The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Acceptable Use Policy for IT Facilities and Services

PolyU Campus Network
Hong Kong Academic and Research Network (HARNET)
PolyU Student Hall Network
User Identification
Software Copyright and Licenses
Good User Practices
Use of Student Computer Centre (SCC)
Use of E-mail
Controversial Materials on the Internet
Virus Protection
Computer Security Policy
Disciplinary Action
ITS Hotline / Help Centre Service


1. Introduction
The Information Technology Services Office (ITS) provides central computing, networking, and information resources to the PolyU community of staff and students to facilitate their teaching, learning, research and administrative activities at the University.

The privilege to use these valuable IT resources carries with it certain responsibilities and obligations, which are set forth in this PolyU Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for IT Facilities and Services. Under this policy, all eligible users are required to act ethically and legally, to protect the integrity and security of the systems, and to comply with all applicable laws, contractual obligations and regulations. Users must also abide by all the prevailing policies, rules, guidelines and standards applicable to the use of PolyU IT facilities and services, as announced by ITS or as promulgated on the ITS website from time to time.

Each eligible user is provided with an account with a unique user identification (called NetID). The NetID is the access key to the University's IT facilities and services. Activation of the NetID implies that the user has read, understood and agreed to observe the PolyU Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for IT facilities and services. Users should read the AUP carefully before activating their NetID.

The AUP will be reviewed and updated to incorporate new rules and regulations as deem necessary and appropriate. Users can view the most current version of the AUP at any time at The University reserves the right to suspend or terminate a user's NetID and the services provided thereby, on account of any breach of the AUP by the user.

2. PolyU Campus Network

The PolyU campus network is an indispensable element in supporting the University's research, teaching and administration. All users (staff and students) hence are obliged to and responsible for ensuring that the network facilities are used in an effective, ethical and lawful manner.

Users of the PolyU campus network must observe the following regulations:

  • Users must obtain proper authorisation for connecting any external link to the campus network, and for connecting any equipment, including PC, server, workstation and networking equipment to the LAN outlet.
  • IP address is administrated and allocated by ITS. Users are not allowed to change their assigned network addresses.
  • Users should not attempt to tamper with other usersíŽ electronic equipment or communication over the network.
  • Port scanning, network sniffing, IP spoofing and unauthorized access of host is absolutely prohibited on the campus network.
3. Hong Kong Academic and Research Network (HARNET)
  The PolyU campus network is a member of the HARNET network. All PolyU users are hence required to observe the "HARNET Acceptable Use Policy", the major elements of which include:
  • HARNET is not to be used for commercial purposes.
  • Commercial advertising is forbidden.
  • User is not allowed to transfer or resell the network resource.
  • Users of HARNET must not compromise the confidentiality and privacy of other users of the network and the integrity of data and information mounted on or transmitted through the network.
  • Irresponsible use of electronic mail, and the use of other network communications to harass or offend other users of the network are prohibited.
  • Any communication which violates applicable laws and regulations, including but not limited to those related to copyright, data privacy and transmission of obscene and indecent materials, is not allowed.

Please find details of "HARNET Acceptable Use Policy" at URL:

4. PolyU Student Hall Network

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University student hall network is an extension of the University's campus network. The hall network, which is TCP/IP based, facilitates hostel users to access services such as e-mail, file transfer and Internet surfing.

The hall network, like the overall campus network, is provided and administered by ITS. Use of the hall network is governed by the rules and regulations of the campus network as well as those specific to the hall network, as stipulated, updated and promulgated from time to time by ITS.

Please find details of "Regulations Governing the Hall Network" at URL:


5. User Identification

The NetID

PolyU NetID is the user's personal identification and access key to all central IT services provided by ITS. Activation of the NetID by the user implies the user's agreement to observe PolyU's Acceptable Use Policy for IT facilities and services.

The NetID owner is responsible for maintaining and safeguarding the confidentiality of the NetID, and is responsible for all activities that occur under the NetID account, and hence any consequence that may result from its use. The NetID owner should not disclose or share the account with another person. Users should regularly change their passwords and immediately report to the ITS Help Centre if the NetID or NetPassword is known or suspected to have been compromised in any way.

6. Software Copyright and Licenses

Users should ensure that the software and data they install and use are legal and properly licensed, and the terms and conditions of the license are not violated. In particular, users should note:

  • Users should not copy the software from the campus network and install it into other machines without obtaining appropriate licenses. Unauthorised copying and distribution of software is prohibited.
  • Any unauthorised electronic transmission of copyright-protected material including text and audio/visual recording by way of distribution and/or making them available for downloading or providing hyper-links to them are prohibited.

University users should comply with the prevailing copyright laws and requirements regarding the use and distribution of software at all times. Users who infringe the copyright laws may be liable for both criminal and civil consequences.

7. Good User Practices
  PolyU users should observe some recognised good practices in using IT facilities and services. Please find details of recommended good practices at URL:
8. Use of Student Computer Centre (SCC)

PolyU students and staff with valid PolyU Student/Staff ID cards can use the SCC computing facilities on a first-come-first-served basis. Connection of any device or installation of software other than those installed by SCC is prohibited. Alteration, deletion or copying of any licensed software from SCC is strictly forbidden. Printing and scanning of material at SCC must comply with the copyright law.

Please find details of the rules and regulations of the Student Computer Centre at URL :

9. Use of E-mail

E-mail is an official communication channel among staff and students at PolyU. Proper use of e-mail will avoid waste of resources and enable proper communication with target recipients.

Users should not use e-mails for the following purposes:

  • conducting commercial functions, such as marketing or business transactions
  • sending irrelevant or chain mails to a large number of recipients
  • broadcasting messages which are likely to harass or offend other users
  • any communication which violates applicable laws and regulations

Users should also observe that proper and courteous language should be used in e-mails, and sending e-mails in the name of another person and/or anonymous e-mail is unacceptable. The University's e-mail address lists are for internal use and may not be distributed to external entities for purpose of mass mailing.

Please find more details on policies and guidelines on the use of e-mail at URL:

10. Controversial Material on the Internet
  Users must observe the University's policy that controversial material of obscene and pornographic nature should not be accessed or distributed using the University's resources. All "suspicious" newsgroups will be removed from the USENET News Server of the University.
11. Virus Protection

To protect the computing equipment, systems and data of the University and of users against virus invasion, users must install and keep current on their University-supplied PCs the latest virus scan program provided by ITS. Users should also apply the latest relevant vendor-supplied security patch of the software running on their machines.

Please find guidelines on virus protection at URL:

12. Computer Security Policy

PolyU's Computer Security Policy is implemented to protect the University's computing resources and information systems from all internal or external threats, and to ensure the continuing operation of critical systems and services to all users. The Computer Security Policy is to be observed by all departments and individual users.

Please find details of "Computer Security Policy" at URL:

13. Disciplinary Action
  Any improper use of the central IT resources by a user may result in suspension from the use of the University's IT facilities and services. The case will be reported to the department concerned and/or the University's disciplinary authority for appropriate actions, particularly when the misuse causes embarrassment to the University and/or inconvenience/hardship to the public.
14. ITS Hotline/ Help Centre Service
  ITS operates a Hotline (at 2766 5900) and Help Centre (at M/F of Li Ka Shing Tower). Staff and students of the University may use this service if they have any queries or need assistance relating to the use of IT facilities and services, upon presentation of their staff/ student ID.