Student Handbook 2021-2022

Walsh

Information Technology Usage Policy

It is the policy of Walsh to maintain access for its community to local, national, and international sources of information and to provide an atmosphere that encourages access to knowledge and sharing of information. Walsh’s goal with respect to information technology is to provide the following:

Student access to information anywhere on location through Walsh’s network or off location through the Internet;

Faculty resources necessary to enhance teaching, learning, and research; and

Staff tools necessary for a responsive service environment.

This and all policies and procedures of Walsh are not intended to abridge academic freedom, constitutional guarantees of free speech, or freedom of expression. While the rights of academic freedom and intellectual creativity are recognized, the interests of Walsh, students, faculty, and staff must be protected. In addition to consideration of legal liability issues, the institutional image and reputation of Walsh are valuable assets requiring protection.

In accordance with these policies, Walsh works to create an intellectual environment in which students, staff, and faculty may feel free to create and collaborate with colleagues at Walsh and at other institutions without fear that the products of their intellectual efforts will be violated by misrepresentation, tampering, destruction, or theft.

Walsh advises users that while it follows generally accepted information security practices and deploys effective safeguards, it cannot guarantee that its information technology resources are completely protected from cybersecurity risks and threats from individuals who possess the skill and desire to breach those security measures and commit malicious acts. In addition, the information transmitted to third parties is not under the control of Walsh and may be intercepted.

Walsh advises all users of personally-owned computers to protect themselves from cybersecurity risks by:

  • Promptly installing security patches for the operating system and other software installed on the computer
  • Using antimalware software and keeping the software updated
  • Using a firewall
  • Using strong unique passwords on all accounts
  • Securing sensitive information such as accounts, passwords, financial and medical records by methods such as encryption and secure erasure
  • Staying alert to common ploys of cyber criminals, such as PHISHING

Links to additional information about cybersecurity are available on the Walsh website: www.oit.walshcollege.edu.

In the final analysis, the availability of Walsh information resources, technology, and networks is the responsibility of its users. Each user must guard against abuses that disrupt and threaten the long-term viability of the systems at Walsh and those beyond Walsh. Walsh requires members of its community to act in accordance with these responsibilities; this policy; relevant laws; and contractual obligations; and to maintain the highest standard of ethics.

Acceptable Use Policy

The following policies define the privileges of and restrictions on Walsh students and non-Walsh account holders who are provided with accounts to access the information resources and information technology of Walsh. The policies include examples of activities that are detrimental to the welfare of the overall community and are therefore prohibited.

This section also describes the process by which violators are identified, investigated, and disciplined. It should be noted that some activities that are legal are in violation of this policy and are prohibited with respect to Walsh information technology. Note that this policy does not apply to the employees, faculty and contractors who are governed by the policies of the Walsh Employee Handbook.

Walsh characterizes as unethical and unacceptable, and just cause for taking actions up to and including dismissal, and/or legal action, any activity prohibited by this policy statement.

Access to the information resources and information technology at Walsh is a privilege and must be treated as such by all users. The primary purpose of the information resources and information technology at Walsh is to fulfill the goals previously described. Use for other purposes, such as personal recreation, is secondary. A modest level of secondary use is permitted, but if secondary use activities interfere with fulfillment of the primary purposes of the technology, those activities may be terminated or restricted. Specific restrictions on use follow.

Walsh advises all users of its information resources and information technology that it has the right and the duty and will routinely monitor the use of its technology to prevent and detect any violations of these policies or applicable laws. Monitoring of use and investigation of suspected violations will be done routinely by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and without prior notice. Investigations may also be initiated by faculty department chairs, officers and cost center directors of Walsh and will be carried out by the OIT department. Computer activity that may be monitored includes, but is not limited to:

  • Files and data stored on Walsh computers
  • Programs installed on Walsh computers and programs used on Walsh network
  • Websites visited
  • Electronic messages sent and received
  • Information uploaded, downloaded and posted
  • Usage levels
  • Access to Sensitive (confidential) information

All of these computer activities are visible and verifiable by Walsh’s network management facilities.

