New Policy on Electronic Communications Approved


A revised policy on electronic communications and computer security will take effect in the coming weeks, Duke officials said.

The new Acceptable Use Policy, designed "to promote the ethical, legal and secure use of computing and electronic communications for all members of the university community," was approved "in spirit" by the Academic Council last spring. After minor revisions, the Executive Committee of the Academic Council (ECAC) approved the policy over the summer.

The policy clarifies the procedures to be followed if the university is required to preserve digital files in connection with a legal process and reminds Duke users that they cannot rely solely on university practices to guarantee the safety or privacy of electronic content.

"Users should be aware that their data and messages are not guaranteed to be secure and should act accordingly," Academic Council Chair Craig Henriquez told the group last week.

The policy also includes a reminder of the importance of strong, secure passwords. "An account owner should not reveal a password to an IT support technician or any other individual," it reads. "Once shared, a password is considered compromised and must be changed immediately."

The complete policy is available online.