General Usage Policies

Information stored on a computer system or sent electronically over a network is the property of the individual who created it. Systems administrators, however, may gain access to users' data or programs when it is necessary to maintain or prevent damage to systems or to ensure compliance with other University rules.

We train our systems administrators with care. We limit all system administration privileges, including the ability to access files, to those administrators who are required to perform maintenance and recovery of the systems for which they are responsible.

We abide by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) policies on computer rules and responsibilities, and our users should read and follow these as well. These rules specify that individuals who are provided access to University computer facilities and to the campus-wide communication network assume responsibility for their appropriate use. The University expects individuals to be careful, honest, responsible, and civil in the use of computers and networks.

As system administrators, we also follow the SAGE (System Administrators Guild) expanded code of ethics. This requires system administrators to strive to:

    Treat everyone fairly.
    Maintain user privacy and confidentiality.
    Keep users informed about computing matters that may affect them.
    Ensure the integrity of the systems.
    Cooperate with computing professionals.
    Be honest about their competence.
    Continue to educate themselves.
    Enlarge their understanding of social and legal issues that arise in computing environments.
    Maintain safe, healthy and productive workplace for all users.
    Maintain a consistently high ethical standard and degree of professionalism in the performance of all duties.

We ask you to read and follow the the FAS policies on computer rules and responsibilities.

In addition:

    On shared systems, additional information on the use of the system may be intercepted, recorded, audited, inspected, and disclosed to authorized site and law enforcement personnel.
    If you obtain data from us, you may not redistribute it without written permission. If your affiliation lapses, you must destroy or return any data you obtained from us. You must also abide by any additional restrictions imposed by the data provider, as described by any licenses accompanying the data.
    If you obtain a login account from or through us, you may not share it with others.
    Users of public computer labs are expected to:
        Keep their area tidy in general, and to remove belongings when not logged in to the system.
        Log out when leaving the lab area for more than a few minutes, but not to reboot or shut down the systems when doing so.
        Refrain from food, beverages, and smoking.
        Leave the lab area locked if it was locked when you entered.
        Be quiet and considerate of others.
        Refrain from removing documentation or manuals from the lab.
        Yield to those doing higher priority work (required coursework is higher priority than general work which is higher priority than games and recreation).

Waiver: You recognize that systems and networks are imperfect, and waive any responsibility for lost work or time that might arise from their use. Our staff cannot compensate you for degradation or loss of personal data, software, or hardware as a result of your use of University-owned systems, software, or networks, or as a result of assistance you might seek from our staff.

By using HMDC facilities and services you consent to these policies.