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Wireless Network Policies and Procedures

Posted By NECC Editor On October 27, 2010 @ 9:57 am In | Comments Disabled

A. Rationale and Purpose of Policy:

This document provides guidelines for the deployment and usage of wireless technology on Northern Essex Community College Campuses for all users who require Wireless access. This includes faculty, staff, students, wireless classrooms and guests of the college. The purpose of this policy is to inform users what is and is not considered acceptable use of this technology.

This policy has been put in place to protect all wireless users and to prevent inappropriate use of wireless network access that may expose Northern Essex Community College to multiple risks including viruses, network attacks and various administrative and legal issues. This policy has been created to expand on the Department of Information Technology’s Computer and Network Usage Policy by including specific information regarding the use of wireless networking and Internet access on campus. The wireless network’s acceptable use falls under the Computer and Network Usage Policy acceptable use guidelines and rules. This policy is subject to change as new technologies and methods of implementing these technologies emerge.

B. SCOPE:

This wireless network policy provides guidelines regarding all wireless communication issues.

    A Wireless Network Policy is required to:

  • Support the academic mission of the College
  • Limit interface with the college’s network infrastructure
  • Promote greater security in campus networking
  • Protect all wireless resources owned or managed by NECC
  • Protect all users and uses of NECC wireless resources

This Wireless Network policy applies to all workstations, notebooks, tablets, wireless local area networks, systems, servers and software applications used on campus. It also applies to any wireless user at Northern Essex Community College. The purpose of this policy is to ensure the security, reliability and utilization of the wireless network. Wireless access is available at Northern Essex Community College and all users will have the ability to access the Internet and other web resources using their own laptops. Staff doing College work will be required to use a Northern Essex Community College owned laptop for security purposes.

C. POLICY:

General Policy:

It is the intention of the Department of Information Technology at Northern Essex Community College to provide a high level of reliability and privacy when using the wireless network. Wireless Access Points are distributed around Northern Essex Community College to provide and maintain connectivity when “roaming” about the campus. Wireless Access Points provide shared bandwidth and so as the number of users increase the available bandwidth per user decreases. As such, please show consideration for other users and refrain from running high bandwidth applications and operations such as downloading large music files and video from the Internet. Network reliability is determined by the level of user traffic and accessibility. In order to provide an acceptable level of reliability, bandwidth will be regulated according to user role and location. Wireless networking is to be considered supplemental access to the NECC network. Wired access is still the preferred medium for connectivity.

Usage Policy:
Terms, conditions and rules for using the NECC Wireless Network for students, faculty, guests, wireless classrooms and staff with personal laptops:
  • All wireless users who have their own laptops will have access to the Internet, email, online courses, Library resources, and Banner Self Service. Wireless classroom access will be determined by the class requirements.
  • Access to files on the network will not be available. This includes work related files located in user directories (Word, Excel, etc..). These files are usually located on your N: or S: drive of your NECC desktop computer.
  • Access to Printers will not be available.
  • Handheld and Palm Pilots are not supported.
  • Usage will be in accordance with the student and faculty email and network usage policies.
  • Students and faculty using personal equipment must ensure that equipment meets the required criteria (refer to Section D: Procedures and Guidelines).
  • All wireless users will need a user ID and will be required to sign a Wireless Usage Policy. Student ID’s will be purged at the end of each semester. Faculty will use their existing network account ID. Guest ID’s will be created as requested and will remain available for the time required. Anyone needing a wireless ID or having problems connecting to the wireless network should contact the Helpdesk for support during the hours of Monday-Friday 8AM–6PM.
  • The college cannot be held legally responsible for connection failures, Internet service disruption, hardware failures, non-compliant software or denials of service.
  • Above and beyond the normal network usage policy, wireless usage will be monitored to gauge bandwidth, system traffic and data transmission levels.
  • All wireless users connecting to the NECC wireless network are warned against using file-sharing or “peer-to-peer” software such as eMule, KaZaA, Limewire etc. for the illegal downloading of copyrighted material. Some of this software has licensing terms that purport to grant external agencies certain rights to use the individuals computing storage areas. Many users do not realize that these programs may run ‘hidden’ in the background and use an individual’s Internet access and bandwidth. This could have serious effects on the performance of both the College network and the PC. Use of such software is monitored on the campus network and further action will be taken where the campus network or college owned PCs are being used for illegal transfer of copyright material.
Terms, conditions and rules for using the NECC Wireless Network for staff
  • Each staff user will need a user ID and will be required to sign a Wireless Usage Policy. Staff may use their personal laptops but will be required to have it inspected by IT Services to insure compliance. Those staff will only have access to the public side of the wireless network. Staff will use their existing network account ID.
  • The college cannot be held legally responsible for connection failures, Internet service disruption, hardware failures, non-compliant software or denials of service.
  • Above and beyond the normal network usage policy, wireless usage will be monitored to gauge bandwidth, system traffic and data transmission levels.
  • All staff users of the NECC wireless network are prohibited from using file-sharing or “peer-to-peer” software such as eMule, KaZaA, Limewire etc. for the illegal downloading of copyrighted material. Some of this software has licensing terms that purport to grant external agencies certain rights to use the individuals computing storage areas. Many users do not realize that these programs may run ‘hidden’ in the background and use an individual’s Internet access and bandwidth. This could have serious effects on the performance of both the College network and the PC. Use of such software is monitored on the campus network and further action will be taken where the campus network or college owned PCs are being used for illegal transfer of copyright material.

D. PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES:

In order to have access to the wireless network all wireless users must visit the following locations to complete the appropriate paper work:
IT Services located on the Haverhill Campus (B216)
IT Services located on the Franklin Street Lawrence Campus (L242)

    All wireless devices must meet the following criteria:

  • A minimum of Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • The latest Microsoft security updates
  • Up to date anti-virus software
  • A compatible 802.11 a/b/g wireless adapter
  • An 802.1x compliant adapter
  • Wireless adaptors or drivers from the above requirements listed may not work with the NECC Wireless infrastructure. Please refer to section D when purchasing a wireless laptop to ensure its components will meet NECC minimum requirements.

E. REFERENCES, INFORMATION AND HELPFUL LINKS:

Virus Prevention:

ANTI VIRUS SOFTWARE IS REQUIRED ON ALL LAPTOPS CONNECTED TO THE NECC WIRELESS NETWORK

Computer viruses have impacted a significant number of computers worldwide over the past few years. There are over 10,000 known computer viruses. Over 200 new viruses are being discovered every month. A computer virus is a (hidden) program, which invades your computer; much like a biological virus invades a living cell. A computer virus contains code that has the potential to cause damage and/or perform unwanted/unauthorized functions.

Spyware Prevention:

ANTI SPYWARE SOFTWARE IS REQUIRED ON ALL LAPTOPS CONNECTED TO THE NECC WIRELESS NETWORK

Spyware is software that covertly gathers user information through the user’s Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Spyware applications are typically bundles as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the internet; however, it should be noted that the majority of shareware and freeware applications do not come with spyware. Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers.

Aside from the questions of ethics and privacy, spyware steals from the user by using the computer’s memory resources and also by eating bandwidth as it sends information back to the spyware’s home base via the user’s Internet connection. Because spyware is using memory and system resources, the applications running in the background can lead to system crashes or general system instability.

For a copy of the NECC Wireless Network User Agreement, download this PDF: Wireless Network User Agreement

Article printed from Northern Essex Community College: http://www.necc.mass.edu

URL to article: http://www.necc.mass.edu/student-services/current/policies-conduct/college-statements-policies-disclosures/wireless-network-policies-and-procedures/

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