Computers & Internet Use Policy
The use of Electronic Communications at Al Amanah College is a privilege, and like any other privilege, carries with it responsibilities. Publishing, accessing information and communicating electronically can be cost-effective, timely and efficient. It is essential that the use of this valuable resource be managed to ensure that it is used in an appropriate manner.
The internet/ intranet provides students with the opportunity to locate information and liaise with organisations or individuals to support learning and to increase their knowledge and skills in using electronic services.
The Learning Technologies program at Al Amanah College is an integral part of a student’s learning environment. Students will have access to the network computers and thus the Internet possibilities. The use of the school internet will support the education and research programs set by the teachers in line with its educational goals and objectives.
At Al Amanah College, students will accept personal responsibility for reporting any misuse of the network to the teachers of the school. This would include any message/s sent or received that indicate or suggest pornography, unethical or illegal solicitation, racism, sexism and inappropriate language.
It is vital the school community understands the significance of the Internet and also the potential risks. It is essential that families discuss ethical issues related to this policy document. Students need to develop skills of discrimination when dealing with information (and misinformation). These skills will be addressed at school and need to be considered within the context of the family.
The process by which Al Amanah College seeks to manage use of Electronic Communications is through the development and implementation of this policy. The policy provides specific instructions, which must be followed whenever using Electronic Communications.
The purpose of Electronic Communications within Al Amanah College is to conduct the business and functions of Al Amanah College. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Electronic Communications are properly and efficiently used, and that Al Amanah College is protected from problems such as error, fraud, defamation, unlawful discrimination, illegal activity, privacy violations and service interruptions.
Best Practice Guidelines
The Principal has the responsibility to ensure that the persons to whom this policy applies are aware of this policy. This should include, but is not limited to:
- Providing a copy of the policy.
- Regular and timely reminders of the need for compliance with the policy.
- Providing updates or developments of the policy, to those affected by the policy.
It is the responsibility of individuals to abide by the policy.
Non-compliance with this policy will be regarded as a serious matter and appropriate action will be taken when a breach of the policy is identified.
Any failure to abide by this policy may result in disciplinary action including revoking or restricting any right to use Electronic Communications, cautioning, or, in appropriate circumstances, may lead to more serious disciplinary action including termination of employment as decided by the board. Non-compliance with this policy may pose a threat to the security of Al Amanah College network, the privacy of staff and other persons and may expose the users of the system or other persons to legal liability.
Al Amanah College’s Electronic Communications network is primarily a business tool to be used for Al Amanah College purposes. Electronic Communications must only be used for Al Amanah College purposes, or where authorized or required by law, or with the express permission of an authorised person, and be used like other business communications and comply with any codes of conduct which apply to the user.
Users of the Al Amanah College network may use Electronic Communications for limited personal use as long as this does not interfere with their role within Al Amanah College and is reasonable and not excessive. Unreasonable or excessive personal usage constitutes a failure to abide by this policy and may result in the consequences set out in the non-compliance section. Subject to limited personal use, electronic communications must generally not be used to conduct private business or private commercial transactions, gamble, or carry out research into non-work related topics.
Subscribing to list servers (LISTSERVS), mailing lists and other like services must be for Al Amanah College purposes or professional development reasons only.
On-line conferences, discussion groups or other like services must be relevant and used for Al Amanah College purposes or professional development activities. Such interaction requires that Internet etiquette should be observed along with current societal standards for respect and fairness.
Obtaining unauthorized access to electronic files of others, or to Email or other Electronic Communications of others, is not permitted.
Large downloads or transmissions should be minimized to ensure the performance of Electronic Communications of other users are not adversely affected.
Al Amanah College is the owner of all electronic communications made by employees as part of their employment and sent through Al Amanah College’s network.
Electronic Communications created, sent or received by the users are the property of Al Amanah College, and may be accessed as records of evidence in the case of an investigation. Electronic Communications may also be subject to discovery in litigation and criminal investigations. For example, all information produced on computer, including Emails, may be accessible under the Freedom of Information Act.
Electronic Communications will be treated according to the policy set out by Al Amanah College and may be monitored by authorised persons.
It is not Al Amanah College’s policy to regularly monitor Electronic Communications. However, from time to time authorised persons may examine the records of Electronic Communications including for operational, maintenance, compliance, auditing, security or investigative purposes. For example, random monitoring may occur of web sites visited, the contents of Email may be required by law to be disclosed or Al Amanah College may investigate a complaint arising from the use of Email. Electronic Communications are provided to you on condition that you agree to the monitoring in accordance with this policy. Your use of Electronic Communications constitutes your consent to monitoring in accordance with this policy.
