USA Computer Use Policy

Purpose of This Policy

  • To educate users about their responsibilities regarding acceptable use of University computers/networks
  • To describe and prohibit unacceptable use of University computers/networks


Computer Use Policy Summary

All persons using University of South Alabama computing and telecommunication resources must comply with the University's Computer Use Policy.

The Policy applies to all computer workstations, servers, network devices, software, databases, and related equipment accessed directly or indirectly through the Internet. The University encourages authorized users to make acceptable use of computer resources, consistent with its educational, research, and service-related mission. Users must also comply with all applicable federal and state laws and University regulations regarding intellectual property, including federal copyright law, and with all applicable licenses or contracts regarding the use of software.

In situations where access to computer resources is limited, priority use of these resources must be granted to educational and research-related activities. Recreational and personal use of University computer resources is permitted only to a limited extent and only when they are not needed for educational research activities.

Certain uses of University computer resources are never permitted. These include the following:

  • Interfering with the operation of the USA computer and telecommunications systems, including "hacking" or "cracking"
  • Altering or damaging computer hardware or software
  • Transmitting obscene communications
  • Using unauthorized passwords or circumventing system security
  • Broadcasting unsolicited messages ("spamming")
  • Invading the privacy of another person
  • Using University resources for personal commercial or financial purposes, including the sales of lecture notes or the intellectual property of others
  • Intentionally viewing, downloading, printing or sending unlawful material, including pornography, threats, or harassing communications

Users are responsible for the accuracy of all information posted on the Internet or on University-related home pages. In addition, any University web site must be consistent with the guidelines of USA Web Services.

The foregoing is a summary of key points of the official University of South Alabama Computer Use Policy. Further details can be found in the individual sections below. Users are expected to be familiar with it. Violation of the terms of the Policy can result in denial of privileges, and other penalties as outlined in the Policy. If there are any differences between this summary and the official Policy, the terms of the Policy shall supersede this summary.


General Policy for Faculty/Staff

The University of South Alabama, through its Computer Services Center (CSC), provides an academic network and multi-user Unix systems to be used by faculty, staff and students for instructional and research activities. The CSC also houses the center of the University networks, including the main campus fiber networks and the wide-area links to the USA Health Systems. Anyone using the campus network, campus systems or computer equipment owned by the University must be authorized to do so, and must adhere to all guidelines stated in the USA Faculty/Staff Computer Use Policy.

All University employees are required to adhere to the policies listed throughout this document. However, these policies do not preclude individual departments from making more specific guidelines for their employees based on the nature of their work.


General Policy for Students

USA provides student access to computer resources through its departmental labs located throughout campus. Students using these labs must adhere to all University policies regarding the use of computers and computer networks, including the USA Student Computer Use Policy.

Lab privileges can be denied to anyone using this equipment for illegal or unethical purposes. Any illegal behavior observed in the labs may be reported to appropriate University officials or law enforcement agencies. All students are required to adhere to the policies pertaining to them throughout this document. However, these policies do not preclude individual departments from making more specific guidelines for their students or facilities.