Sample Technology Usage Policy

It is vital that your business has a technology usage policy to protect both the business and staff.  This also helps your staff understand their responsibilities and that the technology is provided for the purposes of the business.  Here you can find a sample technology usage policy which covers the basics and should provide a good starting point when you are looking to put something in place.

08 September 2015 Briefings  Bits'n'bobs

Businessman Figure on Circuit-board - Article

It is vital that your business has a technology usage policy to protect both the business and staff.  This also helps your staff understand their responsibilities and that the technology is provided for the purposes of the business.  Here you can find a sample technology usage policy which covers the basics and should provide a good starting point when you are looking to put something in place.

The following technology usage policy is for a fictitious business - Holden-White.

Introduction

This policy describes the rules and conduct that we requires you to observe whenever you use the Information Technology (IT) systems of Holden-White. By IT systems we mean telephones, computers and any other equipment owned or operated by Holden-White that may be used to communicate, store or process information electronically.

Your use of Holden-White IT

You must only use Holden-White IT systems for the legitimate business purposes of Holden-White however incidental personal use, as described later in this policy, is allowed.

Under no circumstances should Holden-White IT systems be used to send, receive, browse, download or store material that may be illegal, offensive or cause embarrassment to others. This includes (without limitation) the use of Holden-White IT systems to send, receive, obtain access to, download or store pornographic material and material that is religiously, racially or sexually offensive.

It is important to ensure that you and Holden-White are protected against the misuse of others' copyright material. Accordingly, you may not install any software not provided by Holden-White without the prior permission of the IT Manager.

You are responsible for the security of the IT systems assigned to you, and you must not allow them to be used by any another person unless permitted by your manager.

Passwords are unique to you, and must not be made available to any other member of staff unless authorised by your manager or the IT Manager.

To ensure compliance with this policy your use of Holden-White IT systems will be monitored. You should also be aware that others in Holden-White have access to systems you use; the data stored or may oversee what you are doing.

Incidental Personal Use of Holden-White IT Systems

Use of the Holden-White IT systems by you to send and receive personal e-mail, to browse the world wide web or to make or receive the personal telephone calls is acceptable provided that your usage:

  1. is kept to a minimum;
  2. does not interfere with your work;
  3. does not incur anything more than trivial costs to Holden-White; and
  4. complies with all other Holden-White policies.

This policy on personal use is designed to be liberal, but its continuance is, of course, dependent upon its not being abused or overused and may be withdrawn or amended at any time and without notice.

Failure to comply with this policy

If you fail to comply with rules and conduct in your use of Holden-White Information Technology (IT) systems disciplinary action will be taken that may lead to your dismissal and if appropriate, Civil and/or Criminal proceedings.

When using the World Wide Web

  1. Do not use Holden-White IT systems to access or download material which is or could be regarded by others as illegal, offensive, in bad taste or immoral.
  2. Be aware that Web Sites often keep a record of who has visited them, what was requested and from where.
  3. Be aware that your Web Browser, by design, keeps its own records and copies of what you have visited and when.

When using E-mail

Specifically:

  1. Assume that e-mail messages may be read by others and so do not include in your e-mails anything which would offend or embarrass any such reader, or would embarrass the Holden-White if it found its way to the public domain.
  2. Never send abusive, obscene, sexist, racist, harassing or defamatory messages. If you receive such a message, do not forward it to anyone. Report it to the IT Manager. If a recipient asks you to stop sending them personal messages then always immediately stop.
  3. Never send messages from another member of staff's computer or under a name other than your own.
  4. Never send confidential messages by e-mail without getting the recipient's agreement.
  5. Never open an e-mail attachment from an unexpected or untrustworthy source.
  6. If you receive a message from someone you know and the tone of the message or what appears to be attached is out of character for that person, be suspicious and inform the IT Manager before doing anything else with the message.
  7. Remember that e-mail messages are documents and so may be disclosed in legal proceedings if relevant to the issues.
  8. Never send or forward private e-mails at work which you would not want a third party to read.
  9. Do not create e-mail congestion by sending trivial messages or unnecessarily copying e-mails to those who do not have a real need to have them.
  10. Do not advertise, send messages about lost property or forward "chain-mail" e-mails,
  11. Always remember that text, music and other content on the Internet are copyright works. Never download or e-mail such content to others unless you are certain that the owner of such works allows this