Guidelines for Computer Users

CU-Boulder has a robust computing and networking environment used by members of the campus community to create, discover, and share information electronically. All users must comply with the Acceptable Use of CU-Boulder’s IT Resources policy when using those resources. But, what does that policy mean in simple terms? This short summary will help you understand key concepts.

Guideline #1
Maintain a secure password

You should choose a password that is at least six characters long and a combination of at least two of the following: upper or lower case letters, numbers, or punctuation. Do not write it down—commit it to memory. Don’t tell anyone what it is. Your password should not be easily guessable, so don’t use common names or words. We recommend that you change your password at least once a year.

Guideline #2
Use resources ethically; don't harm computing and network resources

You should use computing and network resources efficiently and effectively. Don’t engage in excessive game playing; send frivolous or excessive email, including chain email; print excessive copies of documents, files, images, or data; keep unnecessarily large files on shared systems; or, if you are authorized to have one, do not host a server that places excessive demands on network capacity. We recommend that you set your computer on the energy save mode to conserve energy when not in use.

Don’t make deliberate attempts to harm, degrade, or negligently disrupt the performance of any CU-Boulder computing and network resources or use CU-Boulder's resources to harm other computing and network resources (e.g. don’t create or spread viruses, damage equipment, software, or data, disrupt services, or engage in IP spoofing).

Guideline #3
Don't harass

The integrity of the CU-Boulder computing and networking environment depends on a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation to ensure that everyone has equal privacy and protection from interference or harassment; therefore, you may not annoy, intimidate, threaten, offend, or bother another person by: conveying obscene language, pictures, and/or other materials; making threats of bodily or psychological harm; contacting another person repeatedly with the intent to annoy or bother; and/or contacting a person who has expressed a desire for communication to cease.

Guideline #4
Don't use CU-Boulder's computing and network resources for commercial purposes

You may not use CU-Boulder’s computing and network resources for personal financial gain and/or commercial purposes, whether for-profit or non-profit. Additionally, you may not sell your access to the CU-Boulder network to anyone.

Guideline #5
Don't use CU-Boulder's computing and network resources for political campaigns

It is against state law for state resources or funds to be used for supporting political campaigns, candidates, legislation, or ballot issues. Student organizations that are officially recognized by UCSU may advance their organization’s mission as long as they abide by university policy as well as by state and federal law.

Guideline #6
Comply with copyright law

Don’t violate copyright law by illegally copying, distributing, downloading and/or uploading information from the Internet (or any electronic source). This includes copyrighted audio materials, movies, software, video games, and images. Copyright law protects a work, in whatever medium, unless it has been placed in the public domain. Owners of copyrights hold exclusive right to the reproduction and distribution of their work; therefore, unauthorized use and distribution of copyrighted works is illegal. Even innocent, unintentional infringement violates copyright law.

Guideline #7
Know (understand) the limitations of privacy in electronic communications

Recognize that in certain circumstances, the university may access and disclose faculty, student, or staff electronic communications; therefore, privacy and/or confidentiality should never be assumed.

Guideline #8
Handle data appropriately

You must be aware that you have special responsibilities when handling sensitive data electronically (e.g. electronic data containing social security numbers, PINs, CU ID numbers, passwords of any nature, health, medical and psychological records, police records, and/or final grades). Employees responsible for generating, creating, and/or altering sensitive data have a special responsibility to safeguard the data and maintain the accuracy of the data. You should password protect your computer so that data cannot be obtained by an unauthorized user.

Guideline #9
Be aware of your IT responsibilities—know the policies!

Remember that these guidelines are just an interpretation of important CU-Boulder IT policies. These guidelines do not replace federal, state or campus policies. Additional policies, which you should be aware of, can be found at the Associate Vice Chancellor for IT website. Non-compliance with IT policies may have legal ramifications as well as financial consequences. Act responsibly!

Date: February 21, 2003

Give FeedbackSee More Photos View Photo