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IT Policies Overview
Each user must have knowledge of the County ITS computer policies, and sign the Information Technology Services and Resources Policies Acknowledgment form. Each user must respect the rights of other users by minimizing unnecessary network traffic that might interfere with the ability of others to make effective use of shared network resources. Each user must respect the integrity of the physical facilities and controls, and obey all federal, state, county, and local laws and ordinances.
Information Technology Resources and logon accounts are to be used solely for the job-related activities for which they are assigned. The system is to be used only for the conduct of official County business; essential personal e-mail use is permitted, however it shall be kept to a minimum. Recreational use, non-profit or for-profit business, unauthorized lobbying, and/or campaign uses are strictly prohibited.
Users shall cooperate with Information Technology Services requests for information about computing activities; follow policies, procedures and guidelines regarding using data in order to maintain a secure, virus-free computing environment; follow County procedures and guidelines for ensuring that critical data is saved to the appropriate County file server; and honor the “Acceptable Use Policies” of any non-County networks accessed.
Examples of Misuse
The following examples represent, but are not restricted or limited to, the misuse of Information Technology Resources:
· Unauthorized use of computers and logon accounts for unassigned purposes.
· Attempting to modify, install, or remove computer equipment, software, or peripherals without proper authorization from the department manager and Information Technology Services. This includes installing any personal or unauthorized business software on County-owned equipment.
· Accessing computers, computer software, computer data or information, or networks without proper authorization, regardless of whether the computer, software, data, information, or network in question is owned by the County. Abuse of the networks to which the County has access or the computers at other sites connected to those networks will be considered an abuse of individuals Information Technology Resources privileges.
· Circumventing or attempt to circumvent normal resource limits, logon procedures, and security regulations.
· The use of Information Technology Resources, logon accounts, or computer data for purposes other than those for which they were intended or authorized.
· The use of passwords other than the network account password, including screensaver passwords, to restrict access to County Information Technology Resources. Elected officials or department heads may request permission for sensitive or confidential data files if other measures are inadequate. If permission is granted, Information Technology Services will document. Sending fraudulent computer mail or reading someone else's electronic mail without permission.
· Sending any fraudulent electronic transmission.
· Violating any software license agreement or copyright, including copying or redistributing copyrighted computer software, data, or reports.
· Violating the property rights of copyright holders who are in possession of computer-generated data, reports, or software.
· The use of County computing resources to harass or threaten other users.
· Physically interfering with other users' access to the County's computing facilities.
· Encroaching on or disrupting others' use of the County's shared network resources by creating unnecessary network traffic, playing games, use of the Internet or e-mail for non-business purposes, or sending excessive messages.
· Disclosing or removing proprietary information, software, printed output, or magnetic media without the explicit permission of the owner.
· Knowingly transferring or allowing to be transferred to, from or within the County, textual or graphical material commonly considered being obscene. In the case of a dispute over the definition of obscene material, the strictest definition or union of the definitions used by local, state, federal, foreign or other law enforcement agencies in all locations where the subject data originates, terminates or travels through shall be used.
· Streaming video and/or audio media. (Legitimate business-related webinars, webcasts, netcasts, etc. may be acceptable, but must have prior approval from ITS and your respective elected official or department head)
Consequences for Violating Any of These Policies
Violations of these policies will be reported to the respective elected official or department head. In addition to the revocation of privileges, misuse of any Information Technology Resources may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal, even for the first offense, in accordance with the Gallatin County Personnel Policy Manual, and/or other applicable rules or laws. Additionally, violations of this policy or misuse of Information Technology Resources may be referred to the appropriate agency for criminal prosecution.
Logon Policy
Information Technology Services is responsible for establishing minimum-security standards and policies, including the physical security of information technology resources. Logging on to the network identifies a user to the network through a unique network account and password, and logging off the network clears a user's access from the network. Logging on and off the network is the first step in securing the network by controlling access; preventing the intentional or unintentional modification, theft, destruction, disclosure, or misuse of data and information resources; and keeping the County's informational resources operating smoothly. All County employees should log off whenever they leave a computer unattended. The use of screensaver passwords in an attempt to secure resources is not permitted without permission from ITS.
While all users shall have a unique and confidential password, users should be aware that the system is not for personal confidential communication, and that e-mail is not the property right of the employee. Passwords should be periodically changed to ensure security of the system. Users should not share their password with anyone else.
Electronic Mail and Internet Usage Policy
The Gallatin County Electronic Mail and Internet Systems (e-mail and Internet access) are communication and information systems to be used solely to conduct County business; essential personal e-mail use is permitted, however it shall be kept to a minimum. Recreational, non-profit or for-profit corporate business, unauthorized lobbying, and/or campaign uses are strictly prohibited.
