I.D. Computers and Electronic Media, 

Acceptable Use of


POLICY TITLE:  Computers and Electronic Media, Acceptable Use of


The use of computers and other electronic media is a privilege provided by Fox Valley Technical College to support employment consistent with FVTC business objectives and to promote the interests of FVTC.  When staff is provided access to college computing resources and other electronic media, the use is explicitly or implicitly limited and should be used solely for purposes for which the access was provided.

Keep in mind that shared systems are inherently insecure.  With appropriate administrative authorization, Information Technology staff or computer lab staff may access accounts and transmissions for troubleshooting and maintenance.

If there is reasonable suspicion of misuse, accounts and transmissions may be accessed for investigative purposes when authorized by all three of the following positions:  the Executive Team member responsible for the unit, the Vice President of Administrative Services, and the Chief Information Officer.  Security analysis and maintenance systems whose purpose is to identify unauthorized use of a system may be used to monitor computer use.  All data stored on FVTC systems is considered FVTC property and is subject to review.

Ethical Use of Computers and Electronic Media:

Fox Valley Technical College staff members hold a position of trust which imposes ethical obligations to act for the benefit of the district.  FVTC administration advocates standards of professional ethics regarding the use of FVTC computers and electronic media and services.
  1. Employees will act as trusted agents in accessing, generating and/or storing printed and electronic records/documents that promote the interests of FVTC.

  2. Employees will use FVTC computers and other electronic media for FVTC related business.  Any other use of the computers and electronic media must have prior consent of the Executive Team member responsible for the unit.  College computers and electronic media cannot be used for commerce, lobbying, or profit.

  3. Employees will not cooperate with, prompt, or assist co-workers who use their positions for personal advantage or who misuse computers or other electronic media.

  4. Computers and electronic media cannot be used for transmitting, retrieving, displaying, or storing any communication or activity contrary to the purpose for which this policy has been developed.  The list below is intended to provide examples of communications or activities, which are contrary to this policy and purposes, and is not meant to be all-inclusive and may be modified at any time:
Accessing/retrieving, saving, viewing, printing, disseminating or displaying information including but not limited to information that involves:

a. Discriminating, harassing, insulting or attacking others based on race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability or any other legally protected class.

b. Derogatory, demeaning, or offensive comments to or about any individual or group.

c. Defamatory or threatening comments to or about any individual or group.

d. Obscene, sexually oriented, or pornographic materials including:
  • Offensive, off color, or lewd comments or jokes.
  • Comments about body parts or references to the sex life of an individual.
  • Pornographic, sexually suggestive, or otherwise offensive or inappropriate web sites or images.
  • Leaving pornographic, sexually suggestive, or otherwise offensive or inappropriate web sites or images on the computer for the next user.
Note:  Any child pornography is a violation of law and will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

e. Otherwise unlawful activity.

f. Sending chain letters.

g. Responding to and participating in internet discussion groups, internet comment pages, and the like from FVTC computers that do not support FVTC business objectives.

h. Conducting job searches outside Fox Valley Technical College.

i. Accessing or using FVTC data that is available but not relevant to one’s current position, or manipulating FVTC data for personal reasons.

j. Unauthorized use, storage, or distribution of confidential or proprietary documents or information.

k. Use of copyrighted materials, including articles, software, etc., in violation of copyright laws.

l. False, damaging, defamatory or misleading information.

m. Operating a business or conducting any activity for personal gain or in support of volunteer activities.

n. Conducting or participating in solicitations or promotions related to commercial ventures, religious or political causes, or solicitations or promotions other than those specifically approved by the Executive Team.

o. Theft, accessing, copying or saving electronic files without permission.

p. Downloading, saving or sharing music, videos, pictures, etc. which do not support business objectives.

q. Communicating on another’s or the college’s behalf without consent.

r. Unauthorized disclosure or access to data or data restricted by government laws and regulations.

s. Engaging in communications for any purpose that is illegal or contrary to FVTC's policy or interests.

t. Using FVTC computers to gain unauthorized access to data or electronic systems or using another person’s computer or electronic media whether internal or external to FVTC to gain unauthorized access to FVTC data or electronic systems.

u. Use of another person’s password.

v. Flooding FVTC system(s) with numerous or large messages.

w. Use which incurs any unauthorized expense to FVTC.

x. Bomb threats.

System Network Access and User IDs:

New and transferred employees will be issued a User ID with network and system access and security appropriate to their duties as established by the System Access Request Procedure.  Contractors and consultants will not be issued FVTC e-mail addresses.

Limited Personal Use:

Computers and other electronic media and services are provided by FVTC for employees’ business use.  Limited, occasional, or incidental use of electronic media (sending or receiving) for nonbusiness purposes and which does not interfere with the employee’s job responsibilities and which is otherwise consistent with FVTC policies is permitted.  However, employees are expected to demonstrate a sense of responsibility and not abuse this privilege.

Information Security:

Security Incident Reporting
Any observed or suspected breach of FVTC information security, the information security policy or this policy should be reported immediately to one’s manager or Human Resources.  This includes but is not limited to unauthorized access, misuse of resources, lost or stolen computer equipment, or other electronic resource or media.

Disposal of Equipment
All FVTC owned computer equipment should be disposed of through the Information Technology department.  Contact the help desk for guidance.

