Acceptable Use Examples

The following scenarios are intended to provide examples of acceptable and unacceptable uses of Brown's computing resources, based on the Acceptable Use Policy. These examples are not comprehensive but are merely illustrations of some types of acceptable and unacceptable use.

Authorized Use

  • While using someone else's computer from off campus, you connect to Brown to check your email. When you have finished, you log off of your account, closing any browser windows you may have used, and making sure your email password was not saved on the computer.
  • While traveling on vacation, you ask a staff person to check your email for you by forwarding your email to their account, removing the forwarding on your return.
  • While someone else is using a computer, you want to check your email. You ask them to log in, giving them your password to type in for you.
  • While traveling on vacation, you ask a staff person to check your email for you by giving them your password.
  • A colleague is out sick, and he/she was receiving responses for an event. Rather than calling them at home to ask them to check their email, you attempt to gain access to their account by guessing their password.
  • After having your computer hacked, you decide to download and run hacking tools yourself to help your friends out by checking for vulnerabilities on their computers.

Fair Share of Resources

  • You conduct a video conference with your department's satellite office using your computer.
  • You use a shared computer in a Library, computer lab, or departmental cluster that you are authorized to use.
  • You use your computer connected camera to display what is happening in your room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the Internet, and list the site on major search engines and post it on listservs to ensure lots of visitors.
  • While using a computer in a departmental cluster, you alter its setup, so that each time it starts up, your favorite programs are started automatically.
  • As an employee at Brown, you store your photos, music, movies or unauthorized software on Brown resources (either on your workstation or a Brown server).
  • You create or utilize an automated solution to register for courses in Banner, giving you not only an unfair advantage over other students, but also increasing the possibility of system degradation or failure.

Adherence to Laws

  • Storing legitimately-obtained audio files for use in language instruction.
  • Displaying a legally reproduced copy (with copyright notice) of a recorded work in a classroom to a group of students and faculty as part of the instructional program.
  • Taking a CD you own, you make copies of songs onto your computer, and set up sharing to allow others to access those songs from your computer.
  • Playing a video in a classroom for entertainment purposes, or for its cultural or intellectual value unrelated to a teaching activity.

For more examples, see Brown's Copyright and Fair Use policy.

Other Inappropriate Activities

  • While running for political office, you use your Brown email account to send out email about your candidacy to people who live in your district, promoting you as a candidate.
  • Using a computer connected to Brown's campus network, you establish a commercial business, selling products or services over the Internet.
  • You download, store, print and/or display materials that could be perceived by others as contributing to an intimidating, hostile, or sexually offensive working environment.
  • You send out unauthorized and unsolicited email messages to other Brown community members.

Privacy and Personal Rights

  • As part of an investigation into an employee's potential misuse of the campus network for copyright violations, permission is granted from an appropriate office for a supervisor to log into that employee's computer and check files that are stored on it.
  • While checking the email system for possible problems, a systems staff person has to open a mailbox owned by someone else. In doing so, he or she reads the subject lines, finds one that looks interesting, and opens the email message.

User Compliance

  • When registering for email at Brown, and finding a policy presented on the screen, an individual reads it and agrees to it before proceeding to the next screen.
  • As malware alerts and other news are sent from CIS, an individual takes appropriate action to protect his or her computers from those threats.
  • When registering for email at Brown, and finding a policy presented on the screen, an individual quickly clicks on the "I Agree" button without reading the policy or acknowledging responsibility for following it.
  • As malware alerts and other news are sent from CIS, an individual sets up an email filter to send the information directly to the trash.