Unless otherwise indicated, the following are prohibited activities. This list may not be exhaustive. Additional prohibitions may be communicated to the community at any time:

  • Students may not use any resource, equipment, or software to harass, discriminate against or threaten others. Such conduct may constitute a violation of Walsh policy, including but not limited to the Policy on Discrimination, Harassment and Sexual Misconduct in this handbook. Example: A student must not use the computer to contact another person repeatedly where no legitimate purpose exists and the recipient requests the communication to stop.
  • Students may not steal, forge, lie, cheat, eavesdrop, intercept, attempt to intercept, or compromise information. They may not alter the content of a message with the intent to deceive.
  • Students may not attempt to access or disclose any confidential or private information about Walsh, other students, staff, faculty or contractors. Confidential or private information includes, but is not limited to, personal information, health information, student records and Walsh business records.
  • Students may not masquerade as another user. They may not misrepresent the identity of the sender or source of an electronic communication. They may not acquire or attempt to acquire or discover the passwords of others. Example: A student must not access or attempt to access the account of another student, even if the student left their account logged in. Tip: Always log out of an application when you are not using it or lock your desktop. Tip: Always use long and complex passwords that meet the Walsh password guidelines. Never use passwords that can be easily guessed or that may be found in a dictionary. If you believe someone may know or be using your password, change it and report the security policy violation to the Office of Information Technology (OIT).
  • Students may not in any way destroy, damage, or alter any information, resource, equipment, or software, or monopolize computing resources. Example: Generating activities that consume excessive network bandwidth or other system resources causing or threatening to cause disruption of system availability. These activities could include “spam,” sharing or downloading large files, using a file sharing service, or generating Denial of Service network packets. Example: Deliberately installing malicious software such as a worm, virus, key logger or rootkit. Example: Accessing and altering information without authorization.
  • Students may not scan Walsh network for vulnerabilities without direct authorization from the OIT Director. Scanning of a separate non-production network Cybersecurity Lab or Virtual Lab is permitted when required for a class and authorized by the instructor.
  • Students may not possess any software, resource, or equipment whose purpose is to affect a violation of any of these policies. Exceptions will be made for software, resources and equipment required or recommended for classes the student is currently enrolled. This exception does not give any student permission to use the software, resources or equipment to violate any of these policies. Example: Possessing on any Walsh-owned system account or on the student’s personal computer those programs which may be used to determine the passwords of others, intercept network traffic or to obtain computer system privileges beyond those authorized.
  • Students may not attempt to violate any of these policies. An attempt will be considered the same as a violation. Example: If a student attempts to obtain system privileges to which they are not entitled, the student is as guilty as if they had succeeded.
  • Students may not create, possess, willingly receive, or distribute obscene material. Examples: Child pornography is absolutely against the law. It is a violation of Federal statutes to possess this material or to transmit it across state lines, even electronically.
  • Students may not violate this Technology Usage Policy off-location anywhere in the world using Walsh resources. Example: An attempt to gain unauthorized entry to a Walsh computing resource such as the Walsh Student Portal, email etc., via any computer off Walsh location is treated as if the student attempted to gain access from a computer located on location.
  • Students may not copy, install, or use any equipment, service, information, data, image, recording, or other work in violation of applicable copyrights or license agreements, including media file-sharing, streaming, or hosting. Example: If a student places on Walsh computing resources or uses Walsh’s network to download to a personal device any material created by or belonging to others, they must have their documented permission to do so, and will be expected to produce written permission when proprietary or copyrighted material is involved.
  • Students may not use Walsh’s information resources or information technology for political purposes or non-Walsh commercial business or advertising. Students must not generate unsolicited commercial email unless they have express written authorization to do so from the appropriate authority. However, any officially sanctioned Walsh student group may maintain an official Web page that presents objective information about the group itself. Example: Individuals may not use Walsh owned statistics software on the academic shared systems to do work for off-location entities for which they are paid. Example (Permitted activity): The Young Democrats/Republicans may have a page that presents information about their activities and goals. They may not engage in the following activities, which is not an exhaustive list: endorsing a candidate for office; linking to a candidate’s campaign site; or political fundraising. Example: The sending of unsolicited bulk email (spamming) is not allowed.
  • Students may not make alterations to the Walsh network. They must not add or alter network components such as routers, wireless routers, firewalls or switches. They must not add to or alter cabling. They must not alter domain names or IP addresses. Example: A student must not add a wireless router to any Walsh network jack or port. Example: All IP addresses and domain names are owned and assigned by the Office of Information Technology. The Office of Information Technology may also restrict World Wide Web, ftp and other network services that interfere with fair network use by others.
  • Students must take full responsibility for what they publish, download, transmit, or possess.

Policy Violations

Students should report any known or suspected violation of this policy or any computer security incident to the Director of the Office of Information Technology either directly or by email OIT_Director@walshcollege.edu.

If Walsh suspects an individual of violating its technology policies, it may conduct an investigation of any equipment, device, software, documents, or data that is involved. Walsh may access, search, or retrieve related equipment as part of its investigation. It may also employ surveillance activities to aid in an investigation. All parties involved are expected to cooperate fully with the investigation.

Any action(s) that Walsh deems inappropriate can lead to disciplinary action up to and including academic dismissal and/or termination of employment, removal and/or ban from the facilities and/or filing of criminal charges.