Information Technology

Computing Use and Netiquette

Some information is excerpted and paraphrased from Policy on Use of Communications Technology, Executive Memorandum 97-18.  This information is not intended to supersede official policy.

Suggestions on Use of Communications Technology

Access to the University's computing and communications facilities and resources is a privilege granted for educational use and legitimate University-related business.

The purpose for computing and communications systems, services, and facilities at CSU, Chico is to support the educational and service mission of the University. Use of the university's computing and communications resources is governed by all applicable CSU System and university policies and procedures, as well as by all applicable federal, state, and local laws and statutes.

User Responsibilities and Acceptable Use

Acceptable use of computing and communications facilities and resources at CSU, Chico includes:

  • Respect for the legal protections provided by copyright and license to programs and data as well as by university contractual agreements.
  • Respect for the rights of others by complying with all university policies regarding intellectual property.
  • Using accurate identification in all electronic communications to avoid deliberately misrepresenting any user's identity.

The university has subscribed to the statement on software and intellectual rights distributed by EDUCOM:

"Respect for intellectual labor and creativity is vital to academic discourse and enterprise. This principle applies to work of all authors and publishers in all media. It encompasses respect for the right to acknowledgment, right to privacy, and right to determine the form, manner, and terms of publication and distribution.

Because electronic information is volatile and easily reproduced, respect for the work and personal expression of others is especially critical in computer environments. Violations of authorial integrity, including plagiarism, invasion of privacy, unauthorized access, and trade secret and copyright violations, may be grounds for sanctions against members of the academic community."

Suggestions on Use of Communications Technology


  • Give an electronic message the same care and courtesy given written communication.
  • Change your password regularly.
  • Keep e-mail paragraphs and messages short and concise.
  • Get permission from authors before quoting them.
  • Focus on one subject per e-mail message and use a pertinent "Subject" title.
  • Include your signature footer (name, position, affiliation, and Internet address) at the bottom of messages when sending to people you don't know.
  • Address messages you want sent campuswide by using the daily Announcements, not by selecting all of the "All?" lists.
  • To "reply" to the author of daily Announcements, check the address on the specific announcement and send a message just to that individual rather than replying to the entire campus.
  • Limit line length of messages to 65-70 characters and avoid control characters.
  • Cite all quotes, references, and sources, and respect copyright and license agreements.
  • Delete unwanted messages and download read messages to local files to conserve disk space.
  • Be professional when commenting about others. E-mail is easily forwarded, so be careful when using sarcasm and humor.
  • Avoid typing your messages in all capital letters because IT LOOKS LIKE YOU'RE SHOUTING.
  • Try to check your e-mail daily. Senders expect their messages to be read in a timely manner.
  • Unsubscribe to mailing lists (LISTSERV) to conserve disk space if you will be away for more than two weeks.
  • Include a warning in confidential messages to avoid accidental transmission to unintended parties.
  • Respect the privacy of other users. Lack of respect for privacy includes reading others' mail, accessing files, or using others' computer accounts or e-mail addresses (except for employees to facilitate university business).
  • Respect the intellectual property of others and adhere to university standards of academic honesty.
  • Follow the University's operational procedures for computing and network services.

    * These statements are intended for the convenience of the reader only. The actual policy is governed by EM 97-18.


  • Don't use the daily campus Announcements for
    • announcing items for sale or being sought for purchase that are not directly related to official university business,
    • sending advertisements for events or concerns that are not officially university-sponsored or endorsed, or
    • making statements of political support or position.
  • Note: Such information should be directed to bulletin boards, Usenet/Net News, etc.
  • Don't use the campus networks for commercial purposes.
  • Don't attempt to monitor another user's data communications or to read, copy, change, or delete other user's e-mail messages, files, or software without permission of the owner.
  • Never assume your e-mail messages are private. Never send something that you would mind seeing on the evening news.
  • Don't change any of the original wording of messages that you forward to another user unless necessary. If you do, make it clear where you have made changes.
  • Don't pretend you are someone else when sending mail.
  • Don't assume that the messages you send will be read immediately. E-mail is designed for convenience, not immediacy.
  • Don't subscribe to more interest groups and discussion lists (LISTSERV) than you can read. Unread messages take up valuable server disk space.
  • Don't use computing and network services for uses that are inconsistent, incompatible, or in conflict with state or federal law, or CSU or university policy.
  • Don't intentionally disrupt the campus computing system or obstruct the work of others by interfering with others' accounts, spreading viruses or other destructive programs on computers or the network, sending chain letters or blanket e-mail messages, or knowingly consuming large amounts of system resources.
  • Don't use campus computing or network services to threaten, harass, defame, or otherwise interfere with the rights of others.
  • Never give your user ID or password to another person except the system administrator at your site.
  • Don't share your password or let others use your account (except for university employees to facilitate university business).

These guidelines are based on The University Policy on Use of Communications Technology and advice from network users around the world. They are examples and not intended as a complete list. For the actual policy see Executive Memorandum 97-18.

For violations, contact the system or network administrator responsible, who will report the incident to the college/unit policy officer in accordance with local procedural guidelines.

* These statements are intended for the convenience of the reader only.
The actual policy is governed by EM 97-18

~ October 2000