As IT consultants we are often asked to assist our clients with Acceptable use Policies. IT is very unlikely that any two usage policies will be identical, as companies have different requirements, however it helps to have a sample policy to start as a base and then adapt as required. I have provided very simple yet effective Internet and Email usage policy below as a sample. I think this will help most companies to resolve their most basic requirements. For more information or assistance with a more in-depth policy or information on how to enforce these policies please give us a call.
Use of the Internet and email by employees of [Company ABC] is permitted and encouraged where such use supports the goals and objectives of the business.
However, [Company ABC] has a policy for the use of the Internet and email whereby employees must ensure that they:
- comply with current legislation
- use the Internet in an acceptable way
- do not create unnecessary business risk to the company by their misuse of the Internet
In particular the following is deemed unacceptable use or behaviour by employees:
- visiting Internet sites that contain obscene, hateful or pornographic material
- using the computer to perpetrate any form of fraud, or software or music piracy
- using the Internet or email to send offensive or harassing material to other users
- downloading commercial software or any copyrighted materials belonging to third parties, unless this download is covered or permitted under a commercial agreement or other such licence
- hacking into unauthorised areas
- creating or transmit defamatory material
- undertaking deliberate activities that waste staff effort or networked resources
- introducing any form of computer virus into the corporate network
[Company ABC] accepts that the use of the Internet and email is a valuable business tool. However, misuse of this facility can have a negative impact upon employee productivity and the reputation of the business.
In addition, all of the company’s Internet and email related resources are provided for business purposes. Therefore, the company maintains the right to monitor the volume of Internet/email network traffic, together with the Internet sites visited. The specific content of any transactions will not be monitored unless there is a suspicion of improper use.
Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in sanctions ranging from disciplinary procedures such as verbal and written warnings, through to dismissal.
All company employees, contractors or temporary staff who have been granted the right to use the company’s Internet or email access are required to sign this agreement confirming their understanding and acceptance of this policy.