Humboldt County Office of Education: HCOE Internet and Electronic Mail Guidelines and Procedures

HCOE Internet and Electronic Mail Guidelines and Procedures

All access to Internet sites is routed through a “technology protection measure” designed to filter out material that is in violation of the Child Protection Act of 1997. This filter will block most objectionable material. Users should be aware that some objectionable material may be missed by the filter, and users upon discovering the presence of such material, shall report offending sites to the Information and Network Services department at extension 7028. Review processes are available to block sites with objectionable material and to request the removal of blocks to sites that users believe contain material that has educational benefit. Finally, an override account is available if the user submits a request and receives approval from the Superintendent to the Director of Information Services.

Employees are responsible for following generally accepted social standards for use of a publicly owned and operated communication tool. Staff will maintain high standards of ethical conduct while using the system. Examples of unethical, unacceptable use of technology equipment include the following:

  • Sending, displaying, or accessing pornographic, abusive, obscene, or other objectionable language, graphics, or other media
  • Unauthorized disclosure, use, and dissemination of personal information about students or employees
  • “Hacking” or otherwise engaging in unlawful activities while online
  • Using obscene language
  • Harassing, insulting, or attacking others
  • Intentionally damaging computers, computer systems, data, files, information or computer networks
  • Violating copyright laws
  • Using or distributing another password
  • Trespassing in another folders, work, or files
  • Intentionally wasting limited resources
  • Employing the network for outside business or commercial purposes
  • Sending or receiving of unethical, illegal, immoral, inappropriate, or unacceptable information of any type
  • Engaging in activities that cause disruption to the network or its systems
  • Attempting to bypass the system security measures
  • Reposting or forwarding without the permission of the sender a message sent to you privately which is of a confidential nature or one clearly designed to be read by a limited number of selected recipients
  • Posting chain letters or engaging in “spamming” i.e., sending an annoying or otherwise unnecessary message to a large number of people
    The network is provided for staff to conduct research, to communicate with others on academic topics, and to engage in legitimate education business. Individual users of the computer networks are responsible for their behavior and communications on those networks. Users shall comply with HCOE guidelines and will abide by the policies specified herein. Violations of the policy described may result in access privileges being suspended or revoked, as well as other disciplinary action as warranted. Any commercial, political, or unauthorized use of those materials or services, in any form, is forbidden. All copyright laws must be observed

Humboldt County Office of Education respects the privacy of all users. System administrators and their staff may not log on to a user account or view a user files without explicit permission from the user (for example, by setting file access privileges). Exceptions arise when the user account is suspected either of disrupting or endangering the security or integrity of any network systems or services or of violations of applicable school or district policies, federal or state law. Even then, the system administrator must normally obtain prior approval from the superintendent unless grave danger to the continued operation of the systems requires emergency action.

This does not preclude system administrators from maintaining and monitoring system logs of user activity from within the firewall. Moreover, automated searches for files that endanger system security or integrity are preformed regularly to protect all users. System administrators may take appropriate action in response to detection of such files (typically removal of those files and possibly suspension of the user accounts until the matter can be resolved)

Use of the computer network may be revoked at any time for inappropriate use. The Information and Network Services department, in collaboration with school/district administration, will be the sole determiners of what constitutes inappropriate behavior according to local, state, and federal law. The violation of any item contained in this policy may result in the loss of computer access and/or other disciplinary action, as well as possible punitive action as provided for by local, state, and federal law.

Security on any computer system is a high priority, especially any system that has many users and/or Internet access. Staff members shall not let others use his or her account or password as he or she has a reasonable responsibility for all actions related to his or her account. Staff must notify school administrators immediately if their password is lost or stolen or if they think someone has access to their account. Employees are to use only the network directories and resources that have been assigned for their use. Unauthorized access to any other level of the system, or other system resource, is strictly prohibited. Users will make no attempt to bypass the anti-virus software, firewall, filtering and safeguards. When finished with a computer employees are expected to logout where appropriate.

Employees are not allowed to install software onto the computers or the computer network without a valid purchase order or other proof of ownership. Legal software and/or data stored on local hard drives of computers are subject to removal with prior notification and consent of the staff member. Humboldt County Office of Education shall take reasonable precautions to ensure the security, integrity, or longevity of data and/or programs stored on staff computers.

Staff acknowledge that they share responsibility for any and all use of the computer network and that misuse could lead to liability and/or consequences that extend beyond the Counties authority. The Humboldt County Office of Education and its staff members shall be held harmless from any use or misuse of the computer network by students. Humboldt County Office of Education makes no warranty of any kind, whether expressed or implied, for the service that it is providing. Humboldt County Office of Education will not be responsible for any damage users may suffer including, but not limited to, loss of data or interruptions of service as a consequence of equipment failure, either on or off Humboldt County Office of Education property. Humboldt County Office of Education and its employees are not responsible for the accuracy or quality of the information obtained through or stored on the system.

Information Technology

Doug Lee
Director, Information Technology

Help Desk
(707) 445-7555