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University of Idaho Computer Use Policy
January 21, 2007


The State of Idaho's Information Technology Resource Management Council (ITRMC)
establishes statewide policies on computer, the internet and electronic mail usage by state employees

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This policy governs use of computers and related equipment operated by the University of Idaho. Each computer user is a member of a community; the purpose of this policy is to maximize the value of our resource to that community. The intent of the policy is to permit maximum freedom of use with appropriate security, consistent with State Law, University policy, and a productive working environment. The policy applies to all those who use university computers. Depending on the seriousness of an offense, violation of the policy can result in penalties ranging from reprimand to loss of account to referral to University authorities for disciplinary action to criminal prosecution.

State Law and University Policy

Use of university computers must comply with Idaho law and University policies. Therefore, university computers may not be used for commercial or profit-making purposes, for political purposes, or for personal benefit where such use incurs a cost to the university and is not academically related. State law prohibits unauthorized access to computer systems.

Access of or attempts to access another person's directory, files, or mail, whether protected or not, without permission of the owner is prohibited. All University of Idaho employees should be aware that e-mail on their UI account and files on UI computers may be subject to public disclosure under the Idaho Public Records Law. Further, the UI reserves the right to access employee e-mails and files on UI computers when needed for work-related purposes. Attempts to access unauthorized machines via the computer network, to decrypt encrypted materials, or to obtain privileges to which the user is not entitled are prohibited.

The University has signed software licenses for much of the software that is available on the computer systems; removal or transfer of such software without authorization is prohibited. This policy statement authorizes university computer systems' staff to examine the user's files if required as part of their official duties. Sharing of a computer account with other persons is prohibited; each user must have an individual account. Passwords must be protected and comply with UI policy on password standards, and the user must not leave a machine logged on when the user is not present unless the machine is in a secure area, such as a private office.

All users who work with sensitive personal information (a person’s name in combination with a social security number; driver’s license or other Idaho identification card number; or account number, or credit or debit card number) must store such information at all times on an ITS-managed network drive, and shall not store any sensitive personal information on a computer hard drive or portable storage device, unless such storage has been authorized by ITS, and is adequately encrypted.

Working Environment

Users of university machines should conduct themselves in a manner that promotes a productive working environment. Conduct that creates a disturbance to other users is prohibited; this includes making noise, taking food or beverages into the computer labs, and printing or displaying materials that are unsuitable for public display. Conduct that intentionally or negligently interferes with the proper operation of the system or its use by others is prohibited. Users of any electronic communications shall not send or post messages that are libelous, patently offensive, or that intimidate, threaten, demean or harass individuals or groups, or that would otherwise bring discredit to the university.

Use of Resources

Users of university computers shall not consume unreasonable amounts of limited resources. Resources that are in limited supply include laser printing, disk space and, in some cases, machine access itself. Laser printing should be used judiciously; it should not be used for multiple copies. Picture files or other large files should not be stored on disk unless they are academically relevant. Playing of games and other non-academic activities should be restricted to periods of off-peak usage. The university may impose restrictions or limits on use of resource. (See also the UI Residential Data Connection Privilege Agreement)

A student, staff member, faculty member, or system administrator who is unsure about how to deal with questions about any aspect of this computer use policy should contact ITS Administration at (208) 885-6721 (or e-mail: its@uidaho.edu).