Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy, Network Security Policy

The use of WPI computing and communications resources, like the use of any other university-provided resource, is subject to the normal requirements of legal and ethical behavior within the university community. The Acceptable Use Policy applies to all users of university technology resources, and to all uses of those resources, whether on campus or from remote locations.

  • WPI computing and communications resources may only be used by authorized persons for legitimate purposes relating to teaching, learning & research, and university administration. No one may use WPI’s technology resources for inappropriate or illegal purposes such as playing practical jokes, circulating chain letters, introducing viruses, wiretapping, packet sniffing, circumventing security,  downloading and distributing child pornography, and activities such as cyber stalking. As stated above, the University will take legal action to the fullest extent  commensurate with the violations and as determined by the courts.
  • Commercial use of these resources, except for authorized WPI business, is prohibited. Reselling of university technology resources or services is, in almost all cases, not permitted.
  • Users are responsible for complying with the requirements of the contracts and licenses applicable to the software and other data they install on university or personal systems. Copyright violations, especially of downloaded material or shared software, are of particular concern. Proof of legal licensing should be made available upon request.
  • Users may utilize only those computing resources that they are authorized to use and use them only in the manner and to the extent authorized. No one may share individually assigned accounts and passwords under any circumstances, not even with supervisors, family members, or CCC or university staff. No one may share use of an account, personal computer or network connection for the purposes of providing network access to unauthorized individuals.

WPI employs various measures to protect the security of its computing resources and of users' accounts. Users should engage in "safe computing" practices by establishing appropriate access restrictions for their accounts, guarding their passwords and changing them regularly, backing up files and using virus protection. Because university computing resources are university property, uses of those resources are not private but may be monitored by the university in appropriate circumstances. While the university does not routinely monitor individual usage of its technology resources, the normal operation and maintenance of the university's resources require the backup and caching of data and communications, the logging of activity, the monitoring of general usage patterns, and other such activities that are necessary for the provision of service.

The complete text of the Acceptable Use Policy and the Network Security Policy are available online at the following links:

Questions & Answers

Q.  I have been issued an e-mail account to assist me in performing my job with the university. Is it a problem if I occasionally direct e-mail of a personal nature to colleagues outside the university?
A.  WPI has made a substantial investment in the data network and servers that enable its faculty and staff to correspond via electronic mail. While the university recognizes that occasional use of this infrastructure for personal purposes will not disrupt its functionality, it expects that e-mail users will respect the priority of business communications and keep personal correspondence to a minimum.

Q.  My spouse and children have become very interested in the Internet. Is it possible for me to let them use my WPI computer account in the evening hours to access the World Wide Web or to create their own home pages?
A.  No. WPI computer accounts are issued for use only by the individual assigned to the account and should only be used to conduct university business. For security purposes, you should not divulge your account password to anyone. Moreover, it is not acceptable for you to allow others to use your account, even during off hours. The university data infrastructure is in heavy demand by students, faculty, and staff at all times.

Q.  I am going on vacation for two weeks and have given my user ID and password to a coworker so that she can review my e-mail messages and attend to urgent business. Is this acceptable?
A.  No. Giving another person your password constitutes a violation of university policy. The best solution in cases of absence is to ask the CCC Helpdesk for assistance to arrange forwarding of your e-mail to the mailbox of someone else for review.



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