Code of conduct for the use of computing facilities


The University of Bristol has policies and regulations to which everyone using the University's computing facilities must adhere.

This document, used alongside the University regulations, provides advice and good practice to users and aims to ensure that your use of computer facilities does not break the law, interfere with the activities of others, or damage the reputation of the University. Your attention is drawn to the following policies and regulations:

Additional information is available for system and network administrators and may be of general interest to others:

The following JISC-funded service may also be of assistance:

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The following guidelines are intended to help you in your use of computing facilities.

  1. Never pretend to be someone else, or allow anyone else to pretend to be you
    • Don't divulge your password to anyone. If someone else needs to read your email or have access to your files, there are other ways to achieve this. Ask if you need help
    • Don't use anyone else's account or let anyone else use your account
    • Don't reconfigure a network device to appear to be something other than what it really is
  2. Don't do anything that allows non-authorised users access to University computing facilities
    • Don't let people tailgate you when you're entering or leaving a locked building
    • Be careful not to allow others to see you type your password
    • Always log off when you have finished a session on a computer
    • Take care when setting up services that other people can access, so that your system cannot be misused
    • When accessing or displaying confidential information, be careful not to allow others to see it
  3. When sending email or posting to newsgroups always be courteous, and never send or pass on junk mail (just delete it)
  4. Don't use email for confidential material. Messages may be read by people misusing the facilities as well as by system administrators (under certain defined circumstances)
  5. Never do anything to interfere with the operation of the University's facilities
  6. If in doubt whether something you want to do with computers is permissible, ask before you try it

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Authorised use

If you are in any doubt as to whether you are entitled to use a computer or not, assume that you are not. Consult Information Services for advice if necessary.

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Using facilities in public access computer rooms

Members of the University are entitled to use the computing facilities in general access computer rooms.

To avoid any danger of damage to the equipment, you must not eat or drink in the public access rooms or place food or drink anywhere near the equipment. You must not smoke in public access rooms either, both to avoid damaging the equipment and in accordance with the University's policy on smoking in public areas.

You must not move the equipment around or change the cabling in any way.

The printing facilities are provided for your convenience. You must use them sensibly, pick up printout as soon as possible, and leave the area around the printers in a tidy state.

Some rooms are bookable for classes and some contain bookable equipment. You must give up using the equipment (and leave the room if necessary) if asked to by someone who has legitimately booked it.

If asked to do so by staff responsible for the public room or by security staff, you must produce identification to show that you are a member of the University.

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Educational use

Computing facilities in the University are provided to further the teaching and research activities of the University. Some use for non-University related purposes is allowed, for example for electronic mail with friends or for storing personal information. Such use must not interfere with, or in any way impair the authorised use for University-related purposes of any computing or data communications facility.

You should be aware that in the event of your long-term absence, circumstances may require that your files, including your mail folders, are accessed over that period at the authorisation of your head of department or organisational unit.

These uses of the facilities are, in general, free of charge, though some facilities, such as printing, may require payment. The software available on the University's computers has often been supplied at a much reduced cost to the University provided it is used for educational purposes only. You must not use any software licensed only for educational use in connection with non-academic work. You should consult the Assistant Director of Information Services (Information Systems and Computing) before submitting any research proposal that involves extensive use of computing facilities.

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