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Technology Acceptable Use Policy

The word “technology” as used here refers to equipment such as computers, computer systems, computer networks, storage media, printers, email accounts, network accounts, etc. and/or its components. These resources are provided as a privilege, not a right. Responsible computing behavior is the price of admission to LTC’s digital community. Irresponsible behavior can jeopardize not only our ability to accomplish our mission, but also can jeopardize your computing privileges, thereby impacting your ability to do your job.

 

Ownership

We often use the possessive word “my/our/your,” but this does not always mean “ownership.” In the case of LTC resources, it means “exclusive use.” We also assign to ourselves ownership of computers, files or data when in reality some of these items may officially be the property of LTC or one of its partners. Software is not really “owned,” but rather, “licensed” under specific conditions as set forth by the software developer or company. Any data stored on LTC technology resources, personal or private, can be viewed as property of the organization. Such resources may be accessed in the conduct of LTC business or during troubleshooting of a technology resource. Technology resources will be assigned and/or allocated in a manner which best supports the mission of LTC.

 

Use Guidelines

As a member of the LTC community, you may be provided with access to the LTC network for purposes of accessing the Internet, attaching a personal smart device (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.) to Wi‐Fi or using an LTC‐owned technology device. Your use of these resources automatically constitutes your agreement to abide by the conditions of this policy. Any passwords provided to you by LTC to access its resources must be kept confidential by you and not shared.

LTC provides computer access at all of its locations for use by members of the LTC community and others as approved by senior administrators. LTC computers designated for public use (i.e. those for use by any LTC participant or volunteer) will be set with a limited, generic, non-password protected account to facilitate ease of use.

Use of LTC resources for the following is strictly prohibited:

  • Modifying or creating computer, network or router accounts without the express approval of a designated LTC administrator.
  • Accessing, transmitting, or otherwise making use of pornographic materials of any kind available over the Internet.
  • Any form of harassment activity, from LTC computers or using LTC technology, including but not limited to email transmissions.
  • Accessing, transmitting, or otherwise making use of “hate‐group” or materials of any kind available over the Internet that may cause discomfort to any racial, ethnic or other protected group.
  • Illegal duplication or transmission of protected software.
  • Installing or loading programs on any LTC computer without the involvement of the designated IT person.
  • Intentional destruction or theft of LTC equipment.
  • Putting LTC technology resources at risk or causing the disruption of technology resources through failure to follow these policies.

Violation of any of the above policies may result in consequences as deemed appropriate by an officer of LTC.

 

Email Use Guidelines

Electronic mail (email) is used pervasively in almost all organizations and often is the primary communication method within that organization. At the same time, misuse of email can pose many legal, privacy and security risks, thus it’s important for users to understand the appropriate use of electronic communications.

LTC officers, at their sole discretion, determines whether an LTC email account is provided to a participant or volunteer. LTC employees are provided an email account to facilitate the conduct of LTC business. Although email is a good communications tool, it should never be considered absolutely private. Use of the LTC network to transmit messages from personal devices is still subject to this policy. LTC IT persons, as part of their duties, are expected to treat any information on the systems or the network as strictly confidential; however, if an IT person comes across information that indicates illegal activity, s/he is required to report the discovery to appropriate supervisors/authorities. For example, electronic mail messages that carry threats to persons or their immediate families may be prosecuted and punished as under Maryland and/or Federal law. If an LTC IT person inadvertently encounters an e‐mail message containing a threat or other illegal content, it will be turned over to senior administrators and/or law enforcement officials.

E‐mail accounts are vulnerable to malicious use when others know the owner’s computing ID and password. You are required to carefully protect your electronic identity from use by anyone other than you. Your e‐mail account also is subject to misuse when you leave open a computing session that you have begun in a computing lab (or other shared‐computer locations) or when you fail to logout from a web‐based email service before you close your browser. It is prudent to reboot the computer you use in any shared‐computer setting when you finish your work there or when you leave any workstation, even if you plan to return to it soon. Remember, the e‐mail messages you send become the possession of the receiver. They can easily be redistributed by recipients, and rules of disclosure by their systems apply to mail they receive from you.