Clear Desk Clear Screen
In order to protect information that has been entrusted to the college by employees, students, and the community, FVTC promotes a clear desk and clear screen approach.  Unattended computers must be locked or logged out and any print materials or electronic media containing operational or confidential information which is not currently being used must be securely locked away.

System Credentials
System credentials control access to valuable information and should be protected accordingly.  System passwords should not be divulged to others, written down in an accessible place, or stored electronically in an unencrypted file.

Hardware and/or Software for Home Use:

In order to support employment duties, FVTC owned computers and/or software or other electronic media may be provided to staff members for home use.  This policy applies to computers and software and other electronic media that are supplied to staff on either a permanent or temporary basis and are either owned or leased by FVTC and FVTC software which is installed on the employee’s computer at home.

Computers and/or software will be provided to a staff member for home use when it is recommended by the unit Executive Team member of the employee’s unit and pursuant to such procedure as may be established by the college from time to time.  This excludes software which has been publicized as generally available to employees.

Other Violations of Electronic Privacy:

Access to electronic files, network communications, and related data is protected by various state and federal statutes.  Unauthorized access to an employee’s electronic data or transmissions is prohibited and may also subject the perpetrator to civil or criminal penalties.  Examples of specifically prohibited behaviors include:
  • Unauthorized access to, interception, monitoring or diversion of electronic transmissions of another employee or third party.
  • Accessing clearly operational or confidential files unless specifically authorized to do so.
  • Accessing confidential information about a person (e.g. educational records, personal e-mail) without their consent or other authorization.
  • Downloading or installing unauthorized software that does not support FVTC business objectives.
  • Disabling college anti-virus, anti-spam or other filters.
  • Breaching, testing, or monitoring computer or other electronic media security measures.

Data Storage:

All public, operational, and confidential electronic data generated for FVTC use must be stored on approved network locations or systems and be able to be decrypted by authorized Information Technology staff.  Data should not be stored on a person’s local computer (C: Drive).  Only FVTC authorized encryption technologies, as configured by the Information Technology department, can be used to encrypt data stored on FVTC owned equipment, data owned by FVTC, or data entrusted to FVTC by a third party.

The use of cloud based storage services such as DropBox or Skydrive introduces risk to the security, privacy, copyright, and retention of FVTC data. As a result, cloud based storage services may not be utilized to store or share confidential or enterprise data from any computing device, whether or not it is owned by FVTC. Confidential or enterprise data includes, but is not limited to the following types of data:
  • Personally Identifiable Information (social security numbers, account numbers, birth dates, drivers license numbers, etc.)
  • Individually identifiable health information or any other information protected by HIPAA
  • Student records, grades, class enrollment data, or any other information protected by FERPA
  • Contract data
  • Financial data
  • Employee data and employment records

Interference with Computer or Electronic Media Use or Operations:

Efforts to interfere with the use or operation of computing or networking resources are prohibited.  These include but are not limited to:
  • Unauthorized use of these resources.
  • Distribution of computer malware, forwarding e-mail chain letters, etc.
  • Actions that result in the denial of service to other users by triggering system security features, or intentionally misconfiguring equipment to render it unusable.
  • Creating or forwarding forged or counterfeited e-mail messages.
  • Utilizing computers or electronic media in such a manner as to adversely affect the operations or efficiency of the system.
An employee must cooperate with systems administrators if advised of potential security problems associated with his or her account or system.

Statements Made Using Electronic Media:

Employees should remember that any messages or information sent on the FVTC-provided media/facilities to one or more individuals via an electronic network - for example, e-mail messages, internet mailing lists, bulletin boards, and on-line services - are statements identifiable and attributable to FVTC.

Employees using any personal tag lines or greetings on electronic transmissions must comply with applicable college policies.

FVTC recognizes that participation in some forums might be important to the performance of an employee's job.  There is still a connection with FVTC and all messages and information shared in these forums should promote the interests of FVTC.  Communications must not reveal confidential information and must not otherwise violate this or other FVTC policies.

Recognition of Copyrights:

FVTC employees and students must follow copyright laws (reference administrative policy V.K, Copyright Compliance – Instructional Materials).  Copying proprietary software is theft and will not be tolerated.  Illegally copied software subjects the college to risk of litigation and denies software authors the compensation they deserve.

Similarly, if an employee uses or make materials available for others to retrieve or use copyright law must be followed.  In general, every document, image, or sound is covered by copyright upon creation and may only be used or redistributed with the permission of the copyright holder.

Personal Responsibility for Use of Computers and Other Electronic Media:

FVTC values the constitutionally protected right to free speech and the college’s tradition of academic freedom.  However, with these freedoms comes responsibility for what is said and written.  If an employee defames someone online or invades a person’s privacy, the employee may be held legally liable.  All electronic communications must be conducted responsibly and in a way that favorably reflects on the college.

Disciplinary Action:

Exceptions to this policy must have prior authorization from the President or his or her designee.  Any violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Related Policies:
Administrative Policy I.C
Administrative Policy I.D.2
Administrative Policy IV.C
Administrative Policy IV.I.1
Administrative Policy V.K

Adopted: 05/23/88
Reorganized: 06/24/97
Reviewed: 04/17/13
Revised: 06/07/13

Appleton Campus photo

   Maintained by:

   Sarah Bingham

   Last Modified:
   6/7/2013 8:59:36 AM