Computer Use Regulation – A Plain English Summary for Students

North Carolina State University
Computer Use Regulation (REG 08.00.2)

 Official Policy Disclaimer:
“This document contains information regarding policies, regulations and rules (PRRs) of North Carolina State University. To the extent of any conflict between the information in this document and the actual policy, regulation or rule, the actual policy, rule or regulation governs. NC State policies, regulations and rules can be found at the PRR website”.

NC State offers outstanding computing, network and other university information technology (IT) resources to enhance student learning and student life. If you are a student at NC State, you must follow certain policies, regulations and rules to keep your access to these resources and privileges. These include:

The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has prepared the following summary of the official university Computer Use Regulation to help make it easier for students to understand the regulations that apply to them. Additional information about account and service procedures are posted on the OIT Rules for Student Use website.

Click on each heading for more explanation, and refer to the Computer Use Regulation for the official text.

Summaries for students

Computer Use Regulation, Section 1, Introduction

Obey federal and state laws and NC State University policies, regulations and rules when you use university IT resources.

If you are a student at NC State, you should understand your rights and responsibilities. Make sure you abide by federal and state laws and the university policies and procedures that apply to you when you use university IT resources. University IT resources include computer accounts, the campus wireless and wired networks, ResNet, university web-based services and information, computer labs and countless other IT equipment and resources owned and/or provided by NC State. The university provides these resources primarily to support academic activities and administrative functions.

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Computer Use Regulation, section 2, Regulatory Limitations

Do not give other people access to your NC State computer account or IT resources.

As a student at NC State, you automatically receive a university (Unity or Eos/Unity) computer account. This account is for your exclusive use. Do not let anyone else use your account or give them access to other university computer accounts or university IT resources. Never share your account password with anyone.

NC State has the right to limit or revoke your access to university IT resources. 

Your university (Unity or Eos/Unity) computer account gives you access privileges as an authorized user of university IT resources.  The university can limit or revoke these access privileges for improper use.

NC State has the right to examine the content of personal electronic information stored on or passing over university IT resources.

NC State does not conduct general content inspection of personal information stored or passing over university IT resources (networks, servers, etc.). However, monitoring may occur in the following circumstances:

  • To ensure the security and operating performance of university IT resources
  • There is a reasonable suspicion that a law or university policy has been violated
  • To enforce university policies or compliance with state or federal law

Read sections 2.4-2.6 in the official Computer Use Regulation for a full explanation.

Although your personal material stored on university IT resources is private, it may be examined to comply with laws and university policies. For a list of the circumstances when NC State may examine the content of your personal electronic information, read sections 2.4-2.5 in the official Computer Use Regulation.

Unless laws or policy require exceptions, attempts will be made to protect the privacy of personal information.

NC State may monitor its network traffic.

Designated university personnel may monitor traffic on university IT resources for operational or research purposes. Their access to information content is always consistent with university regulations, state and federal laws, and the purpose for which the traffic is being monitored.

Do not violate software license agreements or copyright laws.

Remember that unless otherwise stated in the license, any duplication of copyrighted software, except for backup or archival purpose, may be a violation of copyright law. In most cases, the illegal download and sharing of files is also a violation of copyright laws.

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Computer Use Regulation, Section 3, Personal Use

You may use university IT resources for personal use under certain conditions

Use of university IT resources is permitted for personal use by students if the use:

  • Doesn’t overload the system or otherwise negatively impact performance
  • Doesn’t result in commercial gain or private profit beyond what’s allowed by the university intellectual property policies.
  • Doesn’t violate any law or university policy, regulation or rule
  • Doesn’t state or imply university sponsorship or endorsement
  • Doesn’t involve unauthorized passwords or circumventing system security to gain unauthorized access in any way
  • Doesn’t involve sending or soliciting chain letters, sending unsolicited bulk mail messages; that is, junk, spam, or multi-level marketing email
  • Doesn’t result in any direct cost to the university.

Computer Use Regulation, Section 4, Use of Computing Facilities for Commercial, Advertising, and Broadcast Purposes

Do not include any paid advertising on university-supported websites.

“Paid advertising” means advertising or promotional information provided in exchange for legal consideration, including money or other valuable benefits.

Do not send “broadcast” email messages to campus.

Read section 4.4 in the official Computer Use Regulation for a full explanation.

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Computer Use Regulation, Section 7, Violation of Policies and Regulations

Violation of University Policies and Regulations can have serious consequences.

  • Violations are “misconduct” under the applicable student disciplinary code.
    Violators may be referred to the appropriate disciplinary procedure. Misconduct under the student disciplinary code includes the possibility of expulsion from the university.
  • Violations of law may also be referred for criminal or civil prosecution.
  • Your computer account access privileges may be suspended.
    Apart from any disciplinary action taken, your access to university IT resources may be suspended for as long as necessary to protect the university’s resources. You will be notified of any suspension of access privileges in writing, and you will be given an opportunity to appeal the decision. Read sections 5.2.1-5.2.3 in the official Computer Use Regulation for a full explanation.

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Computer Use Regulation, Section 6, Application of Public Records Law

If you are a student employee of NC State, you must comply with Public Records Law in relation to your work for the university

NC State staff and faculty are state employees. If you are a student who is also an employee of NC State, you must comply with the laws and regulations that apply to employees in relation to your work for the university. This includes Public Records Law. In brief, this means that email and other work you create or receive for the university are considered public records and should be handled and kept in accordance with Public Records Laws and university and state document retention guidelines. Read sections 6.1-6.3 in the official Computer Use Regulation for more explanation.

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Computer Use Regulation, Section 7, Additional Rules

Additional rules may apply to students.

NC State colleges, divisions and departments may adopt additional rules for students computer use. Read sections 7.1-7.4  in the official Computer Use Regulation for a full explanation.

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