Appropriate Use Policy


The Appropriate Use Policy (AUP) pertains to all users of GSSM networks, contracted services, and any other technologies provided by, and on behalf, of the school. The term user includes, but is not limited to, employees, students, alumni, visitors, contractors, program applicants, job applicants, program participants, and volunteers.

The school’s network, and the services it provides, are shared resources used by students, teachers, and administration. Those who use technology resources provide by GSSM, accept the responsibility to use it appropriately. This Appropriate Use Policy describes those responsibilities and the rules that apply to everyone who uses GSSM technologies and services.

Ethical and Behavioral Standards

Each person who uses services provided by GSSM is expected to follow the same high standards of conduct and communication that would be expected in face-to-face encounters. These standards are described in the GSSM Student Handbook. Some responsibilities are unique to the environment created by online services and are addressed here:

Online Safety

GSSM cares about the safety of students, faculty, and staff. Social networking services can be dangerous when personal information, particularly information that can lead to the identification or location of a person, is published openly. GSSM strongly encourages students to use good judgement when publishing information about themselves and their friends and secure their profiles so that they are not publicly visible.

Online Harassment

GSSM’s policies against harassment are in effect whenever, and however, students encounter each other. This includes online encounters even when participants are off campus. The use of Internet services within and beyond the control of the school to harass another student is a violation of GSSM rules and will result in disciplinary action. When harassment involving non-GSSM services is observed or reported, the school may engage law enforcement agencies and the courts to compel the service provider to disclose identifying information about the harassing party.

Protected Information

Education records, health information, confidential information, and personally identifiable information must be transmitted and stored in an approved encrypted format.  Such information may only be accessed using authorized equipment maintained and authorized by GSSM and by GSSM authorized GSSM personnel.  For more information, refer to the GSSM Information Security Policy.

Online Identity/Login Credentials

GSSM provides all faculty, staff, and registered students with credentials (usernames and passwords) for the purposes of accessing GSSM-provided resources. These credentials are intended to be used only by the person to whom they are assigned.

No member of the GSSM staff will ever ask anyone for their password.

Credentials assigned by GSSM must be kept secret and may not be divulged to anyone else. The person to whom network credentials are assigned is responsible for all activities that occur when those credentials are used. Further, it is a violation of GSSM rules for a person to impersonate someone else by either using their credentials or any other means that might obfuscate their identity. GSSM students and employees may be provided credentials to access online databases while using the Coker University library. These credentials are issued by Coker University and their use is subject to Coker University policies in addition to GSSM policies. Login credentials are disabled when a person’s official relationship to the school ends due to graduation, dismissal, withdrawal, resignation, or other termination.

Intellectual Property

As an educational institution that values the contribution of research to the quality of life, economic development, and civilization, GSSM strongly supports the rights of owners of intellectual property.  Many Internet services facilitate the sharing and collection of digital content in violation of the rights of their owners.  Acquiring, possessing, or sharing digital content in violation of copyright is illegal and prohibited at GSSM.

Prohibited Access

Attempting to access protected information without authorization is a serious violation of GSSM rules, in addition to applicable governing laws.  Activities that could inappropriately reveal the existence or configuration of servers, databases, network services, or security features are prohibited. Scanning to discover network resources is expressly prohibited.

Pornographic & Other Objectionable Material

Persons using the GSSM network are prohibited from viewing, accessing, sending, or possessing pornographic material on GSSM-owned computers, via the GSSM network, while on the GSSM network, or at a GSSM-sponsored event.  Attempts to circumvent, disable, or otherwise render content filter measures ineffective are a violation of GSSM rules.  Please note that when students use networks off campus, the school is unable to regulate the content available to them.  During summer research internships and while conducting assignment research at the Coker University library or any other collegiate library, GSSM students will access networks not equipped to prevent access to pornographic material.

Conservation of Shared Resources

Network resources may be overwhelmed when used indiscriminately.  Therefore, it is the responsibility of each person who uses the GSSM network to conserve resources where possible so that they are always available for others to share:

Internet circuit capacity

GSSM utilizes a commercial-grade connection circuit to provide Internet access to the campus.  Priority for using this service is given to educational and campus operation purposes.  GSSM will manage this resource by prioritizing Internet traffic, limiting or eliminating interfering services, and other means as necessary.

Message and file storage

GSSM servers provide spaces to store messages and files.  They are intended to support educational and campus operations.  Therefore, they should not be used to store media collections or for other recreational purposes.  GSSM servers may never be used to store illegal content.

