purpose) from end user devices, such as laptop and desktop computers. Therefore, Wentworth is not responsible for the recovery of personal data and will not satisfy requests to restore personal data. End users are advised to make backup copies of personal data on storage media they own and not Wentworth provided ITRs.
It is the responsibility of each member of the Wentworth community to report incidents involving violations of this and any Wentworth policy, as well as any unlawful activity, to the appropriate persons. For reporting incidents related to Wentworth information resources, email the information security team at email@example.com or the Tech Spot at firstname.lastname@example.org. To report unlawful activity, contact Public Safety at 617-989-4400 or send an email to email@example.com.
- Failure to comply with this policy, intentionally or unintentionally, may result in one or more of the following:
- Termination, without notice, of access privileges to information and technology resources
- Disciplinary action, up to and/or termination of employment
- Civil or criminal penalties as provided by law
This policy does not cover personally owned information resources that are not connected to – nor otherwise make use of – ITRs. This policy also does not apply to cyber security, computer engineering, or network engineering research activity that, by its very nature, may violate the scope of this policy. All staff, faculty, or students involved in such research are strongly advised to consult with Wentworth’s Associate Vice President for Technology Services before initiating any activities associated with such research to ensure that adequate and appropriate safeguards are implemented.
Additional Information & Related Documents
- Academic Catalogue (current academic year)
- Policy on Accessing IT Resources from Personally Owned Computing Devices
- Stewardship of Information Policy
Interpretations & Revision
Any questions of interpretation regarding this policy shall be referred to the Chief Information Officer. They will be the final authority regarding the interpretation of this policy.
This policy shall be reviewed annually; however, minor changes and updates can be made at any time.
Wentworth will typically apply the policy in place at the time it receives a report concerning the respected policy.
Review and Revision History
This policy was drafted by representatives from Digital Technology Service. This policy was reviewed by Cabinet and approved by the President on XX/XX/20XX.
This policy updates the existing Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy, 2020. Below is additional information regarding this history of this policy
|Date||Name & Title|
|7/1/20||Bryce Cunningham, Information Security Officer|
|9/13/21||Bryce Cunningham, Information Security Officer|
|6/7/22||Bryce Cunningham, Information Security Officer|
|8/11/23||James McFarland, Associate Vice President for Technology Services|
Appendix: Standards of Acceptable Use of ITRs
All ITR users must not:
- Use or access computer or network services in a way that violates copyrights, patent protections or license agreements, such as using Peer-to-peer sharing of copyrighted- protected material.
- Attempt to bypass, disable, or defeat Wentworth security technology, methods, or controls.
- Utilize any Wentworth information resource for the purpose of scanning, infiltrating, attacking, overloading (e.g., a Denial-of-Service attack), and/or any other act intended to determine vulnerabilities, compromise, or undermine the integrity, availability, or confidentiality of any information resource, whether owned by Wentworth or not (unless part of a student academic exercise approved by faculty or by staff under the direct or indirect authorization of the CIO).
- Take any action that obfuscates any assigned system or network identity or impersonates another system or network identity.
- Install network or system monitoring tools (unless part of a student academic exercise approved by faculty or by staff under the direct or indirect authorization of the CIO).
- Tap telephone or computing network communications in violation of federal or state law.
- Access, copy, modify, or delete information stored on Wentworth-owned systems without appropriate authorization.
- Use another person's login credentials or allow others to use theirs.
- Attempt to acquire ITR privileges for which you have not been appropriately authorized.
- Install, run, or disseminate by any means (such as via URLs, emails, text messages, web pages, network file shares, flash drives, pagers, instant messages, voice mail, or other forms of electronic communication) software, firmware, scripts, or other digital content with malicious intent — that the individual should reasonably be expected to know is malicious — or is a nuisance (spam).
- Store private or restricted Wentworth information in a digital device, system, service, or repository (i.e. a system, cloud service, or digital media), not approved by Wentworth.
- Connect to Wentworth networks or systems from remote locations using technologies and methods not approved by DTS.
- Configure a Wentworth student email account to forward messages automatically to a non-Wentworth email address for illicit purposes or without the knowledge of the account owner.
- Configure a Wentworth employee email account to forward messages automatically to a non-Wentworth email address.
- Use Wentworth ITRs in a manner that is a.) wasteful, or b.) inconsiderate of the rights of other users of ITRs, or c.) creates a hostile work environment for another employee.
- Use Wentworth ITRs for cryptocurrency mining, unapproved endeavors, other commercial purposes, or for personal financial gain.
- Unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or proprietary data protected by state or federal laws and/or Wentworth policies and standards.
- Take any action that circumvents, blocks, or disables reconnaissance on or against any ITR, as approved by the CIO.
All ITR users must:
- Use ITRs in a manner consistent with all applicable state and federal laws, such as the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and Wentworth policies and standards.
- Avoid the risk of unauthorized disclosure of the password to any Wentworth asset by taking countermeasures, such as storing the password where it cannot be easily discovered.
- Activate a password-protected screen saver on any Wentworth assigned computer before it is left unattended.
- Ensure back-up copies are regularly made of Wentworth work to mitigate potential loss.
- Scan all files and removable digital media not obtained from Wentworth with anti-virus software before connecting that media to any Wentworth computer or before accessing the file(s).
- Store restricted or private Wentworth information only in approved storage locations.
- Access, store, transfer, and grant access to all Wentworth information in a manner consistent with the Stewardship of Information Policy.
- Treat the authorship of email messages as equivalent to letters sent on official Wentworth letterhead.
- Send all official Wentworth email correspondence from an authorized Wentworth email account (i.e., an account in the “wit.edu” domain).
- Be responsible for all information sent, received, and retained via the employee’s assigned Wentworth email account.
- Send Private or Restricted information via email only with appropriate security measures, such as public key encryption.
- Familiarize with cyber security best practices, e.g. how to identify a malicious email, exercising caution in responding to suspicious emails, not introducing files or storage media (flash drives, CDs, removable storage) from parties with a poor or unknown reputation, and choosing a strong password.
- Use personally owned computing devices to access ITRs in a manner that is consistent with the Wentworth’s Policy on Accessing Wentworth IT Resources from Personally owned Computing Devices.