Northern Illinois University information technology resources, including the electronic communications network (NIUnet) on the NIU campus and off-campus education and research centers, computers attached to this network, and any associated computational resource or service are for the use of persons affiliated with Northern Illinois University, including faculty, staff, emeritus personnel, and students in good standing. Information technology resources are provided by the university to further the university's mission of research, instruction, and public service. The use of these resources should be consistent with this mission, this policy, and the University’s other use, security policies, and other applicable regulations including the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act (SOEEA). Pursuant to the NIU Electronic Mail policy, the email system may be utilized for personal messages subject to the limitations set forth in these and other applicable policies and to the extent that personal usage does not interfere with assigned responsibilities. By using NIU services, all individuals, including, but not limited to, employees, students, customers, volunteers, and third parties, unconditionally accept the terms of this policy.
Acceptable use of NIU information technology resources is based on common sense, decency, ethical use, civility, and security applied to the computing environment. All authorized users may expect reasonable privacy with regard to all computer files and e-mail. The University may access university-owned or networked computers for maintenance and upgrades and to monitor or troubleshoot networks for related security, network audits, investigations, and/or legal requirements. Computers or systems may also be accessed through established procedures for reasonably suspected abuse of this policy and/or other University acceptable use policies. If illicit activity of any kind is suspected as a result of routine monitoring, an internal or external investigation may result. Users may be entitled to notification of such access, and, whenever possible, notification should precede access. Any actions that compromise the integrity of the University, data facilities, networks, services, or resources is strictly prohibited. Examples of unacceptable uses include, but are not limited to, the following:
These principles and guidelines are extended to networks and information technology resources outside the university accessed through NIUnet via the Internet. Networks or information technology resource providers outside the university may, in turn, impose additional conditions of appropriate use which the user is responsible to observe when using those resources. Certain violations of this acceptable use policy, which involve the potential for illegal conduct (including accessing certain pornographic sites or any activity which may constitute fraud or the misappropriation of university resources), may be reported to external agencies or law enforcement for investigation.
Access to the information technology environment at Northern Illinois University is a privilege and must be treated as such by all users of these systems. Like any other campus facility, abuse of these privileges can be a matter of legal action or official campus disciplinary procedures, up to and including termination. Depending on the seriousness of an offense, violation of the policy can result in penalties ranging from reprimand, loss of access, or referral to university authorities for disciplinary or legal action. In a case where unacceptable use severely impacts performance or security, in order to sustain reasonable performance and security, Information Technology Services will immediately suspend an individual's access privileges.
Policy last reviewed: 09/13/2012