Town of Auburn, Massachusetts
Acceptable Use Policy
March 16, 2015
The purpose of the Acceptable Use Policy (hereafter known as the “Policy”) is to establish policies for all persons using any portion of the Town of Auburn’s computing infrastructure. This infrastructure includes, but is not limited to, the following resources: computers, laptops, tablets, phones, file servers, application servers, communication servers, software, and all internal and external communications networks (such as wireless access, E-mail, and Internet). These resources are hereafter known collectively as “Town Information Systems”.
This Policy is applicable to all Town of Auburn employees and volunteers, whether full-time, part-time, or temporary, contractors, vendors, and consultants, paid or unpaid (hereafter known collectively as “Users”). This Policy also applies to all equipment owned, leased, and/or utilized to access the Town Information Systems.
The Information Technology department is responsible for the maintenance of the Policy. The Information Technology department, along with other department and division heads, are responsible for monitoring compliance with this Policy.
1. Communication of Policy
All Users are required to familiarize themselves with the Policy, and are required to sign a written statement of acknowledgement that they have read and understand the Policy. A copy of the Policy will be given to all new Town of Auburn Users at the time of their hire. The Town of Auburn reserves the right to amend the Policy at any time without prior notice.
All communications and data that exist on or travels through the Town Information System are not considered private or confidential, including data printed to hardcopy or stored on other media. Any communications and data will be considered subject to audit and review. The Town of Auburn reserves the right to monitor the use of Town Information Systems, and may access and review communications and/or data without prior notice to Users.
As a public entity, the Town of Auburn is subject to Public Records Requests. These requests may include all records (except those specifically excluded by law) in electronic or hardcopy form. As a result, these records should be considered public documents and open to public inspection in accordance with The Massachusetts Public Records Law in Chapter 55, Section 10 of the Massachusetts General Laws.
3. Use of Town Information Systems
Town Information Systems are the property of the Town of Auburn, and are to be used solely for Town of Auburn business. Users are permitted access to Town Information Systems in order to assist in the performance of their job. Town Information Systems shall not be used for personal entertainment or social interaction outside of the Town of Auburn’s approved social media.
4. Inappropriate/Unlawful Material
The Town Information Systems may not be used in violation of any U.S. federal, state, or local regulations. The Town Information Systems may not be used to upload, download, distribute, or otherwise access pornographic, obscene, sexually explicit, or threatening material. Town Information Systems may not be used to infringe on copyright or to plagiarize materials. Town Information Systems may not be used to send abusive, offensive, or discriminatory messages. Such messages are defined as those that contain overt sexual language, sexual implications or innuendo, or any other comment that offensively addresses someone’s age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, national origin, or disability.
5. Equipment Use
Users are not authorized to change the configuration of Town Information Systems. This includes, but is not limited to: attaching additional devices to computers and networks, altering the way the computer functions, and attempting to gain additional system privileges. Only the Town of Auburn Information Technology department is authorized to make changes to equipment configurations. Users may customize the visual appearance of their desktop and programs.
6. Software Use
Software may only be used in compliance with the terms of applicable license agreements. Users acknowledge that applicable state and federal copyright laws apply to the use of software applications. All software applications (including programs, screen savers, etc.) running on Town Information Systems must be pre-approved by the Information Technology department. Installation of any unauthorized software is expressly prohibited by this Policy.
Without prior permission from the Information Technology department, Users shall not: purchase, download, or install any software application, copy software for their home computers, nor provide copies of software to non-Town of Auburn employees.
7. E-mail Use
E-mail communications should be drafted with the same thought and care devoted to oral and written communications. Do not transmit any messages you would not be comfortable writing in a letter or memorandum. Users should exercise good judgment, use appropriate language, and be polite in their communications. Users should not reveal personal addresses and phone numbers of their own or their colleagues.
Users should not send unsolicited E-mail to persons with whom they have not had a prior business relationship. Users may not use spoofing or other means to disguise their identities when sending Email. Doing so may be considered “spamming” and could result in restrictions placed on the Town of Auburn’s E-mail system.
8. Internet Access
Users must access the Internet through the approved Firewall. This is to ensure security and helps to avoid the spread of viruses and other malicious software. Bypassing the Firewall is strictly prohibited without prior approval from the Information Technology department.
Firewall policies utilize categories to assist in blocking malicious or unapproved websites. The Firewall may incorrectly categorize, or otherwise restrict access to legitimate websites. It is not the intent of the Information Technology department to block legitimate websites. Users that find legitimate sites being restricted should report the site to the Director of Information Technology for review. Firewall policies may change without prior notice.
9. Data Retention
Users should save important business-related data in a secure network location (such as a network shared drive). Users understand any data stored on their desktop computer, laptop, or other personal computer is not backed up by the Information Technology department. Users that choose to save data on these workstations assume responsibility to ensure their data is backed up.
Users are responsible for the security of their accounts and passwords. Accounts and passwords should never be shared with anyone outside the Information Technology department. Users should logoff or lock their computers before leaving the computer unattended.
A User who suspects his or her account or password has been compromised shall notify the Information Technology department immediately.
Users are responsible for taking precautions to prevent the spread of viruses to the Town
Information Systems. Files and programs from removable media (floppy disks, usb drives, etc.) or downloaded from the Internet must be scanned for viruses and malicious software before being copied to the Town Information Systems.
Users shall exercise caution when opening E-mail attachments. Users should not open attachments from unknown senders, and should immediately notify the Information Technology department.
Users may not install or use encryption software on any Town Information Systems. Users may not use passwords or encryption keys that are unknown to the Information Technology department.
Users should restrict printing to only files that require a hardcopy. Printing of personal files is strictly prohibited. Wherever possible, the use of two-sided printing is encouraged to reduce the use of paper.
Users should not use Town Information Systems in any way that would disrupt the use of Town Information Systems for other Users. This includes, but is not limited to: needlessly downloading large files during business hours and sending E-mail messages to an overly large number of recipients.
The use of Town Information Systems is a privilege, not a right, and inappropriate use could result in suspension or cancellation of those privileges. Management will deem what is appropriate use for employees in their respective departments, based on the policies outlined in this document.
Substantial misuses of the Town Information Systems, or violation of the Policy, will be subject to disciplinary action (per the Town of Auburn’s Personnel Manual or collective bargaining agreements), up to and including dismissal (within the provisions of Chapter 31, the Civil Service Statute, when applicable).