COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Department of Mathematics and Statistics

Computing Acceptable Use Policy

The Department of Mathematics is committed to protecting Washington State University employees and students from illegal or damaging actions by individuals, either knowingly, or unknowingly. Internet related systems, including but not limited to computer equipment, software, operating systems, storage media, network accounts providing electronic mail, WWW browsing, and FTP, are the property of the Department of Mathematics. These systems are to be used for business purposes in serving the interests of the university, and the department, in the course of normal operations.

Effective security is a team effort involving the participation and support of every Department of Mathematics employee who deals with information and/or information systems. It is the responsibility of every computer user to know these guidelines, and to conduct their activities accordingly.


The purpose of this policy is to outline the acceptable use of computer equipment in the Department of Mathematics. These rules are in place to protect the employee and the department. Inappropriate use exposes the Department of Mathematics to risks including virus attacks, compromise of network systems and services, and legal issues.


This policy applies to employees, students, and other workers in the Department of Mathematics, including all personnel affiliated with third parties. This policy applies to all equipment that is owned or used by the department.

General Use and Ownership

While the Department of Mathematics network administration desires to provide a reasonable level of privacy, users should be aware that the data they create on department systems remains the property of the Department of Mathematics. Because of the need to protect the department's network, management cannot guarantee the confidentiality of information stored on any network device belonging to the Department of Mathematics.

For security and network maintenance purposes, authorized individuals within the Department of Mathematics may monitor equipment, systems and network traffic at any time. Computing personnel reserve the right to audit networks and systems on a periodic basis to ensure compliance with this policy.

Use of Department Computers for Personal Purposes

Employees are responsible for exercising good judgment regarding the reasonableness of personal use. If there is any uncertainty, employees should consult systems personnel for clarification. The Washington State University Business Policies and Procedures Manual (BPPM) provides a section on the 'Personal Use of University Resources' (BPPM Property Section, 20.37.1). The BPPM may be viewed online at Please familiarize yourself with the university's policy on personal use of university resources. In addition, the Washington State Ethics Law covers the proper and improper use of resources. Persons are individually responsible for compliance of ethics law. Through non-compliance, serious civil penalties have been administered to individuals. You may also view the Washington State Ethics Law at Please realize that 'any' use of resources other than for official work use, unless approved by an agency, 'could' be construed as a violation of state ethics law.

Personal Computers

Permanent connections to the Math Department network for non-department computers are prohibited. Individuals may attach laptop computers to the Math Department network for short periods of time (for WSU business only), after registering for DHCP services with systems personnel. Personal laptops must have up-to-date anti-virus software installed. We do not maintain personal laptops.

Security and Proprietary Information

  1. Keep passwords secure and do not share accounts. Authorized users are responsible for the security of their passwords and accounts. System level passwords are frequently changed; user level passwords should be changed every six months.

  2. Create a password that is not easy to guess, does not contain personal information in it, and cannot be spelled backwards. Try using acronyms, or blend a word and a number together. Use a mixture of upper and lower case letters.

  3. Postings by an employee from a Department of Mathematics person to newsgroups should contain a disclaimer stating that the opinions expressed are strictly their own and not necessarily those of the Department of Mathematics, unless posting is in the course of university duties.

  4. All Windows machines that are connected to the Department of Mathematics LAN, whether owned by an employee or the department, shall be continually executing approved virus-scanning software. If you have any question about this, see systems personnel.

  5. Employees must use extreme caution when opening e-mail attachments received from unknown senders which may contain malicious code.

Unacceptable Use

The following activities are in general prohibited. Employees may be sanctioned for violating these restrictions (e.g., systems administration staff may have a need to disable the network access of a host if that host is disrupting production services).

Under no circumstances is an employee of the Department of Mathematics authorized to engage in any activity that is illegal under local, state, federal or international law while utilizing Department of Mathematics-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 the Department of Mathematics.

  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 the Department of Mathematics, or the end user does not have an active license.

  3. Exporting software, technical information, encryption software or technology, in violation of international or regional export control laws is illegal. Computing systems personnel should be consulted prior to export of any material that is in question.

  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. This includes family and other household members when work is being done at home.

  6. Using a Department of Mathematics computing asset to actively engage in procuring or transmitting material that is in violation of sexual harassment or hostile workplace laws in the user's local jurisdiction.

  7. Making fraudulent offers of products, items, or services originating from any Department of Mathematics account.

  8. Making statements about warranty, expressly or implied, unless it is a part of normal job duties.

  9. Effecting security breaches or disruptions of network communication. Security breaches include, but are not limited to, accessing data of which the employee is not an intended recipient or logging into a server or account that the employee is not expressly authorized to access, unless these duties are within the scope of regular duties. For purposes of this section, "disruption" includes, but is not limited to, network sniffing, ping floods, packet spoofing, denial of service, and forged routing information for malicious purposes.

  10. Port scanning or security scanning by non-systems personnel is expressly prohibited.

  11. Executing any form of network monitoring which will intercept data not intended for a Department of Mathematics host, unless this activity is a part of the employee's normal job/duty.

  12. Circumventing user authentication or security of any host, network or account.

  13. Interfering with or denying service to any user other than the employee's host (for example, denial of service attack).

  14. Using any program/script/command, or sending messages of any kind, with the intent to interfere with, or disable, a user's terminal session, via any means, locally or via the Internet or Intranet.

  15. Providing information about, or lists of, Department of Mathematics employees to parties outside the Department of Mathematics.

Miscellaneous General Information

Graduate students have access to office computers running Linux which have Matlab and Maple installed on them. In addition to the many applications that are automatically installed with Linux, there is Firefox for browsing, Libre Office for word processing, and GIMP for image processing.

If you have a computer question, problem, or request, regardless of whether it pertains to Windows or Linux, you may send mail to Terry Wagoner at Make sure to provide a thorough description of a problem. Your question or problem will be addressed as soon as possible.

When you have finished using a department computer, please log off, but please do not shut it down. If you are a TA in the Newton Lab, please tell your students to log out of the computers but to never press the 'power/ off' button.

Virus updates and scans are run on Windows machines at night, which is why we ask that you leave machines on.

Network printers are available on each floor and department computers have access to them. See systems personnel if you find that you do not have access to a printer. If you use a network printer on a weekend you must not unlock the door to a printing closet and leave it either open, or unlocked. Printer closet doors are to remain locked at all times. The department has had printer theft in the past.

Department Printers

hpr1 (1st floor)

hpr2 (2nd floor)

hpr3 (3rd floor)

Revised 08/08/2023