Policy Manual

Privacy and Security

E-mail is an academic asset and critical component of the GCSU's communication procedures.

Official GCSU e-mail systems are provided to help employees and students in the performance of their duties or studies. GCSU attempts to afford e-mail privacy protections comparable to that which it traditionally affords paper, mail, and telephone communications. GCSU and system administrators do not routinely inspect, monitor, or disclose e-mail content. Neither can the university, in general, protect users from receiving e-mail they may find offensive. Employees and students of GCSU, however, are strongly encouraged to use the same personal and professional courtesies and considerations in e-mail as they would in other forms of communication. Network and computer operations personnel need, from time to time, to observe certain transactional addressing information to ensure proper functioning of GCSU's e-mail services. On these and other occasions, the content of e-mail may be inadvertently read. Except as provided elsewhere in this policy, they are not permitted to see or read the contents intentionally; to read transactional information where not germane to the foregoing purpose; or disclose or otherwise use what they have seen. One exception, however, is that of systems personnel (such as "postmasters") who may need to inspect e-mail when rerouting or disposing of otherwise undeliverable e-mail. This exception is limited to the least invasive level of inspection required to perform such duties. Authorized users should consider their use of the university e-mail and how it reflects on GCSU's image as all e-mail; both personal and business, may be subject to public disclosure. Authorized users are forewarned of the following:

  • E-mail, whether or not created or stored on university equipment, may constitute a university record and is subject to disclosure under the Georgia Open Records Act, other laws, or as a result of litigation.
  • The confidentiality of e-mail cannot be assured and may be compromised by applicability of law or policy, including this policy, by unintended redistribution, or because of the inadequacy of current technologies to protect against unauthorized access.
  • E-mail distribution of confidential personal information or other confidential information (confidential student records, for example) is prohibited.
  • GCSU has no control over the security of e-mail that has been downloaded to an authorized user's computer. As a deterrent to potential intruders and to misuse of e-mail, authorized users should employ whatever protections (such as passwords and encryptions) are available to them.

Employee Responsibilities Related to the Use of E-Mail

Authorized users of GCSU's e-mail systems shall not:

  • Subscribe to multiple high volume listservs, newsletters, etc. that would place a burden on the system.
  • Intentionally cause disruption, damage, or excessive strain on any computing resources, or unwarranted or unsolicited interference with others' use of e-mail or e-mail systems.
  • Create or willfully disseminate computer viruses. Each employee and student should be sensitive to the ease of spreading viruses and should take steps to insure files are virus free.
  • Give out an authorized user's e-mail password to anyone.
  • Fail to follow policies appropriate to mail list usage.
  • Solicit to buy or sell goods or services for personal profit, except as permitted on designated lists.
  • Manage storage of email on the server so as to best utilize server storage space.
  • Display or transmit sexually explicit images, messages, or cartoons.