Acceptable Use of IT Facilities and Systems
The following is a web version of the current policy for the Acceptable Use of IT Facilities and Systems at Buckinghamshire New University.
The aim of this policy is to help ensure that Buckinghamshire New University’s IT facilities and systems can be used safely, lawfully, and equitably. The issues covered are complex and you are strongly urged to read the accompanying guidance notes (pdf). This gives more detailed information that we hope you will find useful.
Download the Policy for the Acceptable Use of IT Facilities and Systems.
Download the guidance notes for the Acceptable Use of IT Facilities and Systems.
Version 2.1 – approved July 2019
Next Review Date – June 2022
These regulations apply to anyone using the IT facilities (hardware, software, data, network access, third party services, online services, or IT credentials) provided or arranged by Buckinghamshire New University.
When using IT, you remain subject to the same laws and regulations as in the physical world.
It is expected that your conduct is lawful. Furthermore, ignorance of the law is not considered to be an adequate defence for unlawful conduct.
When accessing services from another jurisdiction, you must abide by all relevant local laws, as well as those applicable to the location of the service.
You must abide by the regulations / policies applicable to any other organisation whose services you access such as Janet, Eduserv, and Jisc Collections.
When using services via Eduroam, you are subject to both the Policies of Buckinghamshire New University and the institution where you are accessing services.
Some software licenses procured by Buckinghamshire New University will set out obligations for the user – these should be adhered to. If you use any software or resources covered by a Chest agreement, you are deemed to have accepted the Eduserv User Acknowledgement of Third-Party Rights (see accompanying guidance for more detail).
Breach of any applicable law or third-party regulation will be regarded as a breach of these IT regulations.
These regulations are issued under the authority of the Director of Digital and Technical Services who is also responsible for their interpretation and enforcement, and who may also delegate such authority to other people.
You must not use the IT facilities without permission.
You must comply with any reasonable written or verbal instructions issued by people with delegated authority in support of these regulations. If you feel that any such instructions are unreasonable or are not in support of these regulations, you may appeal to the Director of Digital and Technical Services or make a complaint. Additional information is available from https://bucks.ac.uk/students/student-centre/student-complaints.
The IT facilities are provided for use in furtherance of the mission of Buckinghamshire New University, for example to support a course of study, research or in connection with your employment by the institution.
Use of these facilities for personal activities (provided that it does not infringe any of the regulations and does not interfere with others’ valid use) is permitted, but this is a privilege that may be withdrawn at any point.
Use of these IT facilities for non-institutional commercial purposes, or for personal gain, requires the explicit approval of the Director of Digital and Technical Services.
Use of certain licenses is only permitted for academic use and where applicable are subject to the code of conduct published by the Combined Higher Education Software Team (CHEST). See the accompanying guidance for further details.
You must take all reasonable precautions to safeguard any IT credentials (for example, a username and password, email address, authentication token or other identity hardware issued to you. You must not allow anyone else to use your IT credentials. Nobody has the authority to ask you for your password and you must not disclose it to anyone.
You must not attempt to obtain or use anyone else’s credentials.
You must not impersonate someone else or otherwise disguise your identity when using the IT facilities.
You must adhere to the full guidelines set out in the Password Policy available from https://bucks.ac.uk/policies.
You must not do anything to jeopardise the integrity of the IT infrastructure by, for example, doing any of the following without approval:
• Damaging, reconfiguring, or moving equipment.
• Loading software on Buckinghamshire New University’s equipment other than in approved circumstances.
• Reconfiguring or connecting equipment to the network other than by approved methods.
• Setting up servers or services on the network.
• Deliberately or recklessly introducing malware.
• Attempting to disrupt or circumvent IT security measures.
If you handle personal, confidential, or sensitive information, you must take all reasonable steps to safeguard it and must observe Buckinghamshire New University’s Data Protection and Information Security policies and guidance, available at https://bucks.ac.uk/policies, particularly with regard to removable media, mobile and privately owned devices.
You must not infringe copyright or break the terms of licenses for software or other material.
You must not attempt to access, delete, modify, or disclose information belonging to other people without their permission, or explicit approval from Human Resources.
You must not create, download, store or transmit unlawful material, or material that is indecent, offensive, threatening, or discriminatory. Buckinghamshire New University has procedures to approve and manage valid activities involving such material; these are available at https://bucks.ac.uk/policies and must be observed.
Real world standards of behaviour apply online and on social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Blogger and Twitter.
• You must not cause needless offence, concern, or annoyance to others.
• You should also adhere to Buckinghamshire New University’s guidelines on social media available at https://bucks.ac.uk/policies.
• You must not send spam (unsolicited bulk email).
• You must not deliberately or recklessly consume excessive IT resources such as processing power, bandwidth, or consumables.
• You must not use the IT facilities in a way that interferes with others’ valid use of them.
Buckinghamshire New University monitors and records the use of its IT facilities for the purposes of:
• The effective and efficient planning and operation of the IT facilities;
• Detection and prevention of infringement of these regulations;
• Investigation of alleged misconduct;
• Continuation of Buckinghamshire New University’s business as usual. This may include requests to view content you have created / modified using our systems e.g. email, during periods of absence (relevant authorisation for this would be required).
Buckinghamshire New University will comply with lawful requests for information from government and law enforcement agencies.
You must not attempt to monitor the use of the IT facilities without explicit authority.
Infringing these regulations may result in sanctions under the institution’s disciplinary processes. Penalties may include withdrawal of services and/or fines. Offending material will be taken down.
Information about infringement may be passed to appropriate law enforcement agencies, and any other organisations whose regulations you have breached.
Buckinghamshire New University reserves the right to recover from you any costs incurred as a result of your infringement.
You must inform the IT Service Desk if you become aware of any infringement of these regulations.