Computer Policies

It is every student/faculty/staff member's responsibility to know and adhere to all policies and regulations regarding computer usage on campus.

Computer labs have specific policies that are expected to be adhered to at all times, including, but not limited to: no eating or drinking is permitted in the lab, no installing software of any kind, using our resources to do illegal, illicit or offensive acts is strictly prohibited.

Responsible Technology Use

University of Hartford maintains information technology systems for the research, education, administrative, and other roles of faculty, staff and students. Because computing and network resources are shared, individuals should use the systems responsibly in pursuit of academic and administrative functions, and in doing so, are not to infringe on the rights, integrity or privacy of others or their data. In using the computing systems and network, individuals and groups must abide by standards of lawful and ethical behavior.

Users of the University of Hartford’s information technology resources have a responsibility not to abuse those resources and to respect the rights of the members of the community as well as the University itself. This University of Hartford Responsible Technology Use Policy provides guidelines for the appropriate use of the University’s resources as well as for the University's access to information about, and oversight of, these resources.

The Responsible Technology Use Policy applies to all users of information technology systems, including but not limited to University students, faculty, and staff. It applies to the use of all information technology systems. Use of information technology systems, even when carried out on a privately owned computer that is not managed or maintained by the University, is governed by this policy.

For statements of other related University policies, consult The Source, the Faculty Policy Manual, the Supervisor’s Manual and/or the Staff Handbook.


University of Hartford Information Technology Systems: 
Computers, terminals, printers, networks, modem banks, online and offline storage media and related equipment, phone system, software, and data files that are owned, managed, or maintained by the University. University systems include institutional, departmental information systems, faculty research systems, library systems, desktop computers, the University's campus network, and University general access computer labs.

Information Technology User:
 Any person who makes any use of any University system from any location.

University of Hartford Information Technology User: 
A user with authorization to access a non-public University system. University users include University of Hartford students, faculty members, and staff members.


This policy is to secure an information technology system that promotes the basic missions of the University of Hartford in teaching, learning, research and administration. In particular, this Policy aims to promote the following goals:

  • Secure the integrity, reliability, availability and performance of the systems;
  • Secure that use of the systems is consistent with the policies and values of the University, and with federal and state laws;
  • Secure that systems are used for their intended purposes; and
  • Maintain processes for addressing policy violations and sanctions for violators.

Responsible Technology Use Policy

This policy is intended to act as a guide to responsible use of the information technology systems for University faculty, students, and staff. Information technology systems may be used only for their authorized purposes -- that is, to support the research, education, administrative, and other functions of the University of Hartford.

Users are entitled to access only those elements of IT Systems that are consistent with their authorization.

Use that interferes with the activities of others:
 Users must not interfere with service to other users in any way. Intentional or reckless distribution of unwanted mail or other unwanted messages is prohibited. Other behavior that is not authorized and causes excessive network traffic or computing load is also prohibited.

Use that is inconsistent with University of Hartford’s non-profit status: 
The University is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization and, as such, is subject to specific federal, state, and local laws regarding sources of income, political activities, use of property, and similar matters. As a result, commercial use of information technology systems for non-University purposes is generally prohibited, except if specifically authorized by the University’s Chief Information Officer. Using information technology systems in a way that suggests University endorsement of any political candidate or ballot initiative is prohibited.

Harassing or threatening:
 Any use of University technology in a harassing or threatening manner is a violation of University policy.

Display of offensive material/Violation of University harassment policies:
 Display of offensive material out of context in the workplace/classroom/common areas, and repeated unwelcome contacts with another via electronic messaging or e-mail is a violation of University policy.

Attempts to defeat system security:
 Users must not defeat or attempt to defeat any system's security -- for example, by "cracking" or guessing and applying the identification or password of another user. (This provision does not prohibit the University from using security scan programs to protect the integrity of the systems).

Unauthorized access or use:
 The University recognizes the importance of preserving the privacy and confidentiality of users and data stored in Information Technology systems. Users must honor this principle by neither seeking to obtain unauthorized access to IT Systems, nor permitting or assisting any others in doing the same. Users are prohibited from accessing or attempting to access data or accounts on systems that they are not authorized to access. Furthermore, users must not make or attempt to make any deliberate, unauthorized changes to data on a system. Users must not intercept or attempt to intercept or access data communications not intended for that user.

