Student Guidelines for Network Computer Use

The University of Maryland provides students with the capability to connect their computers to the university network in the residence halls, the houses on Fraternity Row, via wireless access points located throughout the campus, and at network jacks in select public locations. This access is provided for the purpose of facilitating student academic activity, whether or not such activity directly relates to formal course work. There are restraints on network use as stated in law and the university's Policy on the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources. There are restrictions placed on usage based upon the need for security and the costs associated with providing network services.

These are the rules that you need to know and follow if you connect your computer to the university network:

  • You MUST safeguard your password in order to keep your personal information secure.  Do not share your password via email in response to phishing scams. 
  • You MUST understand and follow the Policy on the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources (available on-line at, which applies to ALL computers on the university network.
  • You MAY NOT provide network access to anyone who is not a member of the university community. You are responsible for everything that your computer does whether or not you are aware of the activity.
  • You MAY NOT install a wireless access point. Only access points installed by the Division of Information Technology are permitted in residential buildings.
  • You MUST ensure that your computer is equipped with appropriately updated anti-virus software. You MUST also ensure that your computer is automatically updated with the latest security patches appropriate to your operating system and applications. Failure to follow these measures will most likely result in your computer obtaining a virus or falling victim to hackers. The Division of IT distributes updated anti-virus software to the university community free of charge. See this Knowledge Base article for more information.
  • You MAY install and operate server software on your computer as long as the use of the software does not impact the use of the network by other students, is installed and operated securely, and conforms to the Policy on the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources. However, your computer MAY NOT be the source of persistent traffic to the network as the result of running such services (possible sources include: sharing files with a peer-to-peer network, operating a streaming web cam, operating a public FTP or IRC server). Additionally, your computer MAY NOT serve as a file sharing hub if it is facilitating the illegal sharing of copyrighted material.
  • You MAY NOT use your computer to provide services to computers located beyond the campus network if that service results in persistent volumes of outbound traffic (some examples: sharing files with a peer-to-peer network, operating a streaming web cam, operating a public FTP or IRC server). While it is permissible to maintain a personal website on your computer, it is unacceptable to operate any service that generates persistent levels of outbound traffic.
  • You MUST keep your contact information in Testudo up to date. In the event that there is a problem with your computer that needs to be addressed, email to your address of record will be the primary method of contact.
  • You SHOULD be aware that the Division of IT periodically conducts network assessments that may include remotely evaluating the security of your computer. In the event that a serious vulnerability is discovered, you will be expected to correct the situation. You SHOULD NOT assume that you are free from vulnerabilities if you have not heard from the division.
  • You SHOULD also be aware that Project NEThics, within the Division of Information Technology, is the group charged with enforcing computing resources-related policies and promoting the responsible use of information technology. Failure to respond to a Project NEThics request concerning the use and security of your computer may result in temporary loss of network access, and may be a violation of the Code of Student Conduct, which could result in a referral to the university judicial system.
  • In the event that your computer poses a threat to the safety of the other computers on the university network (e.g. virus infection, hacker intrusion, spam relay), the Division of IT may temporarily suspend network access for that computer. Every effort will be made to contact the owner of the suspended computer; however during emergencies it may not be practical to contact every affected owner in a timely manner. If you suspect that you have been blocked, you may contact the Division of IT Help Desk at 301.405.1500.

Users of the Campus Data Network must also read and agree to the university's Policy on the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources. As stated in the Acceptable Use Policy, resident students may not use their network connection to receive or distribute copyrighted material without permission, including the unauthorized storage or distribution of software, motion pictures, videos, and music. Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject the student user to civil and criminal liabilities.

Violation of these Guidelines may result in revocation of one's right to use the network, disciplinary action, and/or legal action.

Questions regarding the Student Guidelines for Network Computer Use or the Policy on the Acceptable Use of Information Technology Resources should be directed to the Division of Information Technology's Project NEThics at or 301.405.8787.

Questions regarding Community Living and Residence Hall Rules should be directed to the Department of Resident Life's Coordinator for Rights and Responsibilities at 301.314.7598.

Questions regarding the Code of Student Conduct should be directed to the Office of Student Conduct at or 301.314.8204.