Electronic Communications must not be used to send material that defames an individual, organisation, association, company or business. The consequences of a defamatory comment may be severe and give rise to personal and/or Al Amanah College liability. Electronic Communications may be easily copied, forwarded, saved, intercepted or archived. The audience of an electronic message may be unexpected and extremely widespread.
Illegal/And Offensive Material
Electronic Communications must not be used in any manner contrary to law or likely to contravene the law. Any offender will be referred to the police or other relevant authority and their employment may be terminated.
Offensive material must not be accessed or distributed in any manner contrary to law. This includes defamatory, racially vilifying, pornographic or unlawfully discriminatory material.
In particular, Al Amanah College is an institution charged with the safety and education of children, and child pornography is both abhorrent and represents the antithesis of our responsibilities to children. Any offender will be referred to the police and their employment may be terminated.
Electronic Communication is not a secure means of communication. While every attempt is made to ensure the security of Al Amanah College computer network, users must be aware that this security is not guaranteed, particularly when communicated to an external party. The sender should consider the confidentiality of the material they intend to send when choosing the appropriate means of communication.
Users are required to control the use and release of personal information and restrict access to personal information in order to protect privacy. Collecting, using and disclosing personal information by email may put the privacy of personal information at risk. Personal information and sensitive information should be treated as confidential information. The sender should consider the potential risks of inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure when sending personal information by email. Only the minimum amount of personal information necessary to accomplish the purpose for which it is required should be transferred by email.
Electronic Communications are potential delivery systems for computer viruses. All data, programs and files which are downloaded electronically or attached to messages should be run through a virus scan program before being launched, or opened or accessed.
Viruses have the potential to seriously damage Al Amanah College’s network. Do not open any downloaded files or Emails or attachments that you are not expecting or that look suspicious. In the event that you receive any files that you suspect contain a virus it should be reported immediately to your manager.
The author and/or Al Amanah College may be liable for what is conveyed in electronic communications. Electronic Communications, whether sent internally or externally, must only contain content that is appropriate to a work place environment. Electronic Communications must not be used to publish, send or distribute material that is harassing, obscene or threatening, nor may it contain content that may be considered unlawfully discriminatory, offensive or disruptive. This includes sexually oriented messages or images and sexual harassment messages.
There is always a risk of false attribution of Electronic Communications. It is possible that communications may be modified to reflect a false message, sender or recipient. In these instances an individual may be unaware that he or she is communicating with an impostor or receiving fraudulent information. At any stage if a user has a concern with the contents of a message received or the identity of the publisher of the electronic information, action should be taken to verify their identity by other means. If a user believes an Electronic Communication has been intercepted or modified, the IT manager or principal should be informed. Users are accountable for all use of Al Amanah College systems performed with their user-ID. User-ID’s and password must be kept secure and confidential. Active connections are to be terminated when access is no longer required and PCs secured by password when not in use.
The use of Electronic Communications for sending ‘junk mail’, for-profit messages, or chain letters is strictly prohibited. Mass Electronic Communications should only be sent in accordance with normal Al Amanah College procedures.
Electronic Communications are public records and subject to the provisions of the Public Records Act 1973. Email messages that are routine or of a short term facilitation nature should be deleted when reference ceases, as distinct from ongoing business records such as policy or operational records.
Retention of messages fills up large amounts of storage space on the network and can slow down performance. As few messages as possible should be maintained in a user’s Email account
All Emails sent externally from Al Amanah College email service must have a notice attached to them. The proposed notice is as follows.
‘IMPORTANT – Any personal or sensitive information herein is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. The recipient is responsible for maintaining the privacy of such information herein, and not to disclose such information to any other party except in accordance with information privacy legislation. The above are in addition to any matter of confidentiality that may apply. If received in error, please contact us and delete all copies. Before opening or using attachments, check them for viruses and defects.
This notice must not be altered or interfered with in any way, except by authorized persons. The use of this notice may not necessarily prevent Al Amanah College or the sender of the Email from being held liable for its contents.
If you receive an internal or external Electronic Communication which is offensive or inappropriate, raise it appropriately, or with the Al Amanah College ICT.
Best Practice Guidelines
Class teachers will instruct students to the correct use and their responsibilities whenusing the Internet.
- Students are expected to abide by the generally accepted rules of Internet etiquette.
- Be polite. Never send or encourage sending abusive messages.
- Use appropriate language.
- Illegal activities of any kind are strictly forbidden. Remember that you are a member of the school and thus represent all members.