Employees of the University are provided with access to the Internet to assist them in performing their jobs. The Internet can be a valuable source of information and research. In addition, e-mail can provide excellent means of communicating with other employees, our students and clients, outside vendors, and other businesses. Use of the Internet, however, must be tempered with common sense and good judgment.
If users abuse their right to use the Internet, it will be taken away from them. In addition, they may be subject to disciplinary action, including possible termination, and civil and criminal liability.
Use of the Internet through University computers is governed by this Policy:
Disclaimer of liability of Internet. Lincoln Memorial University is not responsible for material viewed or downloaded by users from the Internet. The Internet is a worldwide network of computers that contains millions of pages of information. Users are cautioned that many of these pages include offensive, sexually explicit, and inappropriate material. In general, it is difficult to avoid at least some contact with this material while using the Internet. Even innocuous search requests may lead to sites with highly offensive content. In addition, having an e-mail address on the Internet may lead to receipt of unsolicited e-mail containing offensive content. Users accessing the Internet do so at their own risk.
Employee’s duty of care. Employees should endeavor to make each electronic communication truthful and accurate. Employees should use the same care in drafting e-mail and other electronic documents as they would for any other written communication. Please keep in mind that anything created or stored on the computer system may, and likely will, be reviewed by others.
Duty not to waste computer resources. Employees must not deliberately perform acts that waste computer resources or unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of others. These acts include, but are not limited to, sending mass mailings or chain letters, spending excessive amounts of time on the Internet, playing games, engaging in online chat groups, printing multiple copies of documents, or otherwise creating unnecessary network traffic. Because audio, video, and picture files require significant storage space, files of this sort may not be downloaded unless they are business-related.
Expectations of privacy. The computers and computer accounts given to employees are to assist them in performance of their jobs. Employees should not have an expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send, or receive on the computer system. The computer system belongs to the University.
No privacy in communications. Employees should never consider electronic communications to be either private or secure. E-mail may be stored indefinitely on any number of computers, including that of the recipient. Copies of employees’ messages may be forwarded to others either electronically or on paper. Employees should never transmit personally indentifiable information about any LMU constituent, including (but not limited to) social security numbers, addresses, dates of birth or any other information that may be used in an attempt to compromise an identity. In addition, e-mail sent to nonexistent, or incorrect usernames may be delivered to unintended persons.
Monitoring of computer usage. The University has the right, but not the duty, to monitor any and all aspects of its computer system, including, but not limited to, monitoring sites visited by employees on the Internet, monitoring chat groups and newsgroups, reviewing material downloaded or uploaded by users to the Internet, and reviewing e-mail sent and received by users.
Blocking of inappropriate content. The University may use software to identify inappropriate or sexually explicit Internet sites. Such sites may be blocked from access by University networks. In the event users nonetheless encounter inappropriate or sexually explicit material while browsing on the Internet, immediately disconnect from the site, regardless of whether the site was subject to University blocking software.
Prohibited activities. Material that is fraudulent, harassing, embarrassing, sexually explicit, profane, obscene, intimidating, defamatory, or otherwise unlawful or inappropriate may not be sent by e-mail or other form of electronic communication (bulletin board systems, newsgroups, chat groups), downloaded from the Internet, or displayed on or stored in LMU’s computers. Employees encountering or receiving this kind of material should immediately report the incident to their supervisor.
Games and entertainment software. Employees may not use the University’s Internet connection to download games or other entertainment software, including streaming audio, Internet radio or to play games over the Internet.
Illegal copying. Employees may not illegally copy material protected under copyright law or make that material available to others for copying. Employees are responsible for complying with copyright law and applicable licenses that may apply to software, files, graphics, documents, messages, and other material they wish to download or copy. Employees may not agree to a license or download any material for which a registration fee is charged without first obtaining the express written permission of the office’s designated information technology person and budget.
Accessing the Internet. To ensure security and avoid the spread of viruses, employees accessing the Internet through a computer attached to LMU’s network must do so through an approved Internet firewall. Accessing the Internet directly, by modem, is strictly prohibited unless the computer being used is not connected to the University’s network.
Virus detection. Files obtained from sources outside the University, including disks brought from home, files downloaded from the Internet, newsgroups, bulletin boards, or other online services; files attached to e-mail; and files provided by customers or vendors, may contain dangerous computer viruses that may damage the University’s computer network. Employees should never download files from the Internet, accept e-mail attachments from outsiders, or use disks from non-University sources, without first scanning the material with University approved virus checking software. If it is suspected that a virus has been introduced into the University’s network, notify the office’s designated information technology person.
Sending unsolicited e-mail (spamming). Without the express permission of their supervisors, employees may not send unsolicited e-mail to persons with whom they do not have a prior relationship.
Altering attribution information. Employees must not alter the Form: line or other attribution-of-origin information in e-mail, messages, or postings. Anonymous or pseudonymous electronic communications are forbidden. Employees must identify themselves honestly and accurately when participating in chat groups, making postings to newsgroups, sending e-mail, or otherwise communicating online.
Standard footers for e-mail. When applicable, the following footer should be appended to e-mail sent outside the University:
This e-mail and any files transmitted with it are confidential and are intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. This communication may contain material protected by the attorney-client privilege. If you are not the intended recipient or the person responsible for delivering the e-mail to the intended recipient, be advised that you have received this e-mail in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing, or copying of this e-mail is strictly prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately notify the offices designated information technology person by telephone at 800-325-0900. You will be reimbursed for reasonable costs incurred in notifying us.
Attorney-client communications. E-mail sent from or to in-house counsel or an attorney representing the University should include this warning header on each page: ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGED; DO NOT FORWARD WITHOUT PERMISSION. Communications from attorneys may not be forwarded without the sender’s express permission.
Use of encryption software. Employees may not install or use encryption software on any of LMU’s computers without first obtaining written permission from their supervisors. Employees must not use passwords or encryption keys that are unknown to their supervisor.
Export restrictions. The federal government has imposed restrictions on export of programs or files containing encryption technology (such as e-mail programs that permit encryption of messages and electronic commerce software that encodes transactions). Software containing encryption technology is not to be placed on the Internet or transmitted in any way outside the United States without prior written authorization from the offices designated information technology person.
Other policies applicable. In their use of the Internet, users must observe and comply with all other policies and guidelines of the University, including but not limited to the following:
[ View: Computer And Software Use Policy ]
Violations of this policy will be taken seriously and may result in disciplinary action, including possible termination, and civil and criminal liability.