Concealed Identity: 
Users must not conceal their identity when using Information Technology Systems, except when the option of anonymous access is explicitly authorized. Users are also prohibited from impersonating others or otherwise using a false identity.

Distributing computer viruses:
 Users must not knowingly distribute or launch computer viruses or other damaging programs.

Virus/Trojan Horse detection and prevention:
 Users are responsible for maintaining antivirus software and other appropriate measures to secure their machines and the network from attack, or inclusion in an attack.

Modification or removal of data or equipment:
 Without specific authorization, users of University Systems must not cause, permit, or attempt any destruction or modification of data or computing or communications equipment, including but not limited to alteration of data, or reconfiguration of control switches or parameters. This rule protects data, computing, and communications equipment owned or leased by the University, or any person or entity on University property. 'Specific authorization' refers to permission by the owner or Systems Administrator of the equipment or data to be destroyed or modified.

Unauthorized devices:
 Without specific authorization, users must not attach any additional network device (such as a hub, switch, or router) to the University Network.

Violation of law: 
Illegal use of information technology systems -- that is, use in violation of civil or criminal law at the federal, state, or local levels -- is prohibited. This may include but is not limited to: promoting a pyramid scheme; distributing illegal obscenity; receiving, transmitting, or possessing child pornography; infringing copyrights and trademarks; and making threats

Copyright infringement: 
Copyright law governs. The law permits use (“fair use”) of copyrighted material without authorization from the copyright holder for some educational purposes, but an educational purpose does not automatically mean that the use is permitted without authorization.

Violating University contracts: 
All use of information technology systems must be consistent with the University's contractual obligations, including limitations defined in software and other licensing agreements

Personal Account Responsibility: Users are responsible for reading University -related messages mailed to their University of Hartford account and responding as necessary and/or appropriate. Users are responsible for maintaining the security of their own Information Technology Systems accounts and passwords. Accounts and passwords are assigned to single users and are not to be shared with any other person. Users are responsible for any activity carried out  under their Information Technology Systems accounts or posted on their personal web pages.

Conditions of University Access: 
The University places a high value on privacy and recognizes its critical importance in an academic setting. There are nonetheless circumstances in which, following carefully prescribed processes, the University may determine that certain broad concerns outweigh the value of a user's expectation of privacy and warrant University access to relevant Information Technology Systems without the consent of the user. Those circumstances are discussed below, together with the procedural safeguards established to ensure access is gained only when appropriate.

In accordance with federal, state, and/or local law, the University may access all aspects of information technology systems, without the consent of the user, in the following circumstances:

  • When necessary to identify or diagnose systems or security problems, or otherwise secure the integrity of the Information Technology Systems; or
  • When required by federal, state, or local law or administrative rules; or
  • In response to a lawfully issued subpoena; or
  • When there are reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of law or a significant breach of University policy may have taken place and access and inspection or monitoring may produce evidence related to the misconduct; or
  • When such access to Information Technology Systems is required to carry out essential
  • business functions of the University; or
  • When required to preserve public health and safety.

Personal Identification:
 Upon request by a Systems Administrator or other University authority, Users must produce valid University identification.

Consistent with the privacy interests of users, University access without the consent of the user will occur only with the approval of the CIO, or respective designee, except when an emergency entry is necessary to secure the integrity of facilities or to secure public health and safety. A user may be notified of University access to relevant Information Technology Systems without consent depending on the circumstances, at the University's discretion.

User access deactivations: 
In addition to accessing the IT Systems, the University, through the appropriate Systems Administrator, may deactivate a User's IT privileges, whether or not the User is suspected of any violation of this policy, when necessary to preserve the integrity of facilities, user services, or data. The Systems Administrator will attempt to notify the User of any such action.

Use of security scanning systems: 
By attaching privately owned personal computers or other Information Technology resources to the University's network, users consent to University use of scanning programs for security purposes on those resources while attached to the network.

Complaints or Reports of Alleged Violations: 
An individual who believes that he or she has been harmed by an alleged violation of this Policy may file a complaint with Information Technology Services or Internal Audit.

