These regulations cover the use of the ICT facilities maintained and operated by The Sheffield College. Their purpose is to ensure that the ICT facilities are used within relevant legislation and in a responsible way. They give specific guidance on the acceptable use of ICT facilities and on the possible consequences of any misuse. They are not a complete statement of the current law.
- ICT facilities, include, but are not restricted to:
- hardware (i.e computers, laptops and tablets)
- systems and services (i.e. email, Instant Messaging, Internet access)
- peripherals (i.e. scanners, printers, disks, USB storage devices)
- network infrastructure
- rooms in which hardware or peripherals are located
- furniture and other equipment which support the use of ICT
The College reserves the right to monitor all ICT facilities, workstations and user accounts in order to ensure these regulations are enforced. Any contravention of these regulations by an individual user may result in immediate withdrawal of ICT access and formal disciplinary proceedings. If a criminal prosecution associated with misuse of ICT facilities is commenced, the College will normally also invoke its own disciplinary procedures.
- The ICT facilities available to users are subject to the provisions of the
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and subsequent regulations
- Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Telecommunication (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of
- Communication) regulations 2000
- Race Relations Act 1976
- Computer Misuse Act 1990
- Communications Act 2003
- Police and Justice Act 2006
These laws bind users of the College’s ICT facilities.
2. General Computer Usage
The username and password issued to you constitute authorisation to use the relevant ICT facilities, subject to you complying with these regulations.
College ICT facilities must not be used to produce, store, display, access, retrieve, download, distribute or link to material(s) of any form/format which are in contravention of the College’s Equal Opportunities Policy, or UK or EC legislation. This rule applies specifically to material that is racist, sexist, obscene, pornographic, offensive, defamatory or abusive in content.
You must not cause any form of damage to ICT facilities. Damage encompasses theft, vandalism and malicious behaviour where the intention, directly or indirectly, is to render ICT facilities or services partly or wholly unusable.
You must ensure that your account details remain private, and you must not disclose them to any other person.
You must not attempt to access facilities using another person’s username and password.
Any attempt by any method, automated or otherwise, to discover another person’s account details is strictly forbidden.
The College does not accept responsibility for student work/data saved to the network or on your OneDrive. This means that you are responsible for backing up your own data to protect it against catastrophic system failure.
You should save your data to removable media and/or to the appropriate area on the network or your OneDrive. In some areas provision has been made to allow data to be stored on the PCs local hard disk storage. This storage should only be used as a temporary storage area for data used during your current session on the PC.
If you are given a specific quota of disk capacity on the network, you must manage this space effectively.
Users must not deliberately introduce any virus, worm, trojan horse or any other ‘nuisance’ program or file onto any system external or internal to the College, or take deliberate action to circumvent any precautions taken by the College to prevent ‘infection’ of its machines. You are responsible for taking adequate virus precautions when files are being transported using whatever medium to or from College systems.
The College provides access to software in order to support users’ College-related activities. No user other than those expressly authorised by the ICT Systems Department may employ, introduce, download or distribute any other packages, applications or utilities on any College system. This restriction applies to games, shareware, freeware, software for evaluation, or software you have personally developed or personally obtained. (Note that you are allowed to store personally developed software on College systems when this is part of your coursework within College.) This restriction does not apply to software downloaded automatically as part of normal Internet browsing activity or to software configured to install automatically by the ICT Systems Department.
The use on College equipment of any software not covered by an appropriate and valid licence is strictly forbidden.
Games or other forms of entertainment such as music, video, CDrom, DVD, etc, must not be used on College premises or equipment unless this is expressly required for the purposes of your course.
The use of College equipment for personal/private work not associated with enrolled course(s) must have prior authorisation.
Users must be aware that failure to pay outstanding fines/charges, or other activities which contravene standing policies or procedures, may result in withdrawal of access rights.
Food and drink may not be consumed in any room containing ICT equipment.
Users must not interfere with, or disrupt in any way, the computing services and facilities available to other users. This includes the sending of disruptive messages via email or any other medium.
3. Use of Your Own Equipment
You are allowed to use your own USB storage devices and headphones with College PCs, and you are also allowed to connect your own equipment to the publicised student wireless network (Sheffield College), but you must not attach any other device not owned by the College, such as a laptop, tablet, or other device, to any other element of the College’s ICT infrastructure for whatever reason or purpose, without authorisation from the College, in which case you must comply with any rules/restrictions given to you by the College.
4. Email and Instant Messaging
Email and Instant Messaging accounts where provided, are the property of the College or its partner organisations and are provided to assist you in your study. You should not assume privacy in any email sent or received, whether it is of a course related or personal nature, although the College will not examine individual communications without due cause.
You are not permitted to send any message that might be considered to be overly familiar, racist, sexist, obscene, offensive, defamatory or abusive. Any such messages will be rigorously investigated and may result in disciplinary action.
The College retains copies of all emails and Instant Messages sent and received for an appropriate period, and reserves the right to use their content as evidence in any disciplinary process.
Deliberately creating email congestion by sending trivial or unnecessary messages to multiple recipients will be considered inappropriate use of email facilities and may result in disciplinary action.
Repeated sending of unsolicited email to groups or individuals (internal or external) after being asked to stop, or the forwarding on of email ‘chain letters’ will be considered inappropriate use of email facilities and may result in disciplinary action.
Deliberately configuring an email client or web-form with the intention of misleading the recipient as to the source of the communication will be considered inappropriate use of email facilities and may result in disciplinary action.
5. Use of Internet
The sites accessed by you must comply with the restrictions set out in these regulations. The College has a filtering system to monitor and log an individual’s Internet activity and to automatically block access to a large proportion of inappropriate sites. However, just because access to a site is allowed via this system it does not mean that a site can be classified as appropriate within the scope of these regulations. Repeated attempts to access inappropriate sites or attempting to circumvent the College’s filtering system will lead to formal disciplinary action.
6. Copyright and Downloading
Copyright applies to all text, pictures, video and sound, including those sent by email or accessed from the Internet. Users accessing such materials must abide by any conditions or regulations applied by the owners/distributors, including any concerning forwarding or transmission to a third party.
Use of College ICT facilities to copy copyrighted material of any kind, without the permission of the owner, is forbidden.
7. Cookie Usage
Cookies are small files automatically downloaded and stored on a user’s PC or other device that are sometimes used by web sites to store information about users and/or their activity on the site. The law now requires that web site users must be told what information will be stored in any cookie set by that site, and that cookies can only be stored on a user’s device with the express consent of the website user.
Issue Date 19th August 2014
Next Review 4th August 2015