 

Email Policy

  • All use of email must be consistent with LTC policies and procedures of ethical conduct, safety, and compliance with applicable laws and business practices.
  • LTC email accounts should be used for the conduct of LTC business ONLY.
  • Email should be retained only if it qualifies as an LTC business record. Email is an LTC business record if there exists a legitimate and ongoing business reason to preserve the information contained in the email.
  • Email that is identified as an LTC business record shall be retained according to the LTC Document Destruction/Retention Policy.
  • The LTC email system shall not to be used for the creation or distribution of any disruptive or offensive messages, including offensive comments about race, gender, hair color, disabilities, age, sexual orientation, pornography, religious beliefs and practice, political beliefs, or national origin. Employees who receive any emails with this content from any LTC employee should report the matter to their supervisor immediately.
  • Users are prohibited from automatically forwarding LTC email to a third party email system (as noted below).
  • Individual messages which are forwarded by the user must not contain LTC confidential or above information.
  • Users are prohibited from using third‐party email systems and storage servers such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN Hotmail etc. to conduct LTC business, to create or memorialize any binding transactions, or to store or retain email on behalf of LTC. Such communications and transactions should be conducted through proper channels using LTC‐approved documentation.
  • Sending chain letters or joke emails from an LTC email account is prohibited. In virtually every known case, the claims made by such messages are untrue. A message that has been forwarded five or more times is considered a chain letter. It is a waste of computing resources and a nuisance, and often offends recipients.
  • LTC employees shall have no expectation of privacy in anything they store, send or receive on the LTC email system.
  • Additional appropriate use guidelines include the following:
    • Think before you send an e‐mail because once sent, it is almost impossible to keep email messages from reaching their destinations.
    • Realize that LTC policy and secure passwords provide good but not complete assurance of the privacy of your e‐mail messages. When the confidentiality of a message is of the utmost importance, only a person‐to‐person conversation may be sufficiently secure.
    • Don’t pass on unconfirmed rumors especially about viruses because they often only cause needless panic. You can check with a trusted IT professional to see if it is legitimate.
    • Don’t open or execute attachments about which you have any question, even if they appear to be coming from a friend. Attachments have become an increasingly popular way of automatically distributing viruses, and your friend may not even know that his or her e‐mail account is being used for that purpose.
    • If you are sending attachments, include personalized text and specific references to the attachment (i.e., “Attached, in Word format, is my paper on…”) to help the recipient know that the message and attachment are indeed from you.

 

Copyrights

Unauthorized use of copyright‐protected or licensed materials (including, but not limited to, graphic images, movies, music or audio files, and written word) is a serious matter and is a violation of federal law. Any individual who uses LTC network resources to reproduce and/or distribute digitized copyrighted material without permission and in excess of “fair use” has violated federal digital copyright law, and has put him/herself and LTC at real risk for a lawsuit brought by the copyright owner.

Copyright laws and policies also apply to software/subscriptions. Most software/subscriptions available for use on computers at LTC is protected by federal copyright laws. The software/subscriptions provided through LTC for use by employees, participants, and volunteers may be used only as specified in the various software licenses. Licenses sometimes specify that you may use the software/subscription only on a specific computer, or only while you are a member of the LTC community.

It is the policy of LTC to respect the copyright protections given to software/subscription owners by federal law. It is against LTC policy for employees, participants or volunteers to copy or reproduce any licensed software/subscription on LTC computing equipment, except as expressly permitted by the software/subscription license. Additionally, employees, participants and volunteers may not use unauthorized copies of software on LTC‐owned computers.

For more information on copyrights, you can check out the following resources:

https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/index.html

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/copyrightmystery/text/

 

IMPORTANT! Proceed to the Acknowledgement page to verify that you have read and understand this policy!  This must be done before resources are assigned and completed annually to continue to use LTC technology resources.