Policies,Administrative,UW Health Administrative,Administration

Computer, Electronic, Communication and Internet Usage Via UW Health Resources (1.29)

Computer, Electronic, Communication and Internet Usage Via UW Health Resources (1.29) - Policies, Administrative, UW Health Administrative, Administration


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Administrative (Non-Clinical) Policy

This administrative policy applies to the operations and staff of the University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority (UWHCA) as integrated effective July 1, 2015, including the legacy operations
and staff of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and University of Wisconsin
Medical Foundation (UWMF).

Policy Title: Computer, Electronic Communication and Internet Usage
Via UW Health Resources
Policy Number:
Effective Date: September 21, 2017
Chapter: Administration
Version: Revision


The facilities to provide electronic communications (email, Jabber) and Internet access represent a
considerable commitment of UW Health resources for telecommunications, networking, software and
storage, and must be used in a manner consistent with the administrative, informational, instructional,
and research objectives of UW Health. Due to legal, security, and productivity issues associated with
electronic communications and Internet use in the workplace, UW Health has adopted the following
acceptable use policy. This policy is designed to help network users understand UW Health
expectations for the appropriate use of resources with regard to electronic communications and the

This policy applies to all UW Health network users and all network systems that enable access to the
Internet. For the purposes of this policy, network users are defined as any persons with authorized
access to UW Health computer network or systems.


A. Access and Availability
1. UW Health recognizes that Internet technology can be a valuable tool in the workplace
if used appropriately. It is UW Health policy that /electronic communications and the
Internet are business tools for use by network users for business-related purposes.
2. UW Health management reserves the right to censor any data posted to or transmitting
through UW Health computers or networks. These facilities are private business
systems, and not public forums, and as such do not provide First Amendment free
speech guarantees. UW Health Information Services (UWH IS) Department retains the
right to remove from its computer equipment any material that is unlawful, offensive,
or interferes with UW Health business needs.
3. UWH IS may prevent network users from connecting with certain non- business
web sites. UW Health routinely blocks access to categories of web sites that are:
a. inappropriate in the workplace (e.g. pornography, criminal behavior, drugs and
alcohol, weapons, gambling)
b. detract from job performance (e.g. computer games, auctions, and chat sites)

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c. expose UW Health to unnecessary security risks (e.g. peer to peer, malicious
4. Network users who discover they have connected with a web site that contains sexually
explicit, racist, or other potentially offensive material must immediately disconnect
from that site. The ability to connect with a specific web site does not in itself imply
that network users of UW Health systems are permitted to visit that site.

B. Appropriate Use and Conduct
1. Network users must conduct themselves appropriately when using electronic
communications and the Internet, using good judgment at all times. Network users must
respect the copyrights, software licensing rules, property rights, privacy, and
prerogatives of others. Network users may not use electronic communication and the
Internet inappropriately, such as for illegal, disruptive, or unprofessional activities; to
disable or overload any computer system or network; to circumvent or defeat the
security of any computer system or network; for the pursuit of personal gain; or for any
other purpose that would jeopardize UW Health interests or violate patient
2. Examples of inappropriate use include but are not limited to:
a. Excessive personal use
b. Gambling
c. Viewing or distributing sexually explicit material (e.g., jokes, pictures, cartoons)
d. Any use violating state law, federal law, or UW Health policies
e. Any use unethical in nature
f. Downloading files for personal use such as music or video files
g. Unauthorized downloading of software, including web browser toolbars and
screen savers, even for business use
h. Distribution of unsolicited advertising
i. Deliberate propagation of a computer virus
j. Distribution of a chain letter or other pyramid scheme
k. Attempts to make unauthorized entry to another computer network
l. Activity associated with a network user's outside employment, business, or other
m. Any attempt to circumvent filters or security controls UW Health has in place

C. Personal Use
1. Network users should be aware that UW Health incurs costs associated with
providing access to the Internet. Incidental personal use of electronic
communications and Internet resources is analogous to occasional personal use of
UW Health phone systems. UW Health recognizes that occasional personal use of
phone systems is a courtesy to the employee, but abuse of that privilege is not
allowed. Similarly, occasional personal use of electronic communication and the
Internet is a courtesy extended to network users, but abuse of that courtesy will not
be tolerated. Occasional personal use is permissible as long as it does not:
a. Fall within the boundaries of inappropriate use as described above
b. Detract from job performance
c. Interfere with the UW Health's operation of the computing facility
d. Cause UW Health increased cost or inefficiency or
e. Interfere with UW Health's ability to conduct business
2. Occasional personal use must occur within break periods granted to the network
user. Occasional personal use must not include activities specifically banned above.

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D. Additional Network User Responsibilities for Security
1. Network users may not provide any work related user IDs or passwords to anyone, not
even family or household members. To ensure accidental access to UW Health network
systems does not occur, especially from personally owned computers, network users
must not use features of electronic systems that offer to "remember your password."
2. Network users must not use personal email accounts, or other external internet
resources to conduct UW Health business, thereby ensuring that official business is
never confused with personal business.
3. Network users should be aware that there are certain security risks involved with using
Internet technology. Simply directing a web browser to a site on the Internet that is not
trustworthy can result in the installation of malicious software on the computer. In
addition, advertisers and hackers use deceptive practices to try to trick people into
agreeing to enter their password on a malicious web site or download malicious
4. To avoid security risks that can be encountered through Internet use, network users are
prohibited from downloading and installing software from the Internet to a computer
connected to the UW Health network, unless such software is explicitly sanctioned by
UW Health’s IS Department. Network users also must not download entertainment
media such as games, audio files, images, or videos unless there is an explicit UW
Health business-related use for the material. Network users must not respond to
unsolicited email or click on links embedded in such email if using a UW Health
computer workstation.
5. In addition to the inappropriate activities already defined by this policy, network users
must exercise good judgment about the appropriateness or possible dangers of any
other uses of Internet technology. If a network user is uncertain about the
appropriateness or potential danger of a particular Internet activity, he or she should
consult with UWH IS for clarification before engaging in the activity.

E. Monitoring Reports
1. UWH IS routinely logs web sites visited, files downloaded, email or Jabber messages
exchanged, and related information transmissions over the Internet.
2. UW Health management reserves the right to apply these monitoring capabilities at any
time. No UW Health network user shall have any expectation of privacy as to his or her
electronic communication or Internet usage. UW Health may review electronic
communication and Internet activity and analyze usage patterns to assure UW Health
resources are devoted to maintaining the highest levels of security and productivity.
UW Health reserves the right to inspect any and all electronic files or transmissions to
assure compliance with this policy.


Sr. Management Sponsor: VP, Chief Information Security Officer
Author: Senior Security Consultant
Reviewer: Director, Employee Relations

Approval Committee: UW Health Administrative Policy & Procedure Committee


Elizabeth Bolt
UW Health Chief Administrative Officer