College for Creative Studies continues to adopt and make use of new means of communication and information exchange. This means that many of our employees have access to one or more forms of electronic media and services, including: computers, e-mail, telephones, voice mail, fax machines, external electronic forums, wire services, on-line services, the Internet, and the World Wide Web.
CCS encourages the use of these media and associated services because they can make communication more efficient and effective and because they are valuable sources of information. However, all employees and everyone connected with CCS must be aware that electronic media and services provided by CCS are for the purpose of facilitating and supporting CCS educational and business use.
This policy cannot establish rules to cover every possible situation. Instead, it is designed to support CCS’s Mission Statement and set forth general principles employees should apply when using electronic media and services.
The following procedures apply to all electronic media and services that are:
- accessed on or from CCS premises;
- accessed using CCS computer equipment or via CCS paid access methods; or
- used in a manner that identifies the individual with CCS.
Electronic media cannot be used for knowingly transmitting, retrieving, or storing any communications that are:
- discriminatory, annoying, or harassing;
- derogatory to any individual or group;
- offensive, obscene, defamatory, or threatening;
- attempting to test, circumvent, or defeat security or auditing systems;
- SPAMMING, the method of mass distribution of communications, that does not support CCS related business;
- engaged in for any purpose that is illegal, fraudulent, malicious, or contrary to CCS policy or educational and business interests.
- CCS reserves the right for interpretation of the above prohibited communications.
Electronic media and services are provided by CCS primarily for employees’ educational and business use. Limited, occasional, or incidental use of electronic media (sending or receiving) for personal, non-business purposes is understandable. Personal use of CCS’s electronic media and services cannot interfere with an employees’ position responsibilities. Employees are expected to demonstrate a sense of responsibility and not abuse this privilege.
Access to Employee Communications
CCS does not routinely access or monitor employee communications directly. However, individual use patterns – telephone numbers called, sites accessed, call length, and time at which calls are made – are monitored for the following purposes:
- cost analysis;
- resource allocation;
- optimum technical management of information resources; and
- detecting patterns of use that indicate employees are violating CCS policies or engaging in illegal activity
CCS reserves the right to review any employee’s electronic files and messages at any time to ensure electronic media and services are being used in compliance with the law, this policy, and other CCS policies. Employees should not assume that electronic communications are private.
CCS licenses the use of various computer software for educational and business purposes and does not own the copyright to this software or its related documentation. The employees of CCS, do not have the right to reproduce such software for use on more than one computer, or use the software for purposes other than those authorized by the license.
Employees may only use software on local area networks or on multiple machines according to the software license agreement. CCS prohibits the illegal duplication of software and its related documentation.
Security / Appropriate Use
Employees must respect the confidentiality of other individuals’ electronic communications. Except in cases in which authorization has been granted by CCS management, employees are prohibited from engaging in, or attempting to engage in:
- monitoring or intercepting the files or electronic communications of other employees or third parties;
- hacking or obtaining access to systems or accounts they are not authorized to use;
- using other people’s log-ins or passwords; and
- breaching, testing, or monitoring computer or network security measures
No e-mail or other electronic communications can be sent using CCS equipment that attempt to hide the identity of the sender or represent the sender as someone else.
Electronic media and services should not be used in a manner that is likely to cause network congestion or significantly hamper the ability of other people to access and use the system.
Anyone obtaining electronic access to other organizations’ or individuals’ materials must respect all copyrights and cannot copy, retrieve, modify, or forward copyrighted materials, except as permitted by the copyright owner.
The confidentiality of student and employee records is protected by state and federal laws. No employee may access confidential information unless authorized to do so. CCS confidential information should never be transmitted or forwarded to outside individuals or organizations without authorization. Employees are required and expected to protect CCS confidential information.
Participation in On-Line Forums
Employees must be aware that any messages or information sent on CCS provided facilities to one or more individuals via an electronic network (i.e.: Internet mailing lists, bulletin boards, and other on-line services) are statements identifiable and attributable to CCS.
CCS recognizes that participation in some forums might be important to the performance of certain employees’ positions. Employees should include the following disclaimer in all of their postings to public forums:
The views, opinions, and judgments expressed in this message are solely those of the author. The message contents have not been reviewed or approved by CCS.
Employees should note that, even with a disclaimer, connection with CCS exists and a statement could be imputed legally to CCS. Therefore, employees should not rely on disclaimers as a way of insulating CCS from the comments and opinions they contribute to forums. Instead, employees must limit their discussion to matters of fact and avoid expressing opinions while using CCS systems or a CCS provided account. Communications must not reveal information about CCS’s business or confidential information and must not otherwise conflict with this or other CCS policies.
Employees who abuse or violate the privilege of CCS facilitated access to electronic media or services are subject to corrective action, up to and including termination.