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General Standards for Acceptable and Responsible Use

These guidelines set forth standards for responsible and acceptable use of University computing resources. They supplement existing University policies, agreements, and state and federal laws and regulations. Computing resources include host computer systems, University-sponsored computers and workstations, communications networks, software, and files.

Violation of these standards constitutes unacceptable use of computing resources and may violate other University policies and/or state and federal law. Suspected or known violations should be reported to the Office of the Vice President of Information Technology, the Vice President of Student Affairs, and/or the Chief of Police of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Violations will be processed and adjudicated by the UMES Judicial System (for students), the UMES Grievance Committee (Faculty) and/or law enforcement agencies. Violations may result in revocation of computing resource privileges, academic dishonesty, or Honor proceedings, as well as faculty, staff, or student disciplinary action or legal action.


The maintenance, operation, and security of computing resources require responsible University personnel to monitor and access the system. To the extent possible in the electronic environment and in a public setting, a user’s privacy will be preserved. Nevertheless, that privacy is subject to the Maryland Access to Public Records Act, other applicable state and federal laws, and the needs of the University to meet its administrative, business, and legal obligations.

Users should be aware that e-mail messages:

  • might be preserved as computer files on centrally administered disks. Therefore, it is possible for people other than the user to see the messages. 
  • sent by one user becomes the possession of the receiver and can easily be redistributed by recipients. In this sense, the e-mail messages are not private, and all messages that should not be preserved should be deleted. 
  • University policy also allows system administrators to view any files, including email messages, in the course of troubleshooting system problems.

User Responsibilities

The following provisions describe conduct prohibited under these standards and guidelines:

  1. Altering system software or hardware configurations without authorization, or disrupting or interfering with the delivery or administration of computer resources. 
  2. Attempting to access or accessing another’s account, private files, or –email without the owner’s permission.
  3. Misrepresenting oneself as another individual in electronic communication. 
  4. Installing, copying, distributing, or using software in violation of: copyright and/or software agreements; applicable state and federal laws or the principles described in ”Using Software: A Guide to the Ethical and Legal Use of Software for Members of the Academic Community.” 
  5. Using computing resources for commercial or profit-making purposes without written authorization from the University. 
  6. Using computing resources to engage in conduct that interferes with other users’ use of share computer resources and/or the activities of other users. 
  7. Failing to adhere to individual departmental or unit lab and system policies, procedures, and protocols. 
  8. Allowing access to computer resources by unauthorized users. 
  9. Using computer resources for illegal activities. 
  10. Not ensuring that one’s use does not generate an inordinate amount of traffic that adversely affects others. 
  11. Attaching more than one computer to their data jack. Multiple machines or hubs are not permitted.

Users of the University’s data network must read, agree to, and sign this agreement stating that they have read and will abide by University policies set forth in the University’s Guidelines for the Acceptable Use of Computing Resources before they are permitted to use UMES Computing Resources. 

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