Disciplinary Procedures:
 Alleged violations of this policy will be pursued in accordance with the appropriate disciplinary procedures for faculty, staff, and students.

Legal Liability for Unlawful Use: 
In addition to University discipline, users may be subject to criminal prosecution, civil liability, or both for unlawful use of any Information Technology System.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act

The University of Hartford takes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) very seriously and will turn off any port receiving or distributing any type of copyright material.

You've probably heard stories in the news about the Minnesota woman who was successfully sued for $222,000 for sharing 24 songs, or the 5,000 college students being sued by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) for violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). If you are using any of the peer-to-peer file sharing programs on your computer, such as BitTorrent, Gnutella/LimeWire, Ares, etc., to download or share copyrighted music, movies, software, or games, you could be the target of an expensive lawsuit also.

The Issue: 
People are using the Internet to download products, such as songs, movies, software, and computer games without paying for them -- in essence, stealing them. The companies who produce or distribute those products are using copyright law to enforce their rights and to sue those who steal their products for monetary damages.

Do they have a right to sue? 
Yes! Copyright law, and the DMCA give any copyright holder who finds infringement of copyright on their product the right to sue the infringer for up to $150,000 for each infringed work. For example, they could sue for up to $150,000 for each song found to be copied in violation of their copyright!

Who are they?
 The University of Hartford has received notices of illegal student activity from numerous industry associations, including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), as well as several individual companies, including NBC Universal, HBO, and Warner Brothers.

What has been happening up until now: 
Under the provisions of the DMCA, copyright holders (such as those listed above) have been sending "take down" notices to the University when they, or an online detective agency operating on their behalf, find instances of copyright infringement by students using the University's network. As an Internet Service Provider to its students, the University must take steps, as described within the DMCA, to stop the infringing behavior, and impose sanctions in accordance with its Conduct Code, in order to avoid being held responsible itself for the infringement (maintaining "safe harbor status" under the act).

When the University receives a takedown notice from a copyright holder, the student's computer is disconnected from the University network and banned from reconnection for 10 academic weekdays (2 weeks) if it is a first offense, 20 academic weekdays (4 weeks) if a second offense, and on a third offense, the matter is referred to the Judicial Office, resulting in a reduction in housing status, and sanctions up through and including suspension or dismissal from the University. Don't think you'll get caught? Just ask one of the over 356 University of Hartford students who have been caught so far.

How do they do it? 
By definition, peer-to-peer file sharing systems transfer files from one computer to another. Anyone offering a file to you via one of these services can learn the Internet address and location of your computer when you download a file from their computer -- including the record companies. Also, if your computer shares the file back out to the Internet, anyone on the Internet can download files from it and again learn the address and location of your computer. If a copyright holder (or an investigator operating on their behalf) finds that you have downloaded, or are offering, their copyrighted property on the Internet, they can use the information to file a takedown notice with the Internet Service Provider (the University, in our case) as described in the DMCA. There is nothing illegal about what they are doing. They are not "hacking" into your computer. By using peer-to-peer sharing software, you are willfully allowing anyone to do it.

What they're doing now - settlement letters: 
The DMCA does not take away the copyright holder's right to sue an individual for copyright infringement. More recently, some copyright holders, or associations representing them, such as the RIAA, are sending "settlement letters" to college campuses, requesting that college administrators identify the person(s) responsible for a given infringement activity and "pass along" the settlement letters to those identified. (Most universities comply with the request.) The settlement letters typically identify the infringed materials (songs, for example) found, and offer the accused the ability to "settle" and pay typically $3,000 - $5,000, on line, in lieu of being sued for the full possible amount of up to $150,000 per item infringed.

What they're doing now - lawsuits: 
If a person is found to have downloaded, or offered many copyrighted works, the copyright holder may simply sue without offering to settle. Or, if an accused person is offered a settlement, but does not settle, the copyright holder may then sue his or her Internet Service Provider (or university) to obtain the person's name and address, so that they can file a lawsuit against the individual and seek monetary damages.

What the University of Hartford expects of its students
: The University of Hartford expects students to obey all federal, state, and local laws, including copyright law. As written in the University's Code of Student Conduct, a violation of law is a violation of the University Judicial Code.

