TECH DOC - Sample Computer Network & Internet Access Policy
Your company should have a policy regarding the use of its computers and network This will not only make it clear what the computers are to be used for, but it also allows you, the business owner, to monitor employee usage if you feel someone may be using the computer for unacceptable purposes.
The following is a generic Computer Network & Internet Access Policy that you can modify to fit your specific needs.
Computer Network & Internet Access Policy
The Internet is a worldwide network of computers that contains millions of pages of information. Users are cautioned that many of these pages include offensive, sexually explicit, and inappropriate material. In general, it is difficult to avoid at least some contact with this material while using the internet. Even innocuous search requests may lead to sites with highly offensive content. Additionally, having an email address on the internet may lead to receipt of unsolicited e-mail containing offensive content. Users accessing the internet do so at their own risk and ___COMPANY_NAME___ is not responsible for material viewed or downloaded by users from the Internet. To minimize these risks, your use of the Internet at ___COMPANY_NAME___ is governed by the following policy:
Permitted Use of Internet and Company Computer Network
The computer network is the property of ___COMPANY_NAME___ (“Company”) and is to be used for legitimate business purposes. Users are provided access to the computer network to assist them in the performance of their jobs. Additionally, certain employees (“Users”) may also be provided with access to the Internet through the computer network. All Users have a responsibility to use Company’s computer resources and the Internet in a professional, lawful and ethical manner. Abuse of the computer network or the Internet, may result in disciplinary action, including possible termination, and civil and/or criminal liability.
Computer Network Use Limitations
Prohibited Activities. Without prior written permission from Company, the Company’s computer network may not be used to disseminate, view or store commercial or personal advertisements, solicitations, promotions, destructive code (e.g., viruses, Trojan horse programs, etc.) or any other unauthorized materials. Occasional limited appropriate personal use of the computer is permitted if such use does not
a) interfere with the users or any other employee’s job performance.
b) have an undue effect on the computer or company network’s performance
c) violate this or any other policies, provisions, guidelines or standards of the Company.
Further, at all times users are responsible for the professional, ethical and lawful use of the computer system. Personal use of the computer is a privilege that may be revoked at any time.
Illegal Copying. Users may not illegally copy material protected under copyright law or make that material available to others for copying. You are responsible for complying with copyright law and applicable licenses that may apply to software, files, graphics, documents, messages, and other material you wish to download or copy. You may not agree to a license or download any material for which a registration fee is charged without first obtaining the express written permission of the company.
Communication of Trade Secrets. Unless expressly authorized to do so, User is prohibited from sending, transmitting, or otherwise distributing proprietary information, data, trade secrets or other confidential information belonging to Company. Unauthorized dissemination of such material may result in severe disciplinary action as well as substantial civil and criminal penalties under state and federal Economic Espionage laws.
Duty Not to Waste or Damage Computer Resources
Accessing the Internet. To ensure security and avoid the spread of viruses, Users accessing the Internet through a computer attached to Company’s network must do so through an approved Internet firewall or other security device. Bypassing Company’s computer network security by accessing the Internet directly by modem or other means is strictly prohibited unless the computer you are using is not connected to the Company’s network.
Frivolous Use. Computer resources are not unlimited. Network bandwidth and storage capacity have finite limits, and all Users connected to the network have a responsibility to conserve these resources. As such, the User must not deliberately perform acts that waste computer resources or unfairly monopolize resources to the exclusion of others. These acts include, but are not limited to, sending mass mailings or chain letters, spending excessive amounts of time on the Internet, playing games, engaging in online chat groups, uploading or downloading large files, accessing streaming audio and/or video files, or otherwise creating unnecessary loads on network traffic associated with non-business related uses of the Internet.
Virus detection. Files obtained from sources outside the company, including disks brought from home, files downloaded from the Internet, newsgroups, bulletin boards, or other online services; files attached to e-mail, and files provided by customers or vendors, may contain dangerous computer viruses that may damage the company's computer network. Users should never download files from the Internet, accept e-mail attachments from outsiders, or use disks from non-Company sources, without first scanning the material with Company-approved virus checking software. If you suspect that a virus has been introduced into the Company's network, notify the network administrator or other appropriate manager immediately.
No Expectation of Privacy
Employees are given computers and Internet access to assist them in the performance of their jobs. Employees should have no expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send or receive using the company’s computer equipment. The computer network is the property of the Company and may be used only for Company purposes.
Waiver of privacy rights. User expressly waives any right of privacy in anything they create, store, send or receive using the company’s computer equipment or Internet access. User consents to allow company personnel access to and review of all materials created, stored, sent or received by User through any Company network or Internet connection.
Monitoring of computer and Internet usage. The Company has the right to monitor and log any and all aspects of its Computer system including, but not limited to, monitoring Internet sites visited by Users, monitoring chat and newsgroups, monitoring file downloads, and all communications sent and received by users.
Blocking sites with inappropriate content. The Company has the right to utilize software that makes it possible to identify and block access to Internet sites containing sexually explicit or other material deemed inappropriate in the workplace.
Acknowledgement of Understanding
I have read and agree to comply with the terms of this policy governing the use of the computer network. I understand that violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action, including possible termination and civil and criminal penalties.