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Computer Support: Computer Use Policies

Guide to important computer resources and tutorials

Computer Use Policies

All computer users are expected to adhere to Tri-County computer use policies


Student Technology Acceptable Use Policy

 Access to Tri-County Community College’s information technology resources is a privilege granted to you as a student in support of your studies. It is expected that these resources will be used efficiently and responsibly in support of the mission of the College as set forth in this policy. All other use not consistent with this policy may be considered unauthorized use.

You as a student are responsible for ensuring the confidentiality and appropriate use of institutional data to which you are given access, ensuring the security of the equipment where such information is held or displayed, ensuring the security of any accounts issued in your name, and abiding by privacy rights of students, faculty and staff concerning the use and release of personal information, as required by the North Carolina public records law.


Because of the need to protect Tri-County Community College's network, management cannot guarantee the confidentiality of information stored on any network device belonging to Tri-County Community College. For security and network maintenance purposes, authorized individuals within Tri-County Community College or the state IT system may monitor equipment, systems and network traffic at any time, per the North Carolina  public records law.  Tri-County Community College reserves the right to audit networks and systems on a periodic basis to ensure compliance with this policy.

Unacceptable Use

The following activities are, in general, prohibited. Under no circumstances is a student of Tri-County Community College authorized to engage in any activity that is illegal under local, state, federal or international law while utilizing college owned resources.

The lists below are by no means exhaustive, but attempt to provide a framework for activities which fall into the category of unacceptable use.

System and Network Activities

The following activities are strictly prohibited, with no exceptions:

  1. Violations of the rights of any person or company protected by copyright, trade secret, patent or other intellectual property, or similar laws or regulations, including, but not limited to, the installation or distribution of "pirated" or other software products that are not appropriately licensed for use by Tri-County Community College.
  2. Unauthorized copying of copyrighted material including, but not limited to, digitization and distribution of photographs from magazines, books or other copyrighted sources, copyrighted music, and the installation of any copyrighted software for which Tri-County Community College or the end user does not have an active license is strictly prohibited, unless that use falls under established academic fair use.
  3. Exporting software, technical information, encryption software or technology, in violation of international or regional export control laws, is illegal.
  4. Introduction of malicious programs into the network or server  (e.g., viruses, worms, Trojan horses, e-mail bombs, etc.).
  5. Revealing your account password to others or allowing use of your account by others.
  6. Using a Tri-County Community College computing asset to actively engage in procuring or transmitting material that is in violation of any laws.
  7. Making fraudulent offers of products, items, or services originating from any Tri-County Community College account.
  8. Effecting security breaches or disruptions of network communication. Security breaches include, but are not limited to, accessing data of which you are not an intended  recipient or logging into a server or account that you are not expressly authorized to access. For purposes of this section, "disruption" includes, but is not limited to, network sniffing, pinged floods, packet spoofing, denial of service, and forged routing information for malicious purposes.
  9. Circumventing user authentication or security of any host, network or account.
  10. Installing unauthorized network or computer devices on college property. The installation of thumb drives, floppy disks, PDAs, or other USB devices are acceptable provided their use does not compromise the school’s network.
  11. Tampering with physical security devices in any campus computer lab.
  12. Viewing, printing, relaying, publishing, copying, or saving of pornography.

Email and Communications Activities

  1. Sending unsolicited email messages, specifically  the sending of "junk mail" or other advertising material to individuals who did not specifically request such material (email spam).
  2. Any form of harassment via email, telephone or paging, whether through language, frequency, or size of messages.
  3. Unauthorized use, or forging, of email header information.
  4. Solicitation of email for any other email address, other than that of the poster's account, with the intent to harass or to collect replies.
  5. Creating or forwarding "chain letters", "Ponzi" or other "pyramid" schemes of any type.


Enforcement will be based upon receipt by the Information Technology Department of one or more formal complaints about a specific incident or through discovery of a possible violation in the normal course of administering information technology resources.

 Repeated offenses and serious incidents of non-compliance may lead to college disciplinary action under college disciplinary policies and procedures for students, private civil action, and/or criminal charges. Serious incidents of non-compliance include but are not limited to unauthorized use of computer resources, attempts to steal passwords or data, copyright violations, unauthorized use or copying of licensed software, repeated harassment, creating or viewing obscene material or threatening behavior.

 Appeals of college actions resulting from enforcement of this policy will be handled through existing disciplinary/grievance processes for Tri-County Community College students.

  The SCS and library staff are responsible for administering policies. It is expected that staff requests for compliance will be immediately and respectfully accommodated. Questions or complaints should be addressed to library administration. Depending on the seriousness of the infraction, refusal to comply with policies may result in:

  • a request to leave the building
  • summoning of security
  • refusal of future access to the library or lab
  • suspension of library privileges
  • sanctions imposed through the college's process