View current

Acceptable Use of UQ ICT Resources Guideline

This is the current version of the approved document. You can provide feedback on this document to the Enquiries Contact - refer to the Status and Details tab from the menu bar above.

Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The purpose of this Guideline is to support the Information and Communication Technology Policy by providing further information regarding acceptable use of UQ information and communication technology (ICT) resources, including personal use. This is a UQ-wide Guideline that applies to all consumers of UQ ICT resources, as defined in the policy.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Acceptable Use of UQ ICT Resources

(2) Acceptable use can most easily be illustrated by examples of unacceptable use. The following are examples of what may be considered inappropriate use of ICT resources. In instances where such use is required for legitimate research or teaching purposes, an exception may be approved.

  1. Knowingly downloading, storing, distributing and viewing of offensive, obscene, indecent, pornographic, or menacing material. This could include, but is not limited to pornography, hate sites, gratuitous violence and sites using frequent and highlighted bad language.
  2. Destruction of or damage to equipment, software, or data belonging to The University of Queensland.
  3. Playing of games is not permitted by staff within work hours. Students should also not use UQ resources for playing games unless it is a legitimate requirement of their studies. Games can require a large amount of internal storage and potentially long play periods breaching the UQ minimal use standard. The loading of such software also potentially has software licensing and security concerns.
  4. When sending any emails, the University policies with respect to gender, race, sexual harassment, bullying and language use (e.g. Staff Code of Conduct Policy and Student Code of Conduct Policy) apply. Emails and stored information are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
  5. UQ facilities should not be used for private business use unless written permission has been received from the Head of Organisational Unit.
  6. Screen savers and wallpapers that could be considered of an offensive nature are inappropriate in a work environment.
Top of Page

Section 3 - Limited Personal Use

(3) The reason for limiting personal use is that such use of resources incurs a cost to the University and any use which is not a University purpose represents a potential misuse of University resources.

(4) Individual personal use may result in relatively small costs being incurred. Continued use or collective use across the University, however, may incur many thousands of dollars of costs to the University per annum – money that would be better spent furthering University objectives.

(5) It can be difficult to determine exactly how much personal use is acceptable, which is why such use should be kept to a minimum. UQ staff should discuss with their supervisor or manager if they require personal use of these resources. The following sections will provide examples to further clarify this use.

Personal use of UQ phones

(6) UQ phones should be used for work or study-related purposes. It may be acceptable for a staff member to make an urgent phone call using a UQ telephone during work hours if approved by their supervisor.

(7) However, if a staff member were to make repeated calls or calls to international recipients, using a UQ phone during work hours, this use would be considered unacceptable as it incurs significant cost to the University and consumes a high volume of work time.

Personal use of UQ email

(8) Your UQ email should only be used for work or study-related purposes. Your UQ email account should not be used to:

  1. portray or promote political beliefs or ideologies (this includes using your UQ email to organise political events or meetings);
  2. sign up to online services that are not related to your work or study;
  3. appear to represent the University in your personal activities; or
  4. send messages to large volumes of recipients (approval for bulk messaging is outlined in the Email and Bulk Messaging Procedure).

Personal use of UQ networks

(9) The UQ network should not be used in a manner that impacts network performance (e.g. downloading large volumes of files) unless it is for study or work purposes. Consumers should not use the UQ network to access websites that are inappropriate (see clause 2a for examples).

(10) Staff should not be using the internet for purposes unrelated to work during work hours. In some cases – as discussed and approved by your supervisor – it may be acceptable for a staff member to use the network for minor personal purposes. For example, a supervisor may approve a staff member to use the network to check an urgent personal email or pay a bill during a quiet period. It would be unacceptable, however, for a staff member to browse social media websites for extended periods of time. This use would be considered unacceptable as it incurs significant cost to the University and consumes work time that would be better utilised furthering UQ objectives.