Computer Policies

Student Network Access Policies

NMH students may access the campus network and all resources from their dorm rooms, classrooms, library, and nearly all public spaces on campus. Students may also access web-based resources like email and class groups from home. Wired network access for residential students to the Internet and on-campus technology resources is available during these times:

Upperclass students:

  • Sunday - Thursday: 6 am - midnight
  • Friday: 6 am - Saturday 1 am
  • Saturday: 6 am - Sunday 1 am

  • Ninth-graders:

  • Sunday - Thursday: 6 am - 10:30 pm
  • Friday: 6 am - Friday 11:30 pm
  • Saturday: 6 am - Saturday 11:30 pm
  • Privacy

    NMH believes that the use of computers and networks is more effective when actions aren't monitored and personal messages and storage areas are respected as private. NMH will not view private messages or storage areas unless it believes the following has occurred or will occur:

    1. Illegal activity of any kind that might include, or be described, discussed, or supported by the school's phone system or network resources.

    2. A member of the community's safety is threatened and it is likely that information about the situation may be found in electronic messages or files stored on the network.

    3. Violation of school rules that might include, or be described, discussed, or supported by the school's phone system or network resources.

    Internet Logging

    Each person at NMH who uses the school's Internet capability should be aware that the network keeps a record of all sites visited from all computers on the network. These records are kept only to be consulted when it is suspected that an individual has violated the school's acceptable use policy, or to diagnose network problems. No member of the school reviews these logs without legitimate cause.

    NMH provides powerful communication tools and almost universal access to a virtually unlimited supply of information. As with any powerful resource, there is a need to pay special attention to personal responsibility. The following policy provides guidelines for faculty, staff, and students to ensure the ethical use of technology at Northfield Mount Hermon. These policies apply to all NMH telephone, voice mail, and data network use. State and federal laws also apply to certain activities on the network.

    NMH Technology Acceptable Use Policy

    The following Acceptable Use Policy, written for students and adults, provides guidelines for all members of the NMH community to ensure the appropriate use of networking at Northfield Mount Hermon. These policies apply to all telephone, voice mail, and data network use. State and federal laws also apply to certain activities on the network.

    1. Members of the NMH community are responsible for all material, both public and private, made available by them on the NMH network or sent via telephone connection. Users may not allow others to use their passwords or accounts. No pseudonyms may be used or anonymous messages sent. Users should be careful not to give out personal information over the Internet, and are encouraged to bring any questions to a faculty member, DL, dean, or their supervisor.

    2. Accessing the accounts and files of others is prohibited. All users will respect the privacy of other users. This includes keeping passwords secret and not attempting to obtain other people’s passwords or circumvent the security of computer systems both inside and outside the school. Taking advantage of another user who inadvertently leaves a computer without logging out will be treated as would any other invasion of privacy, such as entering an unlocked room without an invitation. Community members should not use auto-login functions to store their passwords.

    3. Attempting to subvert network security, to impair function of the network, or to bypass a restriction set by an administrator is prohibited. Assisting others in violating these rules by either sharing information or passwords is also prohibited.

    4. Improper use or distribution of information is prohibited. Any action that violates a school rule under normal circumstances will also be considered a violation when the activity involves the use of the network. This includes copyright infringements, piracy, and plagiarism.

    5. Certain members of the NMH community may be granted access to protected or sensitive information pertaining to students, employees, or other school functions. Use of such information is restricted to lawful and appropriate purposes that benefit the school and its students. Distribution or publishing of such information to third parties, non-employees of NMH, the press, or any others who do not require access in order to serve the interests of the school or its students is prohibited.

    6. Use of the Northfield Mount Hermon network for unauthorized commercial or illegal purposes is prohibited. NMH maintains the network for academic purposes as well as for school-related and personal communication. If you have doubts about what is illegal or improper, contact a faculty member, DL, dean, or your supervisor.

    7. Any activity such as hazing or harassment that violates a major school rule is applicable to computer, voice mail, and network activity. Users of the network both on and off campus are accountable for statements posted by their account.

    8. The use of the network is a privilege not a right. NMH provides the network as a conduit for communication and for the enhancement of education. NMH has the right to revoke or suspend anyone's network access for violating any of the policies contained in this document, including but not limited to:

    • Overutilization: excessive use of bandwidth, storage
    • Overloading: denial of service attacks, spamming
    • Security: hacking, backdoors, viruses
    • Privacy: password-cracking utilities, text-trappers, port scanners, sniffers
    • Piracy: pirated mp3s or software
    • Inappropriate material: pornography, graphic images, posted obscenities, and racial slurs
    • Commercial usage
    • Deceit: use of another's account, alteration of logs
    • The school prohibits the use of wireless access points, routers, firewalls, switches, hubs, and similar network equipment without expressed permission. Such devices compromise network security and may disrupt proper operation of the network.

    9. Members of the NMH community accessing the network are representatives of Northfield Mount Hermon and are expected to conduct themselves accordingly. Network users must ask themselves whether or not their actions reflect well on the reputation of the school. Behavior that brings the name of the school into disrepute will be considered a violation of school rules. This policy applies to the school network (intranet), email, web services, and the Internet.

    10. All computers on the NMH network are required to have up-to-date anti-virus software installed and active.

    11. Students and their parents must be aware that some of the material on the Internet is pornographic or otherwise objectionable. NMH cannot assume responsibility for limiting any student's access to such material. NMH students and employees will not use the school’s network or Internet connection to view, download, transfer, or publish pornographic materials. NMH students and employees will specifically prevent such materials from being displayed on or accessed from computers assigned to them.

    12. Northfield Mount Hermon network resources, including all telephone and data lines, are the property of Northfield Mount Hermon. The school will, to the extent possible, respect the privacy of account holders on the network. However, Northfield Mount Hermon is responsible for the safety of all members of the NMH community and for enforcing all of its school rules governing the network and investigating possible violations. Network users should therefore recognize that Northfield Mount Hermon reserves the right to access any information stored or transmitted over the network.

    Internet Activity Daily Limit

    The Internet connection at NMH and other schools is shared by all members of the community. Often, activities that work well on home broadband networks are not appropriate when many people must share the same Internet connection. The amount of Internet capacity supplied by the school is sufficient to provide good performance unless it is used for file-sharing, large downloads, or a large quantity of streaming video and audio services. Each student has a daily limit for Internet activity that is sufficient for extensive web browsing, messaging, and reasonable downloads.

    When the daily limit is exceeded, the system will send an email warning to the violating student. When these warnings accumulate, the student may automatically be placed on Internet suspension (Internet privileges are revoked), and a conversation with his or her associate dean and/or IT may be required before access to the Internet is restored. Accumulated Internet suspensions may be grounds for disciplinary action.

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