Security :: Personal Responsibility

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Freely-available computing, communication, and information resources are so key for everyone at HSU that it is imperative everyone recognizes the need for responsible use. Irresponsible and inappropriate use of computing resources risks not only the security, even the availability, of those resources but also puts individuals and the University at risk of legal action by any party that becomes a victim of the consequences of such behaviors. 

The California State University Responsible Use Policy encompasses the governing philosophy for regulating faculty, student, and staff use of the University's computing, communications, and information resources. It spells out the general principles regarding appropriate use of data, equipment, software, and networks. By adopting this policy, the Executive Committee of Humboldt State University has recognized that all members of the University are also bound by local, state, and federal laws and other statutes relating to copyright, security, electronic media and intellectual property.

Activities that violate State and Federal laws include, but are not limited to:

  • Downloading and/or storing child pornography
  • Distributing pornography to minors
  • Copyright infringement
  • Bomb and other security threats
  • Pyramid schemes and other illegal business activities
  • Knowingly distributing malware or spam

Specific rules and penalties apply to P2P filesharing and breach-of-copyright issues.

Activities prohibited by the CSU Responsible Use Policy include, but are not limited to:

  • Spamming
  • Attempting to bypass network security
  • Probing the network
  • Forging your address in email
  • Running a business from an HSU account
  • Harassing or threatening others
  • Using someone else's account without their permission
  • Accessing system files that don't belong to you


Penalties for engaging in such activity are addressed as follows:

First Offense

  • You will receive an official memo notifying you of the inappropriate activity. If you receive a memo and you did not conduct the activity, respond immediately. Someone else may be using your account without your knowledge or permission.
  • Depending on the severity of the violation, a complaint may be referred to Student Affairs, Faculty Affairs, or Human Resources for further action.
  • If the violation involves threats or illegal activity, the University Police Department will be informed.
  • Your account will be added to a list of possible violators of the Responsible Use Policy.

Second Offense

One of the following three events will occur:

  • You will receive a second official memo notifying you of the inappropriate activity. This memo will inform you that the third violation will result in your account being closed.
  • You will be required to meet with the Information Security Coordinator to discuss the activity.
  • Your account will be closed and other sanctions will be applied by the appropriate office.

If your account is closed:

  • You will be required to meet with the Information Security Coordinator in order to consider whether your account should be re-opened.
  • If the activity violated California State or Federal law, you will be required to meet with either Student Affairs, Faculty Affairs or Human Resources and/or the University Police Department before account privileges will be considered for reinstatement.