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Security Questions About Wired and Wi-Fi Network for Students

This article applies to: Wi-Fi, Wired Network: Students


Does CIT scan and check to see what files I have on my computer?

CIT may scan devices connected to the Cornell Network, but it only checks for vulnerabilities and infections. CIT is not able to tell anything about what sort of personal files you have on your hard drive. These scans do not gather any information about what files you have on your computer.

Does CIT monitor what web sites I visit or what I'm doing with the campus network?

It is important here to distinguish between "content" and netflow/system logging information. Cornell University policy does not allow for the monitoring of content as a practice. CIT does not examine what information or files you are sending or receiving over the network. CIT does collect metrics on network traffic and applications, but does not normally analyze data content at the individual user level. CIT does not monitor or "sniff" individual data to examine the content of any data sent or received. The network-usage based billing system (NUBB) records the top 100 external IP addresses associated with your network activity, but these are normally accessible only to you to help you in identifying the source of your network usage.

Please note, however, that exceptions could occur under extreme circumstances. Such cases could include acting under compulsory legal papers (such as a warrant issued by local, state, or federal authorities), reasonable suspicion of violation of law or policy with the permission of the appropriate university official, or a health or safety emergency. For more information, please see the IT Policy web page on Information Privacy & Security. Please also see the IT Policy page for information regarding any changes to current policies and practices, especially as related to new laws and legislation which may significantly affect monitoring and privacy.

Does Cornell restrict how much bandwidth allocated per user group on campus?

No. Cornell does not restrict bandwidth for any user group. There is no bandwidth amount specifically reserved for academic or administrative units.

Does CIT turn off my network connection if my computer has a virus?

Yes, if circumstances warrant. If your computer is infected with a virus or worm which is spreading through the network (for example, by sending out forged emails from your computer with copies of the virus), especially if it is causing problems with the Cornell wide area network (WAN), CIT may deactivate your network connection or, more commonly, restrict the level of network access available until the virus has been removed from your computer. CIT will make an effort to contact you and notify you of the situation if your connection has been deactivated or quarantined.

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