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Network use guidelines

Use of IT Services' facilities must be in accordance with the University's Regulations for the Use of Computers and Computer Networks. These are displayed in each room containing generally available IT Services equipment along with other information pertaining to the use of the equipment, which are also available online at:

As a member of the University, you may access external networks, and some of the computer systems attached to those networks. Each network and system has its own set of policies and procedures, and it is your responsibility to respect them.

Facilities may be withdrawn if they are misused. You may not place unlawful information on a system, use abusive or otherwise objectionable language in either public or private messages, send messages that are likely to result in the loss of recipients' work or cause damage to systems. You may not send Chain letters, or broadcast messages to lists or individuals, or do anything which causes congestion of the networks or otherwise interfere with the work of others. You may not use IT Services facilities for indecent or offensive material, Talk, IRC (Internet Relay Chat), Peer-to-peer file sharing services (such as Napster, Gnutella or Kazaa), or games.

The facilities are provided for your academic work.

Telnet protocol

  • Many services that can be accessed via the telnet command have instructions available on line (or via FTP). Download and review these instructions locally rather than trying to understand the system while on line.
  • Be courteous to other users wishing to seek information; remain on the system only long enough to get your information, and then exit the system.

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You are responsible for the content and maintenance of your email inbox:

  • Check email daily and keep within your disk quota: if you exceed your quota no further email will be delivered to you.
  • Move messages from the inbox to folders as soon as you can.
  • Delete unwanted messages as soon as you can.
  • Never assume that you are the only one who can read your email; others may be able to read or access it. Never send or keep anything that you would not mind others seeing.

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Anonymous FTP

FTP is File Transfer Protocol which can be used to copy files from one system to another. Remember:

  • You should respond to the PASSWORD prompt with your email address, so that remote sites can monitor FTP if they wish. If your email address is not an acceptable response, try GUEST in reply to the next PASSWORD prompt.
  • When possible, download files, especially large ones, outside of normal business hours both in the UK and at the host site. Remember to take in consideration the different time zone if, for example, you are accessing a site in the USA.
  • Check to see if the information is mirrored in the U.K. before you access an overseas site.

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Communication style

Remember the following guidelines when sending email to mailing lists, etc.:

  • Follow chain of command procedures for corresponding with superiors. Do not send a complaint via email directly to the top.
  • Keep paragraphs and messages short and to the point.
  • Focus on one subject per message.
  • When quoting another person, edit out whatever is not directly applicable to your reply.
  • Abbreviate when possible.
  • Be careful when using sarcasm and humour. Without face to face communications your joke may be viewed as criticism.
  • Be courteous what you say about others - email is easily forwarded.
  • Limit line length and avoid control characters.
  • Do not send large attachments unless they are really necessary.
  • Capitalise words only to highlight an important point or to distinguish a title or heading. *Asterisks* surrounding a word may be used to make a stronger point.
  • Don't forward personal email to mailing lists or Usenet without the original author's permission.
  • Use discretion when forwarding mail to group addresses or distribution lists. It is better to reference the source of a document and provide instructions on how to obtain a copy.
  • Cite all quotes, references, and sources.
  • The best way to deal with junk mail ("spam" and other unwanted email) is to delete it without replying to the sender.

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created on 2010-01-01 by Chris Limb
last updated on 2013-01-22 by David Guest