Computing & Network Use Policies

Information Technology (IT) is responsible for the operation and maintenance of WSU’s data network and central computing services. The following are IT policies governing the management and use of these resources. These policies are in addition to, and do not supercede, University policy.

Eligibility for Computer Accounts and Network Access

Only WSU faculty, staff, students and affiliates are authorized to use WSU’s computing and network resources. The procedures for getting a computer account and network access are as follows:

  • A Network ID can be obtained on-line at
  • Computer accounts and Network IDs may be requested via a Network Services Account Request Form (see Business Policy & Procedures Manual [BPPM] 85.37). Eligibility is verified before accounts or IDs are created.
  • Individuals who are not eligible for a Network ID may create or be sponsored for a Friend of WSU Account to make electronic payments or conduct other online business.

Removal of Computer Accounts

  • The eligibility of computer account holders is reviewed periodically. Accounts for individuals who no longer meet the eligibility criteria will be removed.
  • Faculty and staff computing accounts are removed after separation from the university. It is the responsibility of WSU departments to notify the IT Services and Accounts Desk when faculty or staff accounts need to be removed or when funding sources need to be changed. (see BPPM 80.37).
  • Student UNIX accounts are removed when the student is no longer enrolled.

Appropriate Use of WSU Computing and Network Resources

In support of academic instruction, research, public service, and administrative functions, Washington State University (WSU) encourages the use of, and provides access to, information technologies and network resources. This enables WSU users to access global information resources, as well as the ability to communicate with other users worldwide. In keeping with its role and values, WSU supports the use of electronic communication for the conduct of official WSU business and for individual professional purposes related to an official WSU purpose.

WSU appropriate use policies govern the use of WSU computing and network resources. Use of WSU computing and network resources is a privilege that depends upon the appropriate use of those resources. Users of WSU computer and network resources are responsible for using those resources in accordance with the federal, state and local laws and with WSU policy.

These policies, laws, and regulations, cover areas such as illegal access to computer systems, networks, and files; copyright violations; and the use of WSU computing and networking resources for harassment purposes. Individuals who violate federal, state, or local law or WSU policy regarding the use of computing and network resources are subject to suspension or loss of access to those resources as well as to WSU disciplinary and/or legal action.

It is the responsibility of each user to become familiar with and compliant with federal and state law, and with University policy. At a minimum, users should read and be familiar with the following before using WSU computing and network resources and facilities:

WSU computing and networking resources and facilities may not be used for commercial or political purposes, to commit or facilitate academic dishonesty, or to use copyright material improperly. Using the Internet makes access to public documents easier, but your work should still be your own. Always cite other references where appropriate. Remember that copying, using, and/or public distribution of copyrighted material, (including, but not limited to, graphics, pictures, music, movies, or other intellectual property) requires the permission of the copyright holder. Unauthorized use of software, images, music, movies, or files is regarded as a serious matter, and any such use is without the consent of Washington State University. If abuse of computer software, images, music, movies, or files occurs, those responsible for such abuse may be held legally accountable. Also refer to the following web sites for WSU policy and guidelines on the educational use of copyrighted materials:

Students should also refer to the “Computer Use” section of the Student Handbook for further information concerning appropriate use of computing and network resources. WSU employees are also governed by Washington State’s Ethics in Public Service Law (Ethics Law), RCW 42.52. Students, while working in an employment capacity for WSU, are also governed by the Ethics Law.

Account and Password Policies

Once a WSU ID has been created for you, giving you access to computing and network resources at WSU, you are responsible for any and all use made of those services with your WSU ID. It is the responsibility of everyone to keep their passwords secret. Passwords are considered confidential information and shall not be shared or transferred to others.

Change your password

Reset a forgotten password

Choosing and Using Passwords.

  • Choose a password that is a minimum of 8 characters in length.
  • Choose a password that consists of at least three of the following character sets: upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, or special punctuation characters (e.g., !@#$%&*+?).
  • Choose a password that cannot easily be guessed. Avoid using your name, pet’s name, relative’s name or other common names, WSU ID, dictionary words (including words from foreign language dictionaries), birth date, phone number, address, social security number, or any other type of personal information or that which is easily derived from such information.
  • Change your password at least once per semester.
  • Passwords shall not be included in automated or preprogrammed logon procedures. Each user should manually enter his or her password at logon time to reduce the risk of unauthorized access.

Suspension of Computing and Network Access

  • IT reserves the right to suspend services that cause network disruptions, interrupt general resource availability, or are perceived to be a threat to WSU computing and network resources.
  • IT reserves the right to suspend or revoke access to accounts and/or computing or network resources that are used for illegal or inappropriate activities.

Complaints of Illegal or Inappropriate Activity

  • Illegal activity or complaints of inappropriate use will be investigated and reported to the proper authorities. Proper authorities include departmental officials, WSU Student Affairs, the Attorney General, HRS, Internal Audit, Campus Police, Pullman Police, FBI, Internet Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), or area network and system administrators and the WSU Computer & Network Security Group.
  • Evidence of illegal activities or policy violations will be turned over to the appropriate authorities.

Reporting Abuses

  • Reports of policy violations and/or incidents of illegal or inappropriate activities should be sent to the WSU Computer & Network Security Group (

Information or Questions

WSU Pullman Helpdesk 509-335-4357
WSU Tri-Cities Computing Center Helpdesk 509-372-7334
WSU Vancouver Information Technology Services 360-546-9770
WSU Spokane Technical Support Center 509-358-7748

Information Technology Services, PO Box 641222, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1222 509-335-4357, Contact Us