View Document

Acceptable Use Standard - Information Technology

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This standard is a resource to the RMIT Information Technology and Security Policy.  

(2) It outlines the required behaviours for all users of RMIT information technology (IT) assets and services. The aim is to ensure all access and use of RMIT information systems and IT services is appropriate, legal, safe and fair for all users while ensuring the protection of RMIT Systems and Data. 

(3) The standard describes typical IT- related activities that are considered acceptable and unacceptable. It includes management data, emails, connecting to and using the internet, the RMIT network and software as a service. Unacceptable behaviours are those that are illegal, in breach of any RMIT policy, harms others, harms the University or prohibits fair use of IT services by other users.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Scope

(4) This standard applies to all individuals who are required to comply with the RMIT Information Technology and Security Policy.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Authority

(5) Authority for this document is established by the Information Technology and Security Policy.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Standard

RMIT Requirements

Acceptable Use of University IT

Standard Description Examples
AU-010 Access and use of IT systems and facilities must be for legitimate university purposes, specific to your role Learning, teaching, research, and University operations activities
AU-020 Access and use of IT facilities for reasonable personal or recreational purposes is acceptable, provided;
such use does not adversely affect other IT users
such use is legal
Use of IT facilities is a privilege, not a right, therefore may be withdrawn at any time at the discretion of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
Booking a movie ticket
Checking your child’s school website
Filling University storage with personal data, videos etc would be unreasonable
AU-030 As part of employment, staff must complete Cybersecurity and IT related training modules when requested  

Unacceptable Use of University IT

Standard Description Examples
Creating, using, saving, accessing or distributing material that might reasonably be considered offensive, obscene or indecent by an ordinary member of the public, or is illegal Pornographic, racist or sexist material
Plagiarising, copying or distributing information in contravention of copyright or similar legal obligations without the owners’ express permission Copyright images, text messages, videos, memes or sounds from websites owned by a third party
AU-070 Using IT systems to harass, bully, defame Spreading of malicious information via email
AU-080 Unauthorised attempts to interfere with the operation of, or make University IT systems or services unavailable Flooding a booking system with fake bookings
AU-090 Sharing or disclosure of personal user identities, passwords, or security codes. Passwords must not be written down or left in a place where an unauthorised person might see them Giving your password to someone to log in to check your email or book meetings from your account
AU-100 Unauthorised hacking or probing for security vulnerabilities in networks, systems or university applications etc. without the written consent by the Chief Information Security Officer Students or staff probing Canvas for vulnerabilities to exploit
AU-110 Creating, introducing or distributing computer viruses or other malicious software onto any University network device or system Knowingly sending email with attachments containing a virus to any other user.
AU-120 Disclosing, removing or disposing of information assets including both physical and information assets without authority from ITS, College or portfolio executive management.  Such authority must comply with all University policies, including the Information Governance policy Taking a monitor home or using a staff contact database without permission
Destruction of RMIT records within the mandated legal period
AU-130 Connecting any IT devices or systems to the University network deemed by the CISO to be insecure.
Connection of a computer that is not patched with current software and operating system
Refer to cybersecurity website for guides on how to configure security settings on your personal devices
AU-140 Monitoring, intercepting or accessing network traffic, emails, files etc. intended for another person Access to another staff’s email account
AU-150 Using University IT facilities to conduct non-University related business, whether for profit or other purpose Using RMIT technology to run a business or charity unrelated to the University, including setting up crypto coin mining
AU-160 Excessive use of IT storage or processing capacity such that other users are negatively impacted A staff member or student storing excessive data, (either personal or University related) on University storage systems 
AU-170 Deliberate unauthorised access to systems or data and/or Unauthorised use of data or information obtained from Information Systems Using someone’s unlocked computer to act on their behalf
AU-180 Storing non-public information on non-RMIT endorsed site or location such as a USB drive, cloud storage or forwarding RMIT email with attachments to your personal email account Saving a student class listing on a personal storage service such as personal Dropbox or Box etc.
Cloudstor and Office 365 are endorsed locations
AU-190 Entering into contractual relationships or making other legally binding commitments on behalf of the University without the appropriate governance, approvals, contractual reviews and vendor engagement Signing up to a software service in the name of RMIT
AU-200 Representing the University or its entities without the explicit authorisation of College, portfolio executive management or Council to do so Posting on social media or signing a software agreement as an RMIT representative
AU-210 Disclosing non-public information through websites, blogs, discussion forums etc. Do not send a Facebook post saying where your manager lives.
AU-220 Transmission of unsolicited commercial advertising material or any other form of unsolicited commercial electronic message, including material commonly known as “spam”, or “junk email” Perpetuating chain letters, virus warnings or hoax messages (don’t send spam!)
AU-230 Responding to spam or phishing messages by supplying non-public RMIT or personal information Don’t deliberately respond to spam or phishing messages
AU-240 Using commercial VPN services to access Geo-Locked content while on the RMIT network or to use RMIT services is not permitted E.g. MobileVPN, ExpressVPN etc.
AU-250 Using applications on RMIT computers that allow for remote control of those computers from other locations E.g. TeamViewer, AnyDesk etc.

