Guidelines for Students on Use of IT Facilities including Email and the Internet

Responsible Officer Chief Information Officer
Last Updated April 2014
Date of Review April 2017
Audience/Application Students
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1.    Terms of Use

These guidelines are issued by the Chief Information Officer under the authority of Council and provide clarification on the practical application of the University's Policy on Acceptable Use of IT Facilities.  These Guidelines do not apply to Postgraduate research degree students who should refer to the Guidelines for Staff.

2.    Student Conduct

2.1    Students should:

  • seek the advice of their lecturer or the IT Help Desk if they are in doubt concerning their authorisation to use any IT facility or about whether a particular use is acceptable;
  • use, or copy, software consistent with the relevant licensing agreement and check with the IT Help Desk if in doubt;
  • respect copyright and always use or transmit information in a way that does not infringe copyright;
  • comply with all relevant State, Federal and International law as well as University policy, procedures and guidelines;
  • ensure that they maintain confidentiality and privacy of data;
  • not seek access to data not required as part of their study;
  • choose a secure password and keep their user name and password safe;
  • report any misuse or breach of data or physical security, including theft of mobile devices, as soon as possible, to the IT Help Desk;
  • provide evidence (e.g. current student ID card) of their eligibility to use the University's IT facilities on request of relevant University managers and supervisors; and
  • respect others and not unduly inconvenience other people, through excessive use of IT facilities.

2.2    Students should not:

  • transmit information or materials (including email) that:
    • contain discriminating or sexually harassing content,
    • could create an intimidating or hostile work environment for others,
    • are designed to cause harm to organisations with which the University has commercial relationships,
    • are, or contain, chain letters,
    • contain unsolicited personal opinions on social, political, religious or other non-University related matters, where sending such opinions is not a legitimate part of study;
  • use, or attempt to use, another person's username, password or mailbox without authorisation;
  • forge emails or any other type of electronic correspondence;
  • use another's identity or conceal or misrepresent their name or affiliation or address;
  • use University facilities to make personal profit from commercial activities or to buy or sell goods or services, except in electronic forums that have been established for that purpose;
  • install software on any University IT facility;
  • save passwords electronically within applications;
  • attempt to circumvent system security provisions;
  • visit, download, store or transmit materials that are pornographic, profane or offensive.

3.    Copyright

Copyright law restricts the copying of software and other material subject to copyright (documents, emails, music, broadcasts, videos etc.) except with the express permission of the copyright owner. (The copyright of an email is owned by the sender, or the sender's employer.)

Refer to the Copyright at UniSA webpage.

4.    Privacy

Privacy is limited in the following ways:

  • use of computers, email and the internet as well as data on internet sites visited, downloads made and emails sent/received, can be accessed by IT administrators.
  • it is possible to retrieve deleted records from back ups and archives.

Refer to the Privacy webpage.

5.    Freedom of Information

Email messages created in the course of studying may be official records covered by the State Records Act (1997) and the Freedom of Information Act (1991).  The content of these emails remains the property of the University and may be subject to release in accordance with the FOI Act.

Refer to the Freedom of Information webpage.

6.    Alleged Misuse

Where an alleged misuse has been reported, the Chief Information Officer (or nominee) may:

  • act immediately to prevent any continuation of the alleged misuse pending an investigation.
  • promptly notify other authorities, including the relevant Head of School.
  • advise the student of the Acceptable Use of IT Facilities policy and direct the student to discontinue the alleged misuse immediately.

If an investigation of alleged misuse requires a students use of IT facilities to be examined or monitored they will not necessarily be notified.

Allegations that constitute misconduct or breaches of the law will be referred to the appropriate authority for investigation.  The University will give that authority all reasonable assistance requested, including disclosing:

  • relevant financial and personal data which may be held by the University; and
  • data which may be limited by contractual obligation including copyrighted software and software that is patented or which contains trade secrets.

7.    Monitoring

Routine monitoring of the use of IT facilities is conducted to monitor the costs and acceptable use of University resources will take place.

In normal circumstances, University and third party staff supporting IT services will not monitor the contents of electronic mail messages or other communications or files they access as a result of their work (e.g. auditing operations).  However, the University and third party staff supporting IT services will inspect, copy, store and disclose the contents of email when appropriate to prevent or correct improper use, satisfy a legal obligation, or to ensure proper operation of IT facilities.