Acceptable Use Policy (AP-05-106)

UW-River Falls Administrative Policy
Policy ID: AP-05-106
Effective: Pending Approval

Acceptable Use Policy

Maintained by: Division of Technology Services
Approved by:
Next Review Date:


Access to computer systems and networks owned or operated by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls imposes certain responsibilities and obligations and is granted subject to university policies, and local, state, and federal statutes.

Access and use of the university's computing facilities, services and resources is granted solely to affiliated university faculty, staff, emeriti or honored, students, alumni, and individuals outside of the university (recognized guests, conference attendees, contractors, or other authorized individuals by Technology Services). The university reserves the right to limit, restrict, or extend computing privileges and access to its resources. 

Computers and network resources can provide access to resources both on and off campus. Such open access is a privilege, and requires that individual users act in a responsible and acceptable manner. Acceptable use always is ethical, reflects academic honesty, and shows restraint in the consumption of shared resources. Acceptable use demonstrates respect for intellectual property, truth in communication, ownership of data, system security mechanisms, and individuals' right to privacy and freedom of intimidation, harassment, and unwarranted annoyance. The university considers any violation of these acceptable use principles or guidelines to be a serious offense and Technology Services is charged with investigating; testing, logging and monitoring the use of University systems; seizing university property to copy and examine any files, objects or information resident on university systems allegedly related to unacceptable use. 

Those who do not abide by the policies and guidelines listed herein may be subject to immediate suspension and/or permanent loss of computer and network privileges, disciplinary action in accordance with applicable student handbook policies and/or employee misconduct policies, and related administrative or civil processes. Violators may also be subject to criminal prosecution under federal or state laws, and should expect the university to pursue such action. 

Please notify University Police or the Division of Technology Services immediately if you become aware of a violation of this policy, the unauthorized use of the university’s computer system and/or network, or a breach or risk to the security provisions that protect the computer systems, the network and user information.  All users are expected to cooperate with the Division of Technology Services in their use, access to and operation of the university’s computer systems and networks as well as in the investigation of misuse, abuse or violation of this policy.

Responsible Authorized Use and Restrictions 

The UW-River Falls’ computers, networks, and other information resources (i.e., web pages, email/calendar systems and other information servers) may not be used in any manner prohibited by law or disallowed by licenses, contracts, or university regulations. All authorized users, including students, student organizations or groups, faculty, academic staff, employees, contractors and individuals are accountable for the information they share or publish through the use of the university’s computing resources.  All users are responsible for being aware and informed of university policies regarding authorized and appropriate use of the computer systems and networks, confidential information, discrimination or harassment and intellectual property.

A.  Required Activities

All authorized users of the university’s computer system and network are hereby required to:

  1. Use the computer and network equipment and resources only for authorized purposes.
  2. Protect their login ID, password and systems from unauthorized use. The university is not responsible for activities on your login ID or that originate from your system.
  3. Access only files and data that are your own, which are publicly available, or to which you have been given explicate authorized access.   Do not access resources for which you may be technically able to access but are not authorized to do so.
  4. Be considerate in your use of shared resources. Refrain from monopolizing systems, overloading networks with excessive data, or wasting computer time,  connect time, disk space, printer paper, or other resources.
  5. Conduct “web surfing” and other Internet use in a hygienic manner to avoid the downloading of malware, viruses and other exploits to your computer or other systems.
B.  Prohibited Activities

All users are prohibited from using the university’s computer system, equipment and network in the following manner or for the following activities:

  1. Use login ID codes and system access for the purpose of using resources in violation of policy, or in violation of Federal, State and/or local statutes.
  2. Use copyrighted images, text, or software in violation of the copyright laws of the United States, or violate terms of applicable software licensing agreements.  
  3. Any prohibited use of P2P applications to download or share copyrighted music, videos, games or other audio visual material without expressed permission of the copyright holder.  These actions usually results in a “Digitial Millenium Copyright Act” (DMCA) notification from the copyright holder through official DMCA abuse/complaint channels and will yield in investigatory and subsequent action by Technology Services in compliance with the 2009 Higher Education Opportunity Act.
  4. Use resources to violate the university codes of conduct or engage in any criminal activity.
  5. Access, view and/or download on a university-issued computer or file space obscene and/or pornographic material or data, except for that which is required for purposes of a required research or academic project pursuant to an official employment-related responsibility or academic course requirement.  The user shall have the burden to prove that his or her conduct fell within one of these exceptions.  
  6. Use resources for private financial gain or compensation, except as permitted by other applicable university policies or state law.
  7. Use resources whose nature or volume compromises the security of and ability of a workstation, network based device, service, server, or other network component to serve other users.
  8. Use a computer account for which authorization has not been granted, use the campus network to gain unauthorized access to any computer system, attempt to circumvent data protection schemes or uncover security loopholes, or mask the identity of an account or machine.
  9. Adding onto, modifying of, tampering with or providing services that mimic the campus wired or wireless services.  The installation of and providing of any wireless services on University property without the explicit written permission of Technology services.
  10. Knowingly perform an act that will interfere with the normal operation of computers, devices, peripherals, or networks, including (but not limited to) knowingly running or installing on any computer system or network, or give to another user, a program intended to damage, capture information from, reduce the security of, to defame the institution or an individual, or to place excessive load on a computer system or network. This includes programs known as keyloggers, viruses, Trojan horses, and worms.


The UW-River Falls Chancellor issues this policy in accordance with the Administrative Policy process.

The Division of Technology Services is responsible for the administration of this policy. Technology Services reserves the right to update this policy at any time, without notice to those who have previously agreed to it, to address newly adopted security practices and threats, users accepting this policy may find the most recent approved copy of this policy on the University’s Administrative Policy website.  It is the responsibility of all affiliated users of the University network to review this policy no less than annually.

You may request exceptions to this policy through the Division of Technology Services (DoTS) web site ( by submitting a standard service request prior to proceeding.  Or, if you prefer to have a confidential consult with the Chief Information Officer, contact the CIO at their private telephone line 715/425-3701.

To be able to enforce this policy, Technology Services will routinely and from time to time, without notice, monitor, scan, capture, share, log and analyze network traffic on and through the campus LAN and WAN, as well as monitor, share, capture, log and terminate network device usage, as necessary to conduct routine network administrative tasks, respond to escalating threats, comply with Human Resource and Students Rights and University Police investigations, conduct security or copyright investigations, or respond to officially sanctioned requests for information.

Sanctions and Appeals Process

Misuse of computing, networking, information, telecommunication, or Internet resources may result in the temporary or permanent loss of access to and use university computer system privileges and network. Additionally, misuse can be prosecuted under applicable statutes. Offenses that are in violation of local, state, or federal laws may be reported to the appropriate university and law enforcement authorities. Users will also be held accountable for their conduct under any applicable university or campus policies or procedures. Complaints alleging misuse of computer resources will be directed to those responsible for taking appropriate disciplinary action. Reproduction or distribution of copyrighted works, in violation of fair use, including, but not limited to, music, videos, images, text, or software, without permission of the owner is an infringement of U.S. Copyright Law and is subject to civil damages and criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment. Violators will be subject to university rules and regulations.

Related Documents 


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