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Acceptable Use Policy


IT’s intentions for publishing an Acceptable Use Policy are not to impose restrictions that are contrary to Art Academy of Cincinnati’s established culture of openness, trust and integrity. Art Academy of Cincinnati is committed to protecting their employees, partners and the company from illegal or damaging actions by individuals, either knowingly or unknowingly.

Internet/Intranet/Extranet-related systems, including but not limited to computer equipment, mobile devices, software, operating systems, storage media, network accounts providing electronic mail, WWW browsing, and FTP, are the property of Art Academy of Cincinnati. These systems are to be used for business purposes in serving the interests of the school, and of our students during normal operations. Please review Human Resources policies for further details.

Effective security is a team effort involving the participation and support of every AAC employee, staff, faculty, contractor, and student who deals with information and/or information systems. It is the responsibility of every computer user to know these guidelines, and to conduct their activities accordingly.


The purpose of this policy is to outline the acceptable use of computer equipment and other electronic devices at Art Academy of Cincinnati. These rules are in place to protect the employee and Art Academy of Cincinnati. Inappropriate use exposes AAC to cyber risks including virus attacks including ransomware, compromise of network systems and services, data breach, and legal issues.


This policy applies to the use of information, electronic and computing devices, and network resources to conduct Art Academy of Cincinnati business or interact with internal networks and business systems, whether owned or leased by Art Academy of Cincinnati, the employee, or a third party. All employees, contractors, consultants, temporary, and other workers at AAC and its subsidiaries are responsible for exercising good judgment regarding appropriate use of information, electronic devices, and network resources in accordance with Art Academy of Cincinnati policies and standards, and local laws and regulation. Exceptions to this policy are documented in section 5.2

This policy applies to employees, students, contractors, consultants, temporaries, and other workers at Art Academy of Cincinnati, including all personnel affiliated with third parties. This policy applies to all equipment that is owned or leased by AAC.


4.1 General Use and Ownership

4.1.1 Art Academy of Cincinnati proprietary information stored on electronic and computing devices whether owned or leased by Art Academy of Cincinnati, the employee or a third party, remains the sole property of Art Academy of Cincinnati. You must ensure through legal or technical means that proprietary information is protected in accordance with the Data Protection Standard.

4.1.2 You have a responsibility to promptly report the theft, loss, or unauthorized disclosure of Art Academy of Cincinnati proprietary information.

4.1.3 You may access, use or share Art Academy of Cincinnati proprietary information only to the extent it is authorized and necessary to fulfill your assigned job duties.

4.1.4 Employees are responsible for exercising good judgment regarding the reasonableness of personal use. Individual departments are responsible for creating guidelines concerning personal use of Internet/Intranet/Extranet systems. In the absence of such policies, employees should be guided by departmental policies on personal use, and if there is any uncertainty, employees should consult their supervisor or manager.

4.1.5 For security and network maintenance purposes, authorized individuals within Art Academy of Cincinnati may monitor equipment, systems, and network traffic at any time, per IT's Audit Policy.

4.1.6 Art Academy of Cincinnati reserves the right to audit networks and systems on a periodic basis to ensure compliance with this policy.

4.2 Security and Proprietary Information

4.2.1 All mobile and computing devices that connect to the internal network must comply with the Minimum Access Policy.

4.2.2 System level and user level passwords must comply with the Password Construction Guidelines. Providing access to another individual, either deliberately or through failure to secure its access, is prohibited.

4.2.3 All computing devices must be secured with a password-protected lock screen with the automatic activation feature set to 10 minutes or less. You must lock the screen or log off when the device is unattended.

4.2.4 Postings by employees from an Art Academy of Cincinnati email address to newsgroups or other online platforms, should contain a disclaimer stating that the opinions expressed are strictly their own and not necessarily those of Art Academy of Cincinnati, unless posting is during business duties.

4.2.5 Employees must use extreme caution when opening email attachments received from unknown senders, which may contain malware.

4.3 Unacceptable Use

The following activities are, in general, prohibited. Employees may be exempted from these restrictions during their legitimate job responsibilities (e.g., systems administration staff may have a need to disable the network access of a host if that host is disrupting production services).

Under no circumstances is an employee of Art Academy of Cincinnati authorized to engage in any activity that is illegal under local, state, federal or international law while utilizing Art Academy of Cincinnati-owned resources.

The lists below are by no means exhaustive but attempt to provide a framework for activities which fall into the category of unacceptable use.

4.3.1 System and Network Activities

The following activities are strictly prohibited, with no exceptions:

