IT Acceptable Use Policy

Establishment: Council, 11 October 2007 

Last Amended:

5 December 2014

Nature of Amendment: Name change from ICT Acceptable Use, complete re-structure of all content.
Date Last Reviewed:  5 December 2014
Responsible Officer:

 Director, Information Technology Services

1.  Objective

The objective of this policy is to outline the acceptable use of Flinders University Information Technology (IT) Resources by all users and the unacceptable use that would expose the University to risks that include loss of confidentiality, damage to reputation, malware attacks, compromise of network systems and legal issues.

This policy is written to be consistent with the Information Security Standards AS/NZS ISO/IEC 27001:2006 and AS/NZS ISO/IEC 27002:2006.

2.  Scope

The policy is applicable to all users of IT Facilities and IT Resources managed by the University.

3.  Definitions

  • IT Facility means any University owned or operated installation or building such as data centre, server room or network room that contains critical University IT Resources;
  • IT Resource means any form of University-controlled technology used to collect, process, store and disseminate information, including but not limited to:
    • Phones (including mobile devices) and supporting equipment, voice mail, SMS;
    • Smartphones, tablets;
    • Servers, desktops and laptop computers;
    • Email, collaboration tools (including, instant messaging, video conferencing) facsimile (fax);
    • Any connection to the University's network , or use of any part of the University's network to access other networks;
    • All University supplied software;
    • All other hardware including, printers, scanners, etc.;
    • Any off-campus computers and associated peripherals and equipment provided for the purpose of University work or associated activities;
    • Usage of remote systems accessed via University IT Facilities.
    • User any person accessing any of the University's IT resources and / or facilities, including, but not limited to – staff, students, alumni, consultants, contractors, third parties, other users who are authorised by the University to access systems and/or the campus network, and  anyone connecting non-Flinders University equipment (e.g. laptop computers) to the University network. 

4.  Legislative Framework

Use of University IT Resources must comply with all relevant Commonwealth and State government civil and criminal laws; all University rules and policies; and all relevant contracts and licences.

Examples of such laws, rules, policies, contracts, and licences include, but are not limited to:

  • Commonwealth and State laws covering defamation, privacy, freedom of information, censorship, copyright, trademark, offensive material, pornography and spam;
  • Commonwealth and State IT-specific criminal laws, which prohibit hacking, spreading viruses, unauthorised use and a range of other IT-related activities;
  • Employer/Employee Obligations under the existing Collective Workplace Agreement;
  • The University's academic integrity, sexual harassment, racism, bullying and equal opportunity policies and/or statements.

5.  Acceptable Use of IT Resources

Users are required to:

  • Accept full responsibility for their use of IT Resources in accordance with all relevant University policies;
  • Avoid consuming an unreasonable amount of available IT Resources (e.g. consuming an amount that would negatively impact the experience of other users);
  • Only access IT Resources for which they are authorised;
  • Report any damage to IT Resources to an appropriate member of staff;
  • Take precautions to ensure that screens displaying sensitive or critical information are not seen by unauthorised persons in public areas;
  • Be responsible for all activities originating from their accounts (e.g. FAN, student number, staff number);
  • Comply with the terms and conditions of any licenced third party applications.

Users are not permitted to:

  • Copy, download, store or transmit material which infringes copyright, including music files, movies or videos, or pirated software;
  • Create or transmit any material that could reasonably be deemed offensive, obscene or indecent, intimidating or distressing (other than for approved teaching, research or incident investigation purposes);
  • Create or transmit any material that is likely to discriminate, harass or is defamatory;
  • Create or transmit any material that is confidential and for which there is no authority to transmit;
  • Avoid connecting untrusted removable storage media to University-owned mobile computing devices;
  • Use IT resources for unauthorised commercial activities, private or financial gain to a third party;
  • Send junk-emails, for-profit messages, chain letters or unsolicited commercial emails (SPAM);
  • Connect any network equipment to the University network (e.g. modems, mobile internet, mobile data card) that will extend access or provide off-campus access to IT Resources without approval;
  • Subvert security by creating or installing any form of malicious software (e.g. worms, viruses, sniffers) which may affect computing or network equipment, software or data;
  • Subvert security by attempting unauthorised access to any IT Resource.

