2.12 Network and Internet Access Policy

I. Purpose

Central Piedmont Community College provides network and Internet access to aid in the transfer of information electronically. These networks may be used for a wide variety of on- and off-campus communications relating to College business. This policy addresses acceptable use of network and Internet access for all Central Piedmont employees and students.

II. Policy

Network resources shall be used in a responsible, efficient, ethical, considerate, and lawful manner. Users of networks are expected to demonstrate respect for intellectual property, data ownership, system security, and individuals' rights to freedom from intimidation or harassment. Network and Internet use shall comply with local, state, and federal law and Central Piedmont policies and procedures.

The College expects students, faculty and staff, as well as any other users of the College’s IT Resources (each, a “User” and collectively, “Users”) to be aware of the public nature of content that is placed on the Internet, including the potential questionable accuracy and validity of Internet-based content and the lack of privacy concerning personal data and commentary.

III. Confidentiality

While the College does not typically access User files or email, the College reserves the right to do so for any reason. Generally, a User's network and Internet use will not be monitored except in the following types of situations:

  1. The User gives prior consent;
  2. The College needs to ensure the security or operating performance of its systems or networks;
  3. The College has a reasonable concern that a violation of College policy or applicable law has occurred and is investigating the possible violation; or,
  4. The College is complying with a valid subpoena or search warrant issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.

While general content review will not typically be undertaken, monitoring of electronic information may occur for these reasons and others as necessary. Notwithstanding the foregoing, all network and communication activities may be logged for e-discovery and forensic purposes. For these reasons, the College cannot guarantee the privacy of electronic communications.

In order to troubleshoot network problems and to plan necessary enhancements, the College runs monitoring software that records certain information about all network packets transmitted through its facilities. These reports are accessed and used only by authorized staff members with responsibilities for overseeing the security and functionality of the network. Reports about this information may be provided to College administration.

IV. Expectations

A. Network and Internet access is a privilege, not a right, and, as such, can be withdrawn from those who use it irresponsibly. Unauthorized use of the network, intentional deletion or damage to files and data belonging to other Users, or copyright violations of state and federal laws. Network Users who are found by the College to have engaged in unacceptable uses of network resources will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including suspension of access to technology resources, dismissal, suspension, expulsion, and/or legal action.

B. Devices that are intended to retransmit or extend Central Piedmont network services (“Network Transmission Devices”) shall only be installed and maintained with the consent and oversight of College ITS. This may include, but is not limited to, wireless access points, routers, switches, firewalls, network bridges, as well as other remote access technologies.

C.Devices, including Network Transmission Devices, that require a persistent physical connection for data services should undergo review by Information Technology Services prior to connection. Unknown and undocumented devices connected to the college network may be subject to disconnection in the College’s sole discretion.

D. Each network or system has its own set of policies and procedures. Actions which are routinely allowed on one network or system may be controlled or forbidden on other networks. Users must abide by the policies and procedures of these other networks and/or systems and must comply with local, state, and federal laws and with the College's policies and procedures.

E. If Users have questions about a proposed copyright issue when common sense and caution are not adequate, they should refer to Policy 2.05 Reproduction of Copyright Materials, and then examine Central Piedmont's Library website for additional clarification of copyright laws. Librarians are available at each campus to offer further assistance with copyright issues.

F.Central Piedmont personnel are expected to participate in professional development classes and/or enroll in College classes to improve computer knowledge and skills.

G.Because computer labs are often specialized, lab personnel will develop specific guidelines for each individual lab. Each open lab will be monitored for computer use and inappropriate.

V. Examples of Acceptable Uses

  1. Official work of the College
  2. Instruction
  3. Academic research
  4. Independent study
  5. Service on behalf of the College
  6. Professional development
  7. Occasional non-commercial personal use

VI. Examples of Unacceptable Uses

Central Piedmont technology resources shall only be used for legal purposes, and shall not be used for any purpose which is illegal, immoral, unethical, dishonest, damaging to the reputation of Central Piedmont, inconsistent with the mission of the College, or any purpose that may subject the College to liability. Unacceptable uses include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Unauthorized use of one’s own account or other computer accounts, access codes, passwords, or network identities, including email addresses;
  2. Use of one’s own Central Piedmont password outside the Central Piedmont network account;
  3. Unauthorized access to Central Piedmont’s information systems, the Internet, or other networked or non-networked computers;
  4. Harassment;
  5. Libel, slander, or cyberbullying;
  6. Fraud or misrepresentation;
  7. Misrepresentation of the College via the Internet through the use of websites, social network applications, or other Internet-based tools;
  8. Destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to the College or to others;
  9. Disruption or unauthorized monitoring of electronic communications and electronically stored information;
  10. Infringement of copyright or trademark laws or rights of others;
  11. Use of Central Piedmont's logo without prior approval of the assistant to the president for Community Relations;
  12. Violation of computer system security;
  13. Connection of unauthorized devices to the College network;
  14. Use of wireless access points, ad-hoc wireless devices, or any wired networking devices to redistribute the College’s network access;
  15. Use of computer communications facilities in ways that unnecessarily impede the computing activities of others, such as randomly initiating interactive electronic communications or email exchanges, abuse of interactive network utilities;
  16. Use of computing facilities for commercial business purposes unrelated to the College;
  17. Academic dishonesty;
  18. Violation of software and hosted license agreements;
  19. Violation of network usage policies and regulations;
  20. Violation of privacy or the release of any confidential or proprietary information about the College, its current or former students, or its employees;
  21. Use of Central Piedmont technology resources to send or redistribute unsolicited bulk email;
  22. Posting, sending, or intentionally accessing pornographic, sexually explicit, offensive material, or material that is contrary to the mission of the College;
  23. Intentional distribution of computer viruses, Trojan horses, time bombs, worms, or other rogue programming; or,
  24. Storing sensitive and protected data unsecured on non-approved solutions, including third-party hosted solutions and local mediums such as USB flash drives and portable hard drives.


Changes approved by Board of Trustee on August 29, 2012; May 6, 2020