Acceptable use of information and communications technology resources policy

Intent

  • To establish the standards for acceptable use of the University’s information & communication technology (ICT) facilities; and
  • To facilitate lawful usage which is supportive of University business in a manner consistent with University legislation, policies and Code of Ethics.

Scope

This policy applies to all users of the University ICT facilities including staff, students, alumni, contractors and other individuals and organisations that have been granted access.

This policy applies whether the user is situated on the University campus or at a remote location within Australia or overseas.

This policy applies to University ICT facilities whether hosted internally or hosted externally by a third party organisation (within Australia or overseas).

Objectives

To ensure that users of University ICT facilities:

  • are aware of their rights and responsibilities in respect of their use of University ICT facilities
  • comply with applicable laws and regulations
  • do so for approved University activities
  • are respectful towards others and their privacy
  • do not adversely affect the University’s commercial interests
  • do not bring the University into disrepute
  • are aware of the consequences of breach of this policy.

Policy provisions

The University makes available its ICT facilities for the purposes of learning, teaching, research, administration and other University business.

The University has established condition of use, which reflects the provisions of this policy. It is a condition of access to the University’s ICT facilities that users accept:

  • any such Terms of Use; and
  • that their actions and usage may be monitored and records retained.

Condition of Use

1. Compliance with Policy and Legislation

This policy sets out the University’s stance on the acceptable use of ICT facilities and access to these facilities imposes a responsibility on users:

  • To comply with University and government legislation
  • To comply with University policies, supporting procedures and codes of conduct; and
  • To observe the principles of good ethical and social behaviour.

2. Information Security and Privacy

  • Authorised users who have access to confidential information of University or private information about staff or students must maintain confidentiality of the information to which they have access in accordance with University and government legislation.
  • A user is not permitted to attempt to subvert the security of any ICT facilities that can compromise confidentiality, integrity and availability of ICT facilities.

3. Acceptable Personal Use

The University permits limited personal use of its ICT facilities outside of working hours provided that such use does not:

  • Interfere with University business
  • Affect an employee’s ability to carry out work duties
  • Breach University policy or legislation
  • Subject the University to significant cost; or
  • Expose the University to legal liability.

The University will from time to time determine acceptable personal use. Acceptable personal use includes but is not limited to:

  • Internet banking.
  • Occasionally emailing acquaintances on personal matters.
  • Short web browsing sessions (provided that such browsing does not breach this policy).
  • Brief telephone calls to family or friends.
  • Private use of corporate mobile phones in compliance with the RMIT Mobile Phones Policy.

4. Unacceptable Use

The University will from time to time determine unacceptable use. Unacceptable use includes but is not limited to:

  • Creating, accessing, transmitting or otherwise dealing with content which is illegal or which may reasonably be regarded as objectionable, defamatory or offensive.
  • Illegal or unlawful activities or activities, which may expose the University to legal liability.
  • Reproducing, distributing or otherwise dealing with copyright material or other intellectual property in breach of the intellectual property rights of any person(s).
  • Access for the purposes of pornography, gambling/gaming or other activities, which may from time to time be proscribed by the University.
  • Use for commercial purposes without the written approval of the University.
  • Interfering with or disrupting the performance of University facilities.
  • Breaching conditions of software licensing agreements.
  • Unauthorised access to a computer system or to data, interference with data resources without authorisation.
  • Sharing user account and disclosing individual password to anyone, including RMIT employees
  • Circumvention of security controls protecting the University’s ICT facilities.
  • Excessive non-Academic use of the Internet.
  • Using the University ICT facilities to interfere with internal or external computers or networks.
  • Use that breaches the personal privacy of others.
  • Undertake any anti-social activities, including nuisance e-mail, chain letters, unsolicited email messages to multiple users unless approved and obscene, harassing, or unwelcome behavior.

5. Monitoring

The University reserves the right to audit and monitor the use of the University’s ICT facilities, maintains records of use and take appropriate actions if misuse of resources is identified.

6. Breaches and Disciplinary Action

The University will treat misuse of its ICT facilities seriously and will pursue and address any breaches.

Reporting Breaches

Anyone who is aware of possible Breaches of this policy should be reported as follows:

  • In the case of breach by an employee – to the line supervisor of the employee or the Executive Director, Human Resources;
  • In the case of breach by a student – to the Head of School or PVC of the College.

Consequences if this policy is breached

The University may take disciplinary action against staff and students who breach this policy, including summary dismissal in the event of what the University considers to be a serious breach by a staff member. Breach by a student will be dealt with in accordance with the Student Discipline Regulation.

Any use of the University’s ICT facilities contrary to this policy may also result in withdrawal of access.

7. Supporting Procedures and Instruction

Users should refer to the “Supporting documents and information” section of this policy for references to documents which provide processes and guidance on the use of specific technologies, including but not limited to:

  • Internet, Email
  • Social, collaboration and educational networks, messaging, virtual worlds
  • Web site development, management and publishing
  • Voice over the Internet
  • Monitoring and surveillance of University ICT facilities.

For further details of RMIT IT policies and the Enterprise Agreement disciplinary provisions, please refer to RMIT Human Resources.

Users can contact the Service and Support Centre for advice on issues or problems.

[Next: Supporting documents and information ]