Email Usage

Standard Description Examples
AU-300 RMIT supplied Outlook is the only E-Mail software approved for use by the University. All users must only use their RMIT issued email account within O365 email system. No other E-Mail software is permitted. Google Mail is no longer approved for use.
Apple Mail, Thunderbird or other email software are NOT to be used
AU-310 RMIT may block any email, inbound or outbound, that threatens the security of University systems and data, involves the dissemination of spam, or includes content that is against any University policy  
AU-320 Anyone with an RMIT email address must not set up auto forwarding of RMIT email to non-RMIT provided devices or personal email accounts Setting up forwarding to your personal email account so you can view or work on RMIT emails at home is not permitted
AU-330 All emails remain the property of RMIT and may be monitored, retained or deleted in line with all RMIT policies When you leave RMIT your emails remain the property of the University and may be retained as legal University records
AU-340 Former staff returning to RMIT employment may get access to their past emails if they return to their former role (or by policy exemption approved by RMIT CISO). A casual lecturer returning to the same role after a year off
AU-350 Emails must be classified using the RMIT information classifications be based on the sensitivity of information contained in the email, including any links and attachments.  All Office 365 documents including email and O365 attachments must be labelled with the appropriate classification wherever the classification labels are available to the user An email containing an attached payroll report must be labelled ‘protected’ or Restricted’ using Outlooks sensitivity labels
AU-360 Use of shared (group) email boxes must be configured such that the person sending the email is identifiable to the recipient.  At least two people should share ownership of the mailbox.  Email to groups of recipients must be for legitimate university purposes, specific to your role  
AU-370 Non-public information must not be shared with recipients who do not need that information for a legitimate University purpose.  (See also the RMIT Privacy Statement on appropriate use and disclosure of personal information.)  

Software and Application Security

Standard Description Examples
AU-400 Downloading, installing or running software, applications or software as a service (SaaS) that are not endorsed by ITS is prohibited Bitcoin miner, SpeedUpMyPC etc.
Lodge a request with ITS if you need to install additional software
AU-410 RMIT software procured by or licensed to, the University should not be copied or re-used by un-licenced users. This includes computer software and cloud services Adobe Photoshop, VMWare Player etc
AU-420 All software developed within RMIT is the property of RMIT and must not be copied or distributed without prior written authorisation Research software, custom code for applications
AU-430 Users are not permitted to tamper with or disable any installed security software (e.g. anti-virus software). Installed security software must be kept running at all times Changing settings for Antivirus or System Configurations

Physical Security

Standard Description Examples
AU-500 All workstations must be screen locked if the workstation is left unattended. Toilet break, meeting, kitchen visit
AU-510 Hardware or software must not be taken offsite without prior authorisation from ITS or relevant Portfolio manager Taking a computer monitor home for remote working
AU-530 All workstations including laptops must be physically locked to the desk when not in use for extended periods. This includes overnight or for extended periods in worktime (more than an hour).
AU-540 Materials containing non-public information must not be left unattended. PowerPoint printouts or marked whiteboards or flip charts left in a meeting room or by a printer

Employee Behaviour

Standard Description Examples
AU-610 Protect RMIT Information everywhere
  1. ensure you are not overheard when discussing RMIT related matters in public
  2. ensure all non-public printed or digital information is kept discrete and secure in a public space
  3. when taking photos or videos in RMIT office environments do not allow student or staff personal information to be included within the photo or video and do not shared on any social media forum
Be aware of being overheard when discussing confidential RMIT information such as a work call on your way home on the train
AU-620 Access, use and share only on a need to know basis
  1. ensure you are authorised to share protected or restricted information and ensure the recipient is authorised to receive it
  2. share only the minimum information required for the task
AU-630 Disposal of physical information and assets
  1. use secure waste when disposing of non-public hard copy information
  2. return all RMIT equipment due for disposal ITS
AU-640 Play your role in keeping RMIT safe
  1. if you suspect your password is compromised, you must change it immediately and report it to the ITS Service and Support Centre
  2. passwords must not be written down or left in a place where an unauthorised person might discover them.
  3. your RMIT password must not be used for non-RMIT applications or services
  4. any event that may put RMIT information or systems at risk of compromise or unauthorised disclosure, whether accidental or intentional, must be reported to: 
    1. your line manager; and
    2. ITS Service and Support Centre
Staff must immediately forward email they suspect are malicious to or call the ITS Service and Support Centre


Standard Description Examples
AU-700 RMIT conducts surveillance across all systems and devices to determine any security weakness or policy non-compliance  
AU-710 RMIT may confiscate any RMIT device assigned to an individual in order to complete security or forensic investigation  
AU-720 RMIT may remotely lock, wipe or reconfigure any University issued device if it is deemed to be a security risk  

Information Security Standards Exemptions

(6) Exemptions from the Information Technology and Security Policy and related standards must be sought using the ITS policy exemption process determined by the Chief Information Security Officer.


(7) Repeated non-compliance with this standard may result in University disciplinary action, or legal action in cases of illegal activity. Management will decide what action to take, if any, based on the severity of the incident(s).

(8) All staff are collectively and individually accountable for minimising information security risks, ensuring data privacy and avoiding information security incidents.

(9) Speak to your manager, People, or the ITS Service and Support Centre if you are uncertain whether other activities are acceptable or not, or you are uncertain about whether a standard applies to a given situation.