All data and other electronic messages within this system are the property of Gallatin County. The County, through its elected officials and department heads, reserves the right to review the contents of employee's e-mail and Internet communications when necessary for County business purposes. E-mail are public records and subject to Montana statute and administrative rules that govern public records. There is no expectation of privacy or confidentiality provided. Because of this, no computer system is completely secure. The e-mail system is not intended to transmit sensitive materials, such as personnel decisions, classified information, confidential data, or other information, that may be more appropriately communicated by written memorandum or personal conversation. Employees may not intentionally intercept, eavesdrop, record, read, alter, or receive another’s e-mail messages without proper authorization by the ITS department.
Statements must not be made that can be construed as representing Gallatin County opinions unless you have express authority to do so. E-mail sent via the Internet can potentially be seen and retained by others.
Elected officials and department heads shall determine which employees shall have e-mail and Internet access. Before being given access, each employee will sign the Information Technology Services and Resources Policies Acknowledgment form.
The Internet and World-Wide-Web (WWW or Web) provide the County with significant access to external information and services and provides a vehicle for the dissemination of information to individuals outside of Gallatin County. Internet traffic and e-mail have the potential of being forwarded without the express permission of the original author. Therefore, users must use diligent caution in the use of the Internet and e-mail and must comply with all local, state, and federal laws.
Everything accessed via the Internet, received by e-mail, or introduced into County systems by diskette, CD, or other means, raises the likelihood of infecting County systems with a virus. A virus introduced into an individual workstation can infect every node on the network. Users shall exercise due diligence to protect County systems against infection. Suspicious e-mail shall be deleted unopened and reported to the ITS department.
Conditions Governing Internet and E-mail Usage
· Access to e-mail and Internet is a privilege and not a right of employment
· Due to security risks and the potential of viral infection, the use of non-County provided e-mail, such as free Internet-based e-mail services or personal ISP e-mail, is prohibited. Exceptions may be requested for law enforcement or similar purposes and will be considered by Information Technology Services on a case-by-case basis.
· Electronic mail messages that contain inappropriate content or attachments (for example, remarks or images) may be considered the same as if spoken or written in a memorandum, and may result in consequences under existing processes concerning sexual harassment or discrimination and/or other provisions relating to employee conduct.
· Sending of classified or confidential information is limited to circumstances allowed by the policies and procedures governing the transmission of that data.
· E-mail and Internet traffic can be monitored and recorded on all County networks. User name, e-mail messages, Internet and Intranet sites visited, files transferred, chat sessions, and news groups visited can be recorded in secure log files. The County may inspect these logs for inappropriate usage at any time. Any suspicious activity will be reported to the respective department head or Law enforcement agency.
· Users should be aware that concerns might be raised if their ‘username’ e-mail address is used in inappropriate venues.
· Information or material of a sexual or pornographic nature may not be transmitted by e-mail. Exceptions can be made for online research, monitoring, or law enforcement activities.
· E-mail messages may constitute formal records and such formal records should be retained pursuant to a department’s or office’s record retention schedules and policies. E-mail messages are similar to printed communication and should be written with the same care. Elected officials and department managers are responsible for following retention schedules for the information communicated through the e-mail system.
· Large file downloads (files in excess of 5 Mb in size) are prohibited without the prior approval of the elected officials and department heads and Information Technology Services and should be limited to off-peak hours. Peak hours of Internet use are generally from 08:00-09:00AM, 12:00-1:00PM, and 4:00-5:00PM.
· Electronic messages posted to Internet bulletin boards or chat rooms from County systems and/or networks are County property and not personal property. There is no expectation of privacy or confidentiality in such messages.
· All messages and files created, retrieved, or sent via the Internet to or from County systems are considered public information.
· Some messages may be public documents pursuant to Title 2, Sec 6, Chapter 5, MCA and are considered official records.
· Electronic messages that contain inappropriate content or attachments (for example, remarks or images) may be considered the same as if spoken or written in a memorandum, and may result in consequences under existing processes concerning sexual harassment or discrimination and/or other provisions relating to employee conduct.
· Employees must respect intellectual property rights that may apply to materials that they access via the Internet, such as copyrighted images or text. Such information cannot be distributed without the permission of the owner.
· The use of "personal" encryption on County systems is prohibited.
· Internet use should not reflect negatively on the department or Gallatin County.
· Nothing for commercial gain of employees may be transported on the County system. Employees may not utilize the County system to transact non-County business activity.
· Users shall limit their Internet use to the level authorized by their department manager and Information Technology Services within the scope of this policy.
· Department heads, with the permission of Information Technology Services, will authorize use of the Internet for extended periods of time on a case-by-case basis.
· Push technologies, such as stock/news tickers, music file downloads, and peer-to-peer technologies (such as Napster and Kazzaa) and streaming audio/video is prohibited. These applications compromise security and utilize almost all of the limited bandwidth that is available and prevent usable access for other users.
· Employees will not reveal confidential information via the Internet.
The County reserves the right to conduct internal audits periodically to review logs

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Gallatin County, Montana
311 West Main Street
Bozeman, MT 59715