Clare College Cambridge

IT Usage Policies



Use of Computer Facilities Policy
The Prevent Duty
Email and Internet Usage Policy
Software Policy
Social Media Policy
Use of Network Policy

Use of Computer Facilities Policy

The College permits Members reasonable personal use of computing facilities. You should be careful not to misuse these facilities, for instance by:

  • Causing wilful damage
  • Removing equipment - The College provides facilities for the benefit of all members, removing equipment means others cannot work and study
  • Hacking – attempting to access systems or information within or outside the College without authority, or encouraging others to do so
  • Using the Internet in a way which is contrary to the rules laid down by the College or the CUDN
  • Sending communications (email, etc.) which constitute bullying or harassment, as defined in the Harassment and Bullying policy
  • Causing high volumes of traffic on the internet (for which the College has to pay)
  • Impersonation of others, e.g. sending an email which does not appear to come from you

We prohibit the use of the University network for any illegal, defamatory, indecent purpose.

The Prevent Duty

All Higher Education organisations must have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism. The College observes the Prevent duty which has three specific objectives:

  • Respond to the ideological challenge of terrorism and the threat we face from those who promote it;
  • prevent people from being drawn into terrorism and ensure that they are given appropriate advice and support; and
  • work with sectors and institutions where there are risks of radicalisation that we need to address.

Accidental breaches of these rules can sometimes occur. If you are worried that such a breach has taken place, or you wish to report concerns regarding terrorist material or possible extremist activity, please contact:

Email and Internet Usage Policy

Email accounts are automatically assigned to College members. Members may make reasonable personal use of computing facilities provided as long as this does not interfere with the functioning of the College network or cause any difficulty or distress to others.

Because electronic communications can sometimes go astray, highly confidential or sensitive information should not be transmitted via e-mail unless it is encrypted.

When composing and sending emails, the following guidelines should be observed:

  • Always display courtesy when writing and sending messages
  • Emails can be produced in a Court of Law, so consider if the content is appropriate before sending one
  • Defamatory statements should never be written in email messages
  • Before forwarding an email, consider carefully whether the originator of the message would be happy for you to do this
  • Further information relating to email usage within the University can be found at which has specific links regarding email etiquette and email messages and their structure

Software Policy

Members should not install software on any computer owned by the College, or reconfigure one without the approval of the IT Department. All installed software must be correctly licenced for use. The use of counterfeit software as well as being illegal will put your personal data at risk as many products will have been pre-seeded with Malware.

Members may not make use of the College’s IT facilities for private financial gain or for commercial purposes outside the scope of official duties or functions, without specific authorisation to do so.

Social Media Policy

The College recognises that Members use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs to talk about their lives and interests, and it supports the responsible use of this technology. The following guidance has been developed in the use of social media:

  • You should be careful with what you post online. Most sites are public by default and others may see what you post. You will not be able to control who sees it as information can be forwarded, you are responsible for what you post. Once you post something it becomes a permanent record in the eyes of the law
  • Comments either in an official or personal capacity which could be regarded as abusive, humiliating, discriminatory, derogatory or could adversely affect a Member’s life in College will be treated as a serious disciplinary offence
  • The College’s Respect and Dignity Policy should be observed when using social media to make posts

Use of Network Policy

- Preface
- Notes
Network Rules
- University Regulations
- Penalties

Use of the College network is subject to the College rules and University regulations set out below. Our aim is to provide a useful network facility while preventing misuse.


1. It is illegal to download, use or re-distribute unlicensed copies of copyright material, such as music, films, or computer programs. If you do this, you will be personally liable for prosecution. The College and University are also liable for prosecution if they allow their networks or computers to be used in this way. For that reason, such activities are strictly prohibited, as set out in rules 4 and 9 below.

2. The University is charged a fee by JANET for its connection to the internet, and distributes this amongst Colleges and Departments in proportion to the traffic they generate. Clare College expects to pay about 2% of this charge. Individuals whose internet usage takes us significantly above this target will be investigated and could receive an additional charge.

Network Rules

1. The good name of Clare College shall not be brought into disrepute.

2. High-bandwidth applications (such as streaming audio, streaming video, internet phone/video conferencing) must only be used sparingly, as they increase network traffic charges for the College. Individuals who generate high levels of traffic will be contacted; those who do not respond may face additional charges or disconnection.

3. It is forbidden to download, use or re-distribute copies of copyright material unless the user is in possession of a valid licence to do so.

4. It is forbidden to run any ‘peer-to-peer’ or ‘file-sharing’ software such as BitTorrent, EMule, GNUtella, Direct Connect or CamDC without prior permission.  As well as being the main route for illegally downloading and re-distributing copyright material (see note 1 and rule 3 above), these programs can generate large quantities of chargeable internet traffic and can adversely affect the performance of our network.

5. You must not send emails or create posts which appear to come from somebody else or from a fictitious address.

6. You must only use the IP number(s) issued by the College. No 'spoofing', or attempts to use other IP numbers, is permitted.

7. Routing equipment must not be connected to the network. Ethernet hubs and switches may be used with prior approval from the IT Department.

8. Wireless Access Points/Routers are not allowed to be connected to the network. These can present a security risk and can interfere with the College’s network and wireless coverage.

9. The regulations set out in Authorization for Use of the CUDN (Cambridge University Data Network) must be observed. In particular, these regulations forbid the use of the network for any illegal, defamatory, or indecent purpose. 

10. Any user who wishes to run a web server must first register their machine with the IT Department and agree to the additional rules which will apply.

11. Only the DNS name issued by the College shall be used. Users are not permitted to register their IP number with other DNS names or aliases.

12. Promiscuous mode reception or any other form of network traffic monitoring is forbidden.

13. User machines are forbidden to saturate the network by emitting an unreasonably high frequency of packets, or to attempt any other form of denial of service to others.

14. Sending email from an account using a client (such as Outlook or MacMail) may only be done via official SMTP mail servers in the domain. These are Hermes, or the smart host Look here for more information.

15. Inward e-mail to private SMTP servers is not permitted.

16. IP packet forwarding is forbidden (note that you might have to explicitly turn off IP forwarding with some versions of Linux).

17. Where a user machine offers an allowed service to the network, the service must comply with relevant acceptable use policies. For instance, if a Telnet service is offered, it must not offer resources outside the domain unless the usage complies with the Janet Acceptable Use Policy and Information Technology Syndicate rules.

University Regulations

The University regulations which regulate the use of the CUDN (whether from College or elsewhere) are as follows:

a) Rules made by the IT Syndicate of the University of Cambridge

b) Use and Misuse of Computing Facilities

c) Authorization for Use of the CUDN (as mentioned in rule 9 above)

d) The JANET Acceptable Use Policy

e) Guidelines for World Wide Web Information Providers in the University of Cambridge


The penalties for breaking these rules include fines and/or permanent disconnection without refund of subscription, and will depend on the severity of the breach. As a guide, the standard penalty for breach of copyright rules (see rule 4) is two terms-worth of charges as a fine, and eight weeks of term-time disconnection (plus the whole of any vacation during that period).

The IT Department hopes to resolve any rule infringements through contact with the person involved before taking any direct action. We, however, reserve the right to disconnect without warning if we receive notification that your machine has downloaded or uploaded copyright material, if you are found to be generating unreasonably large amounts of internet traffic, or if your machine appears to be causing a network problem.