Computer & Technology Acceptable Use Policy

This policy creates a framework for users of these resources for acceptable and appropriate use at The MacDuffie School. It is based on the MacDuffie Honor Code and the principles of honesty and respect that are expected from each member of the MacDuffie community.

This policy applies to all users, software and equipment of The MacDuffie School’s computing resources. Acceptable use rules apply to individually owned hardware that is connected to the school’s network or used on school property. All students must read this document before entering into any online activity. Any use of The MacDuffie School technology resources implies agreement to abide by this policy.

Authorized Use

An authorized user is any person who has been granted authority by The MacDuffie School to access its computing and or network systems and whose usage complies with this Policy. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. By accessing the school’s network using school-owned or personally-owned equipment, you have consented to the school’s exercise of its authority and rights as set out in this Policy and others with respect to any such equipment, as well as with respect to any information or communication stored or transmitted over such equipment. 

Privacy

We reserve the right to inspect the content of student accounts in the event of suspected misuse, including current and archival files. Due to the public nature of computer networks, all data and files, including email, cannot be guaranteed to be secure and private. Users of the network may be monitored and have their files inspected by an authorized systems administrator if they are believed to be in violation of policies set forth in this statement, general policies of The MacDuffie School, or applicable state and federal laws. 

SYSTEM USERS HAVE A LIMITED PRIVACY EXPECTATION IN THE CONTENTS OF THEIR PERSONAL FILES ON THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. The school reserves the right to examine and take action on any information found on a device on school property, personal or school-owned, regardless of the purpose of the search during which it was initially found. Behavior identified in this process that is suspected to violate the Acceptable Use Policy will be investigated.

The contents of student steurm.net e-mail accounts are ultimately the property of the MacDuffie School. All information created or stored on school resources is subject to review by school administration. Users are strongly encouraged to maintain a private email account for use with non-school related activities. 

Electronic data may become evidence in legal proceedings. Messages or data may also be inadvertently viewed as a result of routine systems maintenance and monitoring. Any individual monitoring, except as required by law or in situations perceived as emergency, must be authorized in advance by the Director of Information Technology or the Director of Information Technology’s designees.

All forms of electronic messaging facilitate the dissemination of information, often beyond intended recipients. Students should be aware that any message may end up in public view; accordingly every email, video, Facebook post, IM, or other electronic correspondence should be crafted with care.

Expectations and Responsibilities

Students must adhere to the following guidelines when using technology resources provided by The MacDuffie School. The examples are not EXHAUSTIVE; when in doubt about the appropriateness of an action, one should apply the MacDuffie Honor Code.

Students must assume the following responsibilities:

  • Follow the policies as stated in this Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).

  • Check email at least once every twenty-four hours.

  • Use only the provided email address and create a secure password.

  • Maintain the privacy of their email address and password and respect the privacy of others.

  • Students are responsible for any activity originating from their account or personal computer.

  • Have updated virus protection software on their computers when connecting to the network.

  • Use caution when opening email attachments or other Internet files which may contain malicious software received from unknown sources.

Functionality and Availability

To ensure functionality and availability of the system for the whole community, students must not:

  • Circumvent or alter software or physical protections or other restrictions placed on computers, networks, programs, files or Internet web sites in an attempt to access restricted content.

  • Take school-owned technology resources from the Computer Lab without express permission. 

  • Consume excessive computer and network resources for downloading or sharing music, movies, software, or other files not academically related.

  • Consume excessive computer and network resources for viewing or posting to social networking sites not academically related.

  • Send frivolous or excessive messages, including chain letters, junk mail, spam, and other types of broadcast messages, either locally or over the Internet.

  • Intentionally or irresponsibly introduce any computer viruses, worms, spyware, malware, or other rogue programs to school systems or networks.

  • Use resources for entertainment or personal purposes that negatively affect academic uses for others.

  • Inappropriately access the network, including but not limited to, the obtaining or sharing of passwords and access to data points (see below).

  • Use Torrents, as they may be infringing copyright laws and may be subject to fines from the copyright holders (the student will be responsible for these charges).

Computer Accounts and Information Security

Students are provided individual user accounts for the MacDuffie network, email and collaboration systems as well as personal and shared storage space. Personal accounts and any information saved under these accounts are the sole responsibility of the assigned student and may be subject to review by network administrators. Students are responsible for all actions that occur under their accounts. To ensure security and accountability, students must not:

  • Allow others to use their user accounts.

  • Use others’ accounts, even if given permission.

  • Share logins, passwords, or any other authentication information.

  • Use appliances or programs which capture other users’ information or network traffic. 

  • Engage in any activities for commercial, purchasing, financial gain or illegal purposes.


Personal Information, Security and Safety

Students should be cautious if they choose to make information about themselves and others available on the Internet. MacDuffie cannot protect students from invasions of privacy, identity theft, and other possible dangers that could result from the individual's distribution of personal information.

Students should assume that any information posted on the Internet can be viewed by the general public and therefore should refrain from:

  • Posting personal information including name, address, phone number, age, email address, or school on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and other online communities.

  • Meeting in person with someone they have met online without their parent’s approval and participation.

  • Sending or posting personal pictures or videos to websites or online communities. 

  • Initiating or accepting a social network contact with teachers or staff outside the educational setting.

  • Using a false identity in any communications or work.

  • Using personally owned modems, wireless access points, hubs, switches, routers and other network devices on the MacDuffie intranet.

  • Altering electronic communications to hide your identity or impersonate another person.

Bullying, Harassment, and Unethical Behavior

Students must abide by the MacDuffie Honor Code at all times while using MacDuffie technology resources.

Students must be careful not to:

  • Misrepresent or disparage the MacDuffie School, including its students, faculty or administration.

  • Post, publish, or display defamatory, abusive, libelous, obscene, embarrassing, sexually oriented, racially offensive, harassing, or threatening material in any form.

  • Access or transmit pornographic, sexually explicit, or other inappropriate material; if in doubt contact a network administrator.

  • Post messages and attribute them to other users, or otherwise misrepresent themselves online.

  • Use or transmit obscene, vulgar, socially offensive, sexist, or profane language while using MacDuffie technology systems.

Personal Computers, Laptops, Cell Phones, Notepads and Tablets 

  • Students are permitted, with restrictions, to use personal devices while on campus and may connect to the school wireless network.  

  • If the device does not have current operating system patches and up-to-date anti-virus software, it will be denied access to network resources until all problems are remediated.  

  • These checks may occur automatically every time a device is connected to the network.  

Administration and Implementation

  • While respecting confidentiality and privacy, MacDuffie reserves the right to examine all school and privately owned and operated equipment, computer systems, electronic and digital resources and data stored on those systems. This includes the right to remotely monitor and record, without notification, all activity on systems connected to the network and use video monitoring in public spaces.

  • MacDuffie also reserves the right to restrict users’ navigation of the MacDuffie network and the Internet in order to improve security and protect users.

  • MacDuffie may restrict the use of its computers and network systems for electronic communications if faced with evidence or suspicion of violation of school policies, federal and/or local laws. In addition, violations of this policy related to the school Honor Code will be treated as described in this handbook.