Why you should care about copyright
: There are numerous other reasons why one should obey copyright law, aside from financial risk and punishment. Most University of Hartford students plan to use the skills they develop during their college experience to create or trade works of intellectual and/or artistic value. Most graduates, or their future employers, will count on copyright to ensure that they are able to sell their products in order to earn a living. If you are an engineer in CETA, a composer in Hartt, a painter at the Art School, a chemist or computer scientist in A&S, a marketer in Barney, a journalist in Communication, etc., you will depend on copyright to ensure that you can be paid for your work -- and that your products aren't simply taken and replicated by others. (If you plan on digging ditches for a living, then copyright infringement may not affect you as directly.) If you're downloading a copyrighted song for free, just think how your musician roommate from Hartt would feel.... YOUR future depends on people respecting copyright law.

AntiVirus Requirement

All Windows and Macintosh computers connected to the University Network (via ResNet, dial-up, or wireless) must be running up-to-date antivirus software. If you don't have an update antivirus, you can download a free one from the websites listed on the right (please note these links are provided as a courtesy and the University assumes no responsibility for the content or software on the website).

A virus turns an infected computer into a weapon that attacks the network, slowing down or halting the University’s connection to the Internet as it tries to spread itself.  You have, no doubt, heard about the many computer viruses as they are reported in the news. You have certainly felt the effects of numerous virus-infected computers on campus if you have accessed the Internet and found the performance to be slow.  It is your responsibility, and a condition of connecting to the network, to maintain your computer in such a manner that it does not harm the network.

As a condition of being connected to the University’s network:

  1. Your computer must be kept up-to-date with the latest software security updates.
  2. Your computer must have up-to-date antivirus software installed

What happens when your computer is infected with a virus?

  • Your network port will be turned off to prevent your computer from further harming the network or other computers.  DO NOT MOVE YOUR COMPUTER TO ANOTHER PORT IF YOURS STOPS WORKING. Call the Computer Support Center at x5999.
  • Your network port may remain off for several days after you have your computer cleaned, updated, or rebuilt if it’s over a weekend, otherwise most often network connectivity is restored within 24hrs.
  • You will have to take your computer to the Computer Support Center to show that you have successfully cleaned, updated, and protected it, or to get assistance performing the process.  This is required for your port to be scheduled to be turned on.

Be aware

  • It is far easier to prevent a virus infection than it is to recover from one.  UPDATE AND PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER NOW.
  • It is inconvenient to be without your network connection in your dorm room.
  • It is far more work to fix a computer once it has been disconnected from the network.
  • Once a computer is infected, it can take as long as 8 hours to disinfect, update, and protect it.  If you take your computer to the Computer Support Center for help, you must stay with your computer as the Support Center staff assists you with the repair process.  This is a long, boring process
  • Not all viruses can be detected or removed. There is no guarantee that the computer will be completely virus free after repairing it. If your computer shows signs of still being infected by harming the network, your network port will be turned off again.  Generally, at this point, the computer must be completely rebuilt using the vendor’s “system recovery” CDs.
  • Some viruses damage or destroy data on your computer.  Your professor will not accept the “a computer virus ate my homework” excuse.  SAVE YOUR GRADE – UPDATE AND PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER NOW.
  • The Computer Support Center is NOT a computer repair depot where you can drop off your computer to be fixed.  The Computer Support Center can assist you in repairing your own computer. You can opt to take your computer to a local computer store to have it repaired.  Virus cleaning services typically start at about $100 plus the cost of the antivirus software (about $50). SAVE YOURSELF THE EXPENSE – UPDATE AND PROTECT YOUR COMPUTER NOW.
  • If you use the wireless network system, there is no “port” to turn off if your computer is attacking the network – we must disable your University of Hartford account.
  • All computers, including those owned by the University are disconnected from the network if found to be attacking it with a virus – this procedure does not just apply to students.
  • No antivirus system is 100% perfect – there is still a remote chance that your computer could be infected by a fast acting virus that spreads before the antivirus vendors have updated definitions to stop it.  However, the University’s experience with its faculty/staff antivirus system shows that such incidences are very rare to date.

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