IT Regulations

The aim of these regulations is to help ensure that Staffordshire University’s IT facilities can be used safely, lawfully and equitably.

The issues covered by these regulations are complex and you are strongly urged to read the accompanying guidance document, available at http://www.staffs.ac.uk/itregulationsguide. This gives more detailed information that we hope you will find useful. 

1 Scope

These regulations apply to anyone using the IT facilities (hardware, software, data, network access, WiFi, third party services, online services or IT credentials) provided or arranged by Staffordshire University.

2. Governance

When using IT, you remain subject to the same laws and regulations as in the physical world.
It is expected that your conduct is lawful. Furthermore, ignorance of the law is not considered to be an adequate defence for unlawful conduct.
When accessing services from another jurisdiction, you must abide by all relevant local laws, as well as those applicable to the location of the service.
You are bound by Staffordshire University’s general regulations when using the IT facilities, Regulations applicable to students can be viewed at http://www.staffs.ac.uk/legal/policies/ and staff regulations are available at https://iris.staffs.ac.uk.
You must abide by the regulations applicable to any other organisation whose services you access such as Blackboard, Microsoft, Janet, Eduserv and Jisc Collections.
When using services via Eduroam, you are subject to both the regulations of Staffordshire University and the institution where you are accessing services.
Some software licences procured by Staffordshire University will set out obligations for the user – these should be adhered to.
Breach of any applicable law or third party regulation will be regarded as a breach of these IT regulations.

3. Authority

These regulations are issued under the authority of Director of Digital Services who is also responsible for their interpretation and enforcement, and who may also delegate such authority to other people.
You must not use the IT facilities without the permission of Digital Services.
You must comply with any reasonable written or verbal instructions issued by people with delegated authority in support of these regulations. If you feel that any such instructions are unreasonable or are not in support of these regulations, you may appeal to the Director of Digital Services.

4. Intended use

The IT facilities are provided for use in furtherance of the mission of Staffordshire University, for example to support a course of study, research or in connection with your employment by the institution.
Use of these facilities for personal activities (provided that it does not infringe any of the regulations, and does not interfere with others’ valid use) is permitted, but this is a privilege that may be withdrawn at any point.
Use of these IT facilities for non-institutional commercial purposes, or for personal gain, requires the explicit approval of the Director of Digital Services. 

5. Identity

You must take all reasonable precautions to safeguard any IT credentials (for example, a username and password, email address, smart card or other identity hardware) issued to you. You must not allow anyone else to use your IT credentials. Nobody has the authority to ask you for your password and you must not disclose it to anyone.
You must not attempt to obtain or use anyone else’s credentials.
You must not impersonate someone else or otherwise disguise your identity when using the IT facilities.

6. Infrastructure

You must not do anything to jeopardise the integrity of the IT infrastructure by, for example, doing any of the following without approval:

  •  Damaging, reconfiguring or moving equipment;
  • Loading software on Staffordshire University’s equipment other than in approved circumstances;
  • Reconfiguring or connecting equipment to the network other than by approved methods;
  • Setting up servers or services on the network;
  • Deliberately or recklessly introducing malware; 
  • Attempting to disrupt or circumvent IT security measures.

7. Information

If you handle personal, confidential or sensitive information, you must take all reasonable steps to safeguard it and must observe Staffordshire University’s Data Protection Guidance, available at www.staffs.ac.uk/legal, particularly with regard to online storage, removable media, mobile and privately owned devices. With any device accessing sensitive data being up to date with security patches, configured to encrypt data, the screen locked when not in use, and physically secured at all time.

You must not infringe copyright, or break the terms of licences for software or other material.

You must not attempt to access, delete, modify or disclose information belonging to other people without their permission, or explicit approval from Legal Services.

You must not create, download, store or transmit unlawful material, or material that is indecent, offensive, threatening or discriminatory. Staffordshire University has procedures to approve and manage valid activities involving such material available from the University Ethics committee, which must be observed.

8. Behaviour

Real world standards of behaviour apply online and on social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Blogger and Twitter. ++

You must not cause needless offence, concern or annoyance to others.

You should also adhere to Staffordshire University’s guidelines on social media.

You must not send spam (unsolicited bulk email).

You must not deliberately or recklessly consume excessive IT resources such as processing power, bandwidth or consumables.

You must not use the IT facilities in a way that interferes with others’ valid use of them.

You must not use the IT facilities to support terrorist activity, or to access to material promoting terrorism.

9. Monitoring

Staffordshire University monitors and records the use of its IT facilities for the purposes of:

  • The effective and efficient planning and operation of the IT facilities;
  • Detection and prevention of infringement of University regulations;
  • Investigation of alleged misconduct; 
  • Determining if email or other communications are relevant to the business, for example where an employee is off sick or on holiday.

Staffordshire University will comply with lawful requests for information from government and law enforcement agencies.
You must not attempt to monitor the use of the IT facilities without explicit authority.

10 Infringement

Infringing these regulations may result in sanctions under the institution’s disciplinary processes as detailed in the students regulations http://www.staffs.ac.uk/legal/policies/ or staff regulations https://iris.staffs.ac.uk. Penalties may include withdrawal of services and/or fines. Offending material will be taken down.
Information about infringement may be passed to appropriate law enforcement agencies, and any other organisations whose regulations you have breached.
Staffordshire University reserves the right to recover from you any costs incurred as a result of your infringement.
You must inform Digital Services Service Desk if you become aware of any infringement of these regulations, or of potential access of protected data beyond intended users.