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Proper Use of Information Technology Policy - 61.12

College Procedure Number/Title:

Information technology resources at Howard Community College (HCC) are provided to facilitate the educational and business processes of the college. Employee and student use of information technology resources must be consistent with the mission of the college and comply with federal, state, and local laws.

Access to the college's information technology resources is a privilege granted to students, faculty, staff, and others designated by the college. The college reserves the right to extend, limit, restrict, or deny privileges and access to its information technology resources. Prior to access, all employees must complete the college’s access and responsibility online training and read, complete, electronically sign, and submit the agreement access form at the end of the training.

The following responsibilities and standards apply to all HCC employees given access to college information technology resources in order to secure and protect the information assets of the college.

Employees will:

  • access only those resources for which they have been specifically authorized.
  • use information technology resources only for college business except as otherwise detailed in college policy 40.02, Intellectual Property and procedure 40.02.01, Intellectual Property Produced By Howard Community College Faculty and Staff with College Resources. This provision applies equally to all college-owned or college-leased equipment.
  • safeguard the access, transmission, and storage of all college-related information as detailed in college procedure 61.13.01, Safeguarding College Information.
  • protect information systems by logging off of the college’s computer network when away from the workstation 61.13.01, Safeguarding College Information.
  • respect the privacy of person-to-person communication in all forms, including voice (telephone and voicemail), text (electronic mail and file transfer), and image (graphics and video). However, employees should not have an expectation for total privacy of their electronic communications. While in conjunction with their assigned duties, it may be necessary for system administrators and human resources personnel to retrieve electronic communications generated or received by employees. Access to current and former employees’ electronic communications by system administrators, technicians, supervisors, or human resources staff must not be arbitrary or capricious and performed for a specific college purpose. Requests for access to employee email accounts or other electronic files must be approved by the appropriate area vice president or the president.
  • not copy HCC licensed software for personal use or transfer software to non‑HCC equipment. Employees may use certain HCC licensed software on personal devices with an expectation that those devices are compliant with the best practices concerning cybersecurity available through the college’s Information Technology Division.
  • not interfere with or disrupt network users, services, or system resources. Disruptions include, but are not limited to, distribution of unsolicited advertising, creation or propagation of computer viruses running network or other diagnostic tools that evaluate the college’s network or administrative systems, and transmission of slanderous or harassing materials.
  • not intentionally abuse, disrupt, or threaten the viability of any system, including those at the college and those on networks to which the college's systems are connected.
  • not record an individual’s social security number or any other personally identifiable information (PII) in any electronic device, document, or database, unless the collection is required by law and used for specific purposes within the college’s administrative computing system. Additionally, employees must not transmit or require the transmission of an individual’s social security number over the internet unless there is a secure connection and encryption protection. For further details, refer to college procedure 61.13.01, Safeguarding College Information.

Compliance with HCC policies and procedures is expected under college policy 63.09, Ethics and Conduct.

Compliance by students for acceptable use of information technology is further outlined in the student handbook.

Effective Date: 05/14/21

President's Office Use:  VPIT

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