The institution and individuals have the obligation to use software properly on all university-owned computing assets.
There are common scenarios that result in faculty and staff improperly utilizing software. Software providers frequently offer free trials of software to encourage evaluation and ongoing use of software. At the end of the trial period, the software must either be purchased or uninstalled. Software can also be free for personal use but not in a professional or work context. General installers may exist for specific software, but the ability to run the installer on multiple devices does not automatically mean that the software can be legally installed concurrently on multiple devices. There are also business models where a provider will monetize your free use of their software by using your data for alternate purposes, such as selling it to others. The details of this are often buried in the click-through agreement that people seldom read. Finally, “free” software can often come bundled with additional and sometimes harmful software, such as malware or other unwanted applications that can compromise data or provide avenues for attacks.
The above examples, as well as others, can easily result in the illegal use of a software product or the inappropriate exposure of university data and assets. The IT community at UConn has both the expertise and opportunity to communicate regularly with our teams and those we support about the proper use of different software. I am asking all of us to help people leverage software assets correctly as we jointly pursue the institutional mission of research, teaching, learning, and outreach.