IT usage policies are valuable to protect businesses, by ensuring a common understanding of acceptable online behavior. If all employees know what kind of sites they are expected to avoid online, a business faces less risk of a security breach. Working hours are also used more effectively so productivity across the business can improve. A good Internet and email use policy should outline plainly how employees should be using IT systems at work.

How to write an Internet and email use policy
How to write an Internet and email use policy

How to write an Internet and email use policy

Experts at London IT Support experts Syntax have put together this guide with some things to include in your policy, to make it as valuable a tool as possible.

Personal use

An internet and email use policy should outline the extent to which personal use is acceptable within the workplace. It might be that you’re happy for employees to quickly check on personal emails while at work, or that you want to strictly limit personal internet use to lunch and break times. You want to get the balance right between boosting productivity and allowing employees some freedom during downtime. Your business has the right to make policies as strict as you deem appropriate, but respecting employees and trusting them to behave appropriately is also important.

Security

Security is an important aspect of any IT usage policy. When considering general internet use, your policy should instruct employees on what they must and must not do to protect the business. This might include explicit statements such as “users must not knowingly introduce any form of the computer virus into the company”, or “company data should only be uploaded to and shared via approved services”.

Make sure you explain why security procedures are so important and outline the risks posed by malware. When providing instructions for appropriate email use, your policy should make clear the kind of usage that is inappropriate. Instruct employees to never open email attachments from unknown sources, to not send confidential data via email and to never disable security or email scanning software.

Inappropriate content and uses

A section on inappropriate content should be included in your policy, making clear that viewing or distributing certain content will not be tolerated. Outline the types of content deemed inappropriate; i.e. any content related to pornography, violence, abuse, hate speech, gambling and illegal drugs. These are just some examples and you should make explicit all types of content which are unacceptable for users to access. The same list should be included again in an email use policy, instructing employees never to distribute inappropriate material via email.

Sharing material

This can come under security, but a separate section within your policy might be useful if you want to make clear exactly the kind of material that must not be shared or posted online. Confidential material, trade secrets and proprietary information must be kept secure to protect your business. You might outline a recommended and secure approach to sharing sensitive data between employees for when this is necessary. Your document should also make clear how employees will be sanctioned if they breach the policy.

Copyright

Your business must abide by copyright laws so it is vital for each employee to know how to act appropriately. Make clear that employees must not use the internet to publish or share copyrighted materials when not permitted and also that they must not download illegal copies of music, film or other software when using company equipment or internet. It should be further made clear to employees that they must not use email to perform any tasks, which may be considered to be a breach of copyright law.

Must Read:-

How to write an Internet and email use policy

Use these key areas as a starting point for your business’s the Internet and email use policy. Once you have covered these aspects, you should also think about how your policy will be enforced and explain procedures to employees. Update IT usage policies when necessary and ensure that employees are always made aware of changes.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here