This Acceptable Usage Policy covers the security and use of all Vermont Law School’s information and IT equipment. It also includes the use of email, internet, voice and mobile IT equipment. This policy applies to all Vermont Law School Faculty, Staff, Students, contractors and agents (hereafter referred to as ‘individuals’).
This policy applies to all information, in whatever form, relating to Vermont Law School’s academic and business activities, and to all information handled by Vermont Law School relating to other organizations with whom it deals. It also covers all IT and information communications facilities operated by Vermont Law School or on its behalf.
Computer Access Control – Individual’s Responsibility
Access to the Vermont Law School IT systems is controlled by the use of User IDs and passwords. All User IDs and passwords are to be uniquely assigned to named individuals and consequently, individuals are accountable for all actions on the Vermont Law School IT systems.
Individuals must not:
• Allow anyone else to use their user ID and password on any Vermont Law School IT system.
• Leave their user accounts logged in at an unattended and unlocked computer.
• Use someone else’s user ID and password to access Vermont Law School’s IT systems.
• Leave their password unprotected (for example writing it down).
• Perform any unauthorized changes to Vermont Law School’s IT systems or information.
• Attempt to access data that they are not authorized to use or access.
• Exceed the limits of their authorization or specific business need to interrogate the system or data.
• Store Vermont Law School data on any non-authorized Vermont Law School equipment.
• Give or transfer Vermont Law School data or software to any person or organization outside Vermont Law School without the authority of Vermont Law School.
Department Heads or Supervisors must ensure that individuals are provided clear direction on the extent and limits of their authority with regard to IT systems and data.
Internet and email Conditions of Use
Use of Vermont Law School internet and email is intended for academic and business use. Vermont Law School email is the official form of communication for the VLS community. Personal use is permitted where such use does not affect the individual’s business performance, is not detrimental to Vermont Law School in any way, not in breach of any term and condition of employment and does not place the individual or Vermont Law School in breach of statutory or other legal obligations.
All individuals are accountable for their actions on the internet and email systems.
Individuals must not:
• Send FERPA protected information.
• Use the internet or email for the purposes of harassment or abuse.
• Use profanity, obscenities, or derogatory remarks in email communications.
• Access, download, send or receive any data (including images), which Vermont Law School considers offensive in any way, including sexually explicit, discriminatory, defamatory, harassing, or libelous material.
• Promotion of or participation in illegal activities.
• Use the internet or email to make personal gains or conduct a personal business.
• Use the internet or email to gamble.
• Send items of a political nature or having to do with political activities.
• Use the email systems in a way that could affect its reliability or effectiveness, for example distributing chain letters or spam.
• Send unprotected sensitive or confidential information externally.
• Use of a disguised identity when sending email messages.
• Use of, or access to, another person’s email account without permission.
• Configure automatic forward of Vermont Law School mail to personal non-Vermont Law School email accounts (for example a personal Gmail account).
• In any way infringe any copyright, database rights, trademarks or other intellectual property.
• Make official commitments through the internet or email on behalf of Vermont Law School unless authorized to do so.
• Place any information on the Internet that relates to Vermont Law School, alter any information about it, or express any opinion about Vermont Law School, unless they are specifically authorized to do this.
• Download copyrighted material such as music media (MP3) files, film and video files (not an exhaustive list) without appropriate approval.
• Download any software from the internet without prior approval of the IT Department.
• Connect Vermont Law School devices to the internet using non-standard connections.
In order to reduce the risk of unauthorized access or loss of information, Vermont Law School enforces security policy as follows:
• Personal or confidential business information must be protected using security features provided for example secure print on printers.
• Computers must be logged-off or locked.
• Care must be taken to not leave confidential material on printers or copiers.
• All business-related printed matter must be disposed of using confidential waste bins or shredders.
Remote Work (Work from Home)
It is accepted that laptops and mobile devices will be taken off-site. The following controls must be applied:
• Working away from the office must be in line with Vermont Law School remote work policy.
• Equipment and media taken off-site must not be left unattended in public places and not left in sight in a car.
• Laptops must be stored as carry-on luggage when travelling.
• Information should be protected against loss or compromise when working remotely (for example at home or in public places).
• Particular care should be taken with the use of mobile devices such as mobile phones, smartphones and tablets. They must be protected at least by a password or a PIN.
Mobile Storage Devices
Mobile devices such as memory sticks, CDs, DVDs and removable hard drives must be used only in situations when network connectivity is unavailable or there is no other secure method of transferring data.
Employees must use only software that is authorized by Vermont Law School on Vermont Law School’s computers. Authorized software must be used in accordance with the software supplier's licensing agreements. All software on Vermont Law School computers must be approved and installed by the Vermont Law School IT Department.
Individuals must not:
Store personal files such as music, video, photographs or games on Vermont Law School IT equipment.
The IT Department has implemented centralized, automated virus detection and virus software updates within the Vermont Law School. All computers have antivirus software installed to detect and remove any virus automatically.
Individuals must not:
• Remove or disable anti-virus software.
• Attempt to remove virus-infected files or clean up an infection, other than by the use of approved Vermont Law School anti-virus software and procedures.
Telephony (Voice) Equipment Conditions of Use
Use of Vermont Law School voice equipment is intended for business use. Individuals must limit their use Vermont Law School’s voice facilities for sending or receiving private communications on personal matters.
Individuals must not:
• Use Vermont Law School’s voice for conducting private business.
• Make hoax or threatening calls to internal or external destinations.
• Accept collect calls from domestic or International operators, unless it is for business use.
Actions upon Termination of Contract
All Vermont Law School equipment and data, for example laptops and mobile devices including telephones, smartphones, USB memory devices and CDs/DVDs, must be returned to Vermont Law School at termination of contract.
All Vermont Law School data or intellectual property developed or gained during the period of employment remains the property of Vermont Law School and must not be retained beyond termination or reused for any other purpose.
All data that is created and stored on Vermont Law School computers is the property of Vermont Law School and there is no official provision for individual data privacy, however wherever possible Vermont Law School will avoid opening personal emails.
IT system logging will take place where appropriate, and investigations will be commenced where reasonable suspicion exists of a breach of this or any other policy. Vermont Law School has the right (under certain conditions) to monitor activity on its systems, including internet and email use, in order to ensure systems security and effective operation, and to protect against misuse.
It is your responsibility to report suspected breaches of security policy without delay to your Department Head or Supervisor, the IT Department, or the IT Helpdesk.
All breaches of information security policies will be investigated. Where investigations reveal misconduct, disciplinary action may follow in line with Vermont Law School disciplinary procedures.