Responsible Use of ITS Resources

Purpose and Audience

This document formalizes the policy for students, faculty, staff, and all other authorized individuals at Bristol Community College (Bristol) on the use of the College’s Information Technology Resources, including computers, printers and other peripherals, programs, data, local and wide area networks, email, telecommunications, and the Internet. In addition to this policy, individual departments may choose to issue additional policies governing the use of College Information Technology Resources. Use of Information Technology Resources by any student, faculty, staff or authorized individual (“Users”) shall constitute acceptance of the terms of this policy and any such additional policies.

Policy Statement

Information Technology Resources are intended to support the educational, professional, and administrative objectives of the College’s mission. It is incumbent upon the User to behave in a responsible, legal, and ethical manner as per this policy.

User Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of any person using Bristol Information Technology Resources to read, understand, and follow this policy. In addition, Users are expected to exercise reasonable judgment in interpreting this policy and in making decisions about the use of Information Technology Resources. Any person with questions regarding the application or meaning of this policy should seek clarification from appropriate supervisors or College administrators. Additionally, Users must comply with all applicable College policies and procedures and state and federal laws.

The use of Bristol Information Technology Resources is a privilege and not a right. Failure to comply with this policy may subject individuals to disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, loss of access rights, expulsion from the College and/or termination of employment. Further, failure to comply with this policy may result in violation of civil and/or criminal laws.

Unacceptable Uses of Bristol Information Technology Resources

The following list is a representative sampling of unacceptable uses and is not meant to be exhaustive. For example, it is unacceptable to use Bristol’s Information Technology Resources in the following ways:

  • In furtherance of any illegal act, including violation of any criminal or civil laws or regulations, whether state or federal.
  • For any political purpose not permitted under a collective bargaining agreement or contrary to any state or federal law.
  • For any commercial purpose, including but not limited to soliciting the purchase, sale, rental or lease of private personal property, goods, services or real estate.
  • To send threatening or harassing messages, whether sexual or otherwise.
  • To access or share sexually explicit, obscene, or child pornography materials.
  • To infringe on any intellectual property rights (BCC Copyright Policy).
  • To intentionally introduce computer viruses or other malware on the College’s computers or networks.
  • To gain, or attempt to gain, unauthorized access to any computer or network or any use that causes interference with or disruption of network users and resources, including the propagation of computer viruses or other harmful programs.
  • To intercept communications intended for other persons.
  • To share your password information with any other person.
  • To misrepresent either Bristol or a person’s role at Bristol.
  • To distribute chain letters.
  • To access online gambling sites.
  • To libel or otherwise defame any person.
  • For any use that results in an unauthorized, non-college expense to the College.
  • To consume excessive bandwidth and/or storage as determined by Bristol officials at their sole discretion.
  • To violate the “Student Code of Conduct” as described in the  or other College policies and procedures, including the Affirmative Action Plan.

Data Confidentiality

Users shall not access, release, use, or disseminate (via email or otherwise) confidential or proprietary information such as personal data about identifiable individuals including unencrypted Personal Account Numbers (PAN) including, but not limited to social security numbers, credit card numbers, or commercial information about business organizations, unless the individual User is authorized by Bristol to do so and such access, release, use, or dissemination is consistent with state and federal laws. The confidentiality of student educational records shall additionally be subject to the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).


Most desktop computers at Bristol are connected to a local area network, which links computers within Bristol, and, through the wide area network, to the Internet. As such, it is critically important that Users take particular care to avoid compromising the security of the network. Users shall not connect any non-approved devices to the College’s networks including but not limited to: servers, printers, switches, routers, firewalls, or wireless access points. Because the installation of unauthorized software can severely compromise computer and network security, Users are not permitted to install any software on Bristol computers without the permission and involvement of Information Technology Services (ITS) personnel.

Users must never share their passwords with anyone else, and should promptly notify ITS ( or 508.678.2811, ext. 2134) if they suspect their passwords have been compromised or if they identify a security issue.

Social Media

The use of all college-related social media sites, including but not limited to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or blogs shall be limited to academic, educational, or professional purposes and directly support the College's mission. All such uses shall comply with other sections of this policy and other applicable College policies.


  • No Expectation of Privacy 
    Users shall have no expectation of privacy over any communication, transmission, or work performed using Bristol Information Technology Resources. Bristol Information Technology Resources are the property of Bristol Community College and are to be used in conformance with this policy. When reasonable and in pursuit of legitimate needs for supervision, control, and the efficient and proper operation of the workplace, Bristol will exercise the right to inspect any User’s computer, any data contained in it, and any data sent or received by that computer. Use of Bristol Information Technology Resources constitutes express consent for Bristol to monitor and/or inspect any data that Users create or receive, any messages they send or receive, and any web sites that they access, as well as monitor network activity in any form that Bristol sees fit to maintain the integrity of the network.
  • No Warranties 
    Bristol makes no warranties of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the Information Technology Resources service it is providing. Bristol will not be responsible for any damages a User suffers. This includes loss of data resulting from delays, undelivered messages or content, or service interruptions caused by Bristol negligence or by the User’s errors or omissions. Use of any information obtained via the Internet is at the User’s own risk. Bristol specifically denies any responsibility for the accuracy or quality of information obtained through its services. Users need to consider the source of any information they obtain and verify its validity.

Bristol also specifically denies any responsibility for a User’s encounter, access, or use of any inappropriate or controversial materials from Bristol Information Technology Resources, including the Internet. Users must notify ITS ( or 508.678.2811, ext. 2134) if they identify Information Technology Resources being used in a manner inconsistent with this policy.

  • Approval Process
    Developed and endorsed by: Technology Planning and Policy Committee
    Approved by: President’s Council (4/5/2012)
    Initial approval date: 1999
    Last revision: not applicable

  • Contact Information
    Information Technology Services
    Farley Learning Resources Center
    Bristol Community College
    777 Elsbree Street
    Fall River, MA 02720
    508.678.2811, ext. 2134