5.1.  Acceptable Use of the Internet

Internet connectivity is provided to Flinders University users for learning, research, teaching and the provision of administrative purposes. All individual Internet access activity will be automatically recorded and monitored; this includes pages viewed, files and programs transferred (including user date and time of access).

  • Users must not access any pornographic, racially insensitive and/or similar material (other than for approved teaching or research purposes);
  • Users must not use the internet to attempt to gain unauthorised access to other systems;
  • Users who engage with social media in the context of the University should consult the University’s Social Media Guidelines.

5.2.  Acceptable Use of Email

The University email service is provided to all Users for a University purpose. The following rules must be adhered to by Users:

  • All e-mail received, created and sent using the @flinders.edu.au address are deemed official University correspondence, are subject to the Freedom of Information and State Records Acts and remain the property of the University;
  • Whilst some personal email usage is permitted, all email content remains the property of the University;
  • E-mails containing sexist, racist, offensive or abusive material are not acceptable under any circumstances;
  • If an offensive e-mail is received it must not be distributed to others and must be reported immediately (send samples to ictsecurity@flinders.edu.au);
  • Users must not send e-mail which may compromise the reputation of the University such as harassment or chain letters, pornographic or insensitive material, or knowingly send e-mail with attachments that may contain viruses, worms, or malicious content;
  • Users must not knowingly open any attachments or links which are suspicious or from untrusted or unknown sources;
  • Users must not send e-mail impersonating someone else.

5.3.  Acceptable Use of Collaboration Services

The University’s collaboration tools are provided to all Users for a University purpose. The following rules must be adhered to by Users of the services:

  • All instant messages received, created and sent using the University’s collaboration tools are deemed official University correspondence, are subject to the Freedom of Information and State Records Acts and remain the property of the University;
  • Instant message functionality is not a replacement for email and as such any formal documents or official communications should be via email only;
  • Sensitive or proprietary information must not be shared using instant messaging or video conferencing services as the services are not designed for such purposes;
  • Users must not knowingly open any attachments or links which are suspicious or are received from untrusted or unknown sources via instant messaging;
  • Users must not use instant messaging for sharing personal, malicious or copyright file attachments that are not directly related their employment or studies;
  • Users must not send instant messages which may compromise the reputation of the University such as harassment, pornographic or insensitive material;
  • Users are reminded to be mindful when using available desktop sharing functionality not to expose sensitive or proprietary University information;
  • All use of instant messaging and video conference services are monitored and recorded. Information is stored and archived to meet University record retention requirements.

5.4.  Acceptable Use of Phone Services

The University’s phone systems are provided to staff for a University purpose. The following rules must be adhered to by Users of University phone services:

  • Users must not misuse phone services to make harassing, insensitive or malicious phone calls;
  • Calls to premium telephone numbers or international numbers are not permitted unless approved by a Faculty/Portfolio Head.

5.5.  Personal Use (Non-University Use)

Acceptable use of IT permits the personal use of University IT Resources provided it does not:

  • Interfere with the performance of the user's job, studies or other University responsibilities;
  • Interfere with normal IT operations;
  • Interfere with the use or access of other users;
  • Include use of an application on a device which does not belong to a University staff member;
  • Damage the reputation or operations of the University; and
  • Impose unreasonable additional costs on the University.

6.     Compliance and Enforcement

  • Manager, ITS Security Services is responsible for monitoring user compliance with this policy and investigating and reporting breaches of this policy.
  • Supervisors/Managers are responsible for reporting any security incidents or breaches of this policy by staff under their supervision to the ITS Service Desk.
  • Users are responsible for reporting any security incidents and breaches of this policy to the ITS Service Desk.
  • Failure by Users to comply with any element of this policy may result in disciplinary action in accordance with the relevant disciplinary procedures. These are:

In addition to imposing any penalty or disciplinary action, the University may take action to recover the costs associated with any damage to or loss of IT resources and/or data caused by an individual through the deliberate breach of this policy. Cases of serious, deliberate or criminal breach may be referred to external authorities and may result in civil or criminal proceedings.

7.  Related Documents

This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant University policies, including:

Information Security Policy

Academic Discipline: Unsatisfactory Performance and Misconduct/Serious Misconduct

Suspension in the Case of Alleged Misconduct or Serious Misconduct

Discipline - Professional Staff

Social Media Guidelines