Using Your Personally Owned Device at GSSM

GSSM encourages students to bring computers to school for use in their rooms, classrooms (when allowed by their teacher), and around campus.  Employees sometimes use the school’s Wi-Fi system with their personally owned phones and tablets.  Attaching a personally-owned computer to the GSSM network indicates acceptance of this AUP and places specific responsibilities upon the owner:

Owner Responsibilities

Owners are responsible for ensuring that their devices are free of malware prior to connecting to the network. Device owners may be held responsible for damage created by malware or other activity originating from their computer. When it is determined that a device is threatening the stability of the network or other computers, it will be removed from the network immediately and may be confiscated. Owners are also responsible for maintaining their own devices. GSSM staff does not provide repair services for personally owned devices. Owners should back up their important files to cloud services like OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox to prevent loss.

Antivirus Software is Required

Every computer that is connected to the GSSM computer network must have effective, up-to-date antivirus software installed at all times. This protects the computer owner as well as others on the network. 

Dynamic Network Addressing

The GSSM computer network automatically assigns IP addresses to each connected computer. This address must not be tampered with or changed. No person may assign a manual IP address to their device.

Network Registration

Computers are registered to their owners when they log into Wi-Fi and present a username and password.  Attempting to conceal the ownership of a computer is a violation of school rules. 

Protected Information

It is a violation of state regulations for protected information to be copied to or stored on personally owned devices.  Protected information includes education records, health information, or any other information that is considered to be GSSM Confidential or of a personal and private nature to an employee or student.

Prohibited Devices

Certain network devices can interfere with network operation.  Any kind of DSL/Cable router has this potential and is prohibited on the network.  Wi-Fi access points, hot stops, routers, and other devices that provide Wi-Fi network services to others reduce the number of channels available to the GSSM network, reducing performance in the area where they operate. Only wireless devices acting as clients of the school’s Wi-Fi network are allowed.

Wireless printers are often designed to create a temporary wifi network to facilitate installation. Such networks are often unnoticed and have the effect or consuming available channels in the area and slowing or destabilizing the school’s wifi network. Wireless printers must therefore be properly configured to not create a temporary wifi network. If a printer owner does not know how to disable this feature, contact IT for assistance. Printers found to be interfering with GSSM wifi may be confiscated until they can be taken home.

Prohibited Software

Software that allows others on the Internet to access, share, or control computers on the GSSM network represent security risks and are therefore prohibited. Any software that scans networks or computers for vulnerabilities, any software that interferes with the GSSM network or devices attached to it, or any software that facilitates circumvention of any GSSM rule is prohibited.

Govinet Wireless Network

Govinet is GSSM’s wireless network for teachers, students, and staff. Instructions for connecting to Govinet are distributed regularly. An active GSSM username and password is required to access Govinet. These credentials are requested infrequently. A guest network is available for visitor use. Instructions for connecting to it are posted in the main lobby.

Microsoft Office

As part of its site licensing agreement with Microsoft, students and employees may download MS Office to their computers and portable devices.  Each person may install the software on up to five personally owned devices which may include phones and tablets.  The installation screen is accessed through the Outlook portal (  GSSM provides this service as a convenience and makes no guarantees regarding compatibility, fitness, or availability for any particular task.  Anyone who downloads and installs Microsoft products accepts any and all license terms applicable to their use. Access to Outlook, OneDrive, and any associated installations of Microsoft Office will stop working when students or employees leave the school, although documents created with the software will still be functional.


GSSM makes no guarantee of compatibility between personally-owned equipment and its networking equipment, services, software, etc.        


In order to protect the computer-using community and to enforce GSSM rules and policies, the school reserves the right to examine, restrict, or remove any material that is on, or passes through, its network.  Such activities are not taken routinely nor lightly.  In addition, specific information about computer use is collected and preserved over time:

1.       Internet locations visited

2.       This information is logged for each Internet user and device.

3.       IP addresses assigned to each computer

4.       When an IP address is assigned, the hardware address of the computer, the IP address assigned, the date and time of the assignment and location of the computer requesting the address are recorded.

5.       Log in/out information

6.       Username, network location, date and time are recorded when logging into or out of some network resources.

7.       There are privacy issues associated with using public GSSM web sites that are described at:

AUP Violations

Violations of the AUP may result in temporary or permanent loss of network use privileges.  Depending on the nature of the violation, additional disciplinary actions may be taken.


These policies may change from time to time as circumstances warrant.  The most current version will always be posted online at

Questions about the AUP should be directed to:

Jon Shannon, CIO/Executive Director of the Development Office
Contact Jon