Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy

Policy Summary

The George Washington University (hereinafter, “GW” or “the University”) provides Information Technology Resources (“GW IT Resources”) to its community members to promote and advance teaching, learning, research, and to provide related administrative and operational support. Authorized Users are expected to be good stewards of GW IT Resources and to act in a responsible manner. This policy establishes the acceptable use of GW IT Resources in furtherance of its academic, research, and operational missions.

Who is Governed by this Policy

  • This policy applies to all University students, faculty and staff and all other individuals and entities including, but not limited to, contractors, temporary employees, sponsored researchers, affiliates, visitors, and volunteers (collectively, “Authorized Users”).


GW IT Resources are to be used in support of the University’s academic and research mission and daily operations. GW IT Resources shall be used in a manner consistent with applicable laws, regulations, University codes and policies, as well as in accordance with applicable contractual agreements, licenses and terms of service.

Acceptable Use

GW IT Resources are to be used to conduct legitimate business of the University or in furtherance of its educational mission, whether remote or on campus (e.g., approved research activities, academic instruction, scholarly activity, and business operations). Reasonable incidental personal use of GW IT Resources is permitted if such use is consistent with the Personal Use of University Resources Policy and does not inappropriately interfere with or reduce the hours worked by an employee, does not incur additional costs on behalf of the University, and does not constitute Unacceptable Use (as defined below). Authorized Users acknowledge that the University has the right to access accounts and electronic information under certain circumstances, in accordance with the University Access to Account and Electronic Information Policy. Additional information on personal use of University resources, including GW IT Resources, can be found in the Personal Use of University Resources Policy.

GW students, and others residing in campus housing facilities, may also use GW wired and wireless networks for recreational and personal purposes to the extent that such use does not constitute Unacceptable Use.

Unacceptable Use

While using GW IT Resources, Authorized Users are prohibited from engaging in unauthorized or illegal activities or in violation of university policy and codes that include, but are not limited to (collectively, “Unacceptable Use”):

  • Use that violates applicable federal, state or local laws and regulations;
  • Use in connection with political campaigns inconsistent with the Political Activity Policy;
  • Use for any activity that may jeopardize the University’s non-profit status;
  • Unauthorized use of GW accounts including GW email, access codes, devices, identification data, systems, or passwords;
  • Sharing of individual login credentials (NetID, password, or security question) with any other individual internally or externally, to access GW IT Resources;
  • Unauthorized monitoring of communications;
  • Activities that lead to the destruction or damage of equipment, software, network, or data belonging to, licensed by, or in use by the University;
  • Using GW IT Resources, such as GW email or other electronic communication services, to employ a false or anonymous identity with the intent to deceive (this includes circumventing user authentication and unauthorized use);
  • Impeding or disrupting the legitimate computing activities of other Authorized Users or the proper functioning of GW IT Resources including adversely affecting network service performance or increasing the risk of cyber-attacks;
  • Intentionally installing malicious software, releasing malware or any similar technology that would interfere with other’s use of GW IT Resources;
  • Harassment, making threats, creating a hostile environment, stalking, discrimination, libel and slander;
  • Use that violate the rights of any person or entity protected by copyright, trade secret, patent or other intellectual property protections provided by law or university policy, including copying, downloading, distributing, or transmitting unauthorized copyrighted materials; and
  • Use of GW IT Resources for personal or economic gain, or to operate a business or for commercial purposes unless that use is approved in advance by the University or part of an established University program.

Enforcement and Penalties

Non-compliance with this policy may result in restriction and possible loss of access to GW IT Resources. Non-compliance may also result in disciplinary action up to and including termination (employees) and suspension/expulsion (students).


Authorized Users: All University students, faculty and staff. It also applies to all other individuals and entities granted use of GW IT Resources, including, but not limited to, contractors, temporary employees, sponsored researchers, affiliates, visitors and volunteers.

GW IT Resources: Any technology resource or equipment that supports one or more functional objectives of the university. This includes any system, service or physical facility owned, contracted, or managed by the University to acquire, store, process, transmit, scan, receive, or dispose of data or information (e.g., software, computers, mobile phones, tablets, storage devices necessary for security and surveillance).

Related Information


Contact Phone Number Email Address
GW Information Technology 202-994-4948 [email protected]


Responsible University Official: Vice Provost for Libraries and Information Technology
Responsible Office: GW Information Technology

Noncompliance with this policy can be reported through this website.