Campus Internet Rules
Your college will have its own rules regarding how you’re able to use the university’s network and email system. It’s important to understand your school’s policies—and the consequences associated with breaking them.
Every college has its own specific rules regarding the campus network and university-issued email address. Learn them to know when you can expect privacy—and when you can’t.
Understanding Campus Network Rules
Every college has policies regarding internet, network and device usage for students; it’s likely that these policies will be included in orientation documents and should also be available on your college’s website.
General policies may cover:
- Downloading, uploading or peer-to-peer file sharing of copyrighted material
- Students’ responsibilities regarding their data
- Installing software, drivers or other programs onto university computers
- Adding, altering or deleting of files on university computers or servers
- Using the network to bypass security functions or obtain classified information
- Harassing others using the university’s technological resources
- Impersonating others online
Additionally, most colleges reserve the right to monitor or inspect any data on university computers or any data that is transmitted over the university network. This includes the browsing that you’re doing, as well as your bandwidth. Many colleges also employ basic filters on their network, often to block torrenting and abuse.
While these rules should be explicitly stated in student agreements, and it’s unethical for university employees to use your browsing information for their own gain or personal use, it’s important that you review any internet agreements carefully in order to understand the terms you’re accepting and how these terms affect your internet usage at school.
Should you find these blanket-blocks have gone too far and end up restricting your access to crucial sites and services, the right VPN can be the ideal solution. Consider one of our selections from the best VPN services for the US or best VPNs for the UK.
Understanding Campus Email Rules
In addition to general rules regarding using the school’s network, most colleges will also have rules surrounding the use of your school email address.
This is the email address you’re assigned when you enroll in the college; it is typically created automatically for you by the university, often based off your legal name as reflected in the school’s records, and ends in “.edu.”
These addresses are to be used for educational purposes only, including communication with professors and classmates, conducting research and homework assignments, and business and internship communication.
Similar to the rules regarding the data transmitted across the school’s network, many schools have strict rules regarding how the data sent through your school email account can be accessed by the school, including reserving the right to monitor and/or record activity on your email account.
Generally, the university owns the email account you’re provided with, including all the data transmitted or stored using the email account. Since this is the case, students cannot expect for the email messages sent through the account to be private.
You should review your college’s specific email rules to understand your expectation of privacy regarding your messages and data.