  1. Violations of the rights of any person or company protected by copyright, trade secret, patent or other intellectual property, or similar laws or regulations, including, but not limited to, the installation or distribution of "pirated" or other software products that are not appropriately licensed for use by Art Academy of Cincinnati.
  2. Unauthorized copying of copyrighted material including, but not limited to, digitization and distribution of photographs from magazines, books or other copyrighted sources, copyrighted music, and the installation of any copyrighted software for which Art Academy of Cincinnati or the end user does not have an active license is strictly prohibited.
  3. Accessing data, a server, or an account for any purpose other than conducting Art Academy of Cincinnati business, even if you have authorized access, is prohibited.
  4. Exporting software, technical information, encryption software or technology, in violation of international or regional export control laws, is illegal. The appropriate management should be consulted prior to export of any material that is in question.
  5. Introduction of malicious programs into the network or server (e.g., viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, etc.).
  6. Revealing your account password/passphrase to others or allowing use of your account by others. This includes family and other household members when work is being done at home.
  7. Using an Art Academy of Cincinnati computing asset to actively engage in procuring or transmitting material that is in violation of sexual harassment or hostile workplace laws in the user's local jurisdiction.
  8. Making fraudulent offers of products, items, or services originating from any Art Academy of Cincinnati account.
  9. Making statements about warranty, expressly or implied, unless it is a part of normal job duties.
  10. Effecting security breaches or disruptions of network communication. Security breaches include, but are not limited to, accessing data of which the employee is not an intended recipient or logging into a server or account that the employee is not expressly authorized to access, unless these duties are within the scope of regular duties. For purposes of this section, "disruption" includes, but is not limited to, network sniffing, ping floods, packet spoofing, denial of service, brute-forcing accounts, and forged routing information for malicious purposes.
  11. Port scanning or security scanning is expressly prohibited unless prior notification to the IT Team is made.
  12. Executing any form of network monitoring which will intercept data not intended for the employee's host, unless this activity is a part of the employee's normal job/duty.
  13. Circumventing user authentication or security of any host, network, or account.
  14. Introducing honeypots, honeynets, or similar technology on the Art Academy of Cincinnati network.
  15. Interfering with or denying service to any user other than the employee's host (for example, denial of service attack).
  16. Using any program/script/command, or sending messages of any kind, with the intent to interfere with, or disable, a user's terminal session, via any means, locally or via the Internet/Intranet/Extranet.
  17. Providing information about, or lists of, Art Academy of Cincinnati employees to parties outside ACC.

4.3.2 Email and Communication Activities

When using company resources to access and use the Internet, users must realize they represent the company. Whenever employees state an affiliation to the company, they must also clearly indicate that "the opinions expressed are my own and not necessarily those of the company". Questions may be addressed to the IT Department.

  1. Sending unsolicited email messages, including the sending of "junk mail" or other advertising material to individuals who did not specifically request such material (email spam).
  2. Any form of harassment via email, telephone, text, or paging, whether through language, frequency, or size of messages.
  3. Unauthorized use, or forging, of email header information.
  4. Solicitation of email for any other email address, other than that of the poster's account, with the intent to harass or to collect replies.
  5. Creating or forwarding "chain letters", "Ponzi" or other "pyramid" schemes of any type.
  6. Use of unsolicited email originating from within Art Academy of Cincinnati's networks of other Internet/Intranet/Extranet service providers on behalf of, or to advertise, any service hosted by Art Academy of Cincinnati or connected via AAC's network.
  7. Posting the same or similar non-business-related messages to large numbers of Usenet newsgroups (newsgroup spam).

4.3.3 Blogging and Social Media

  1. Blogging or posting to social media platforms by employees, whether using Art Academy of Cincinnati’s property and systems or personal computer systems, is also subject to the terms and restrictions set forth in this Policy. Limited and occasional use of AAC’s systems to engage in blogging or other online posting is acceptable, provided that it is done in a professional and responsible manner, does not otherwise violate AAC’s policy, is not detrimental to AAC’s best interests, and does not interfere with an employee's regular work duties. Blogging or other online posting from Art Academy of Cincinnati’s systems is also subject to monitoring.
  2. Art Academy of Cincinnati’s Confidential Information policy also applies to blogging. As such, Employees are prohibited from revealing any AAC confidential or proprietary information, trade secrets or any other material covered by AAC’s Confidential Information policy when engaged in blogging.
  3. Employees shall not engage in any blogging that may harm or tarnish the image, reputation and/or goodwill of Art Academy of Cincinnati and/or any of its employees. Employees are also prohibited from making any discriminatory, disparaging, defamatory or harassing comments when blogging or otherwise engaging in any conduct prohibited by Art Academy of Cincinnati’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment policy.
  4. Employees may also not attribute personal statements, opinions or beliefs to Art Academy of Cincinnati when engaged in blogging. If an employee is expressing his or her beliefs and/or opinions in blogs, the employee may not, expressly, or implicitly, represent themselves as an employee or representative of Art Academy of Cincinnati. Employees assume any and all risk associated with blogging.
  5. Apart from following all laws pertaining to the handling and disclosure of copyrighted or export-controlled materials, Art Academy of Cincinnati’s trademarks, logos and any other Art Academy of Cincinnati intellectual property may also not be used in connection with any blogging or social media activity

5. Policy Compliance

5.1 Compliance Measurement

The IT Team will verify compliance to this policy through various methods, including but not limited to, business tool reports, internal and external audits, and feedback to the policy owner.

5.2 Exceptions

Any exception to the policy must be approved by the IT team in advance.

5.3 Non-Compliance

An employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

6. Related Standards, Policies and Processes

7. Definitions and Terms

Programs that simulate one or more network services that you designate on your computer's ports. An attacker assumes you're running vulnerable services that can be used to break into the machine. A honey pot can be used to log access attempts to those ports including the attacker's keystrokes. This could give you advanced warning of a more concerted attack.
Proprietary Information
Proprietary information is that information unique to a company and its ability to compete, such as customer lists, technical data, product costs, and trade secrets.
Electronic junk mail or junk newsgroup postings.
A type of malware that is a form of extortion. It works by encrypting a victim's hard drive denying them access to key files. The victim must then pay a ransom to decrypt the files and gain access to them again.

8. Revision History

Date of Change: July 2023

Responsible: IT Director

Summary of Change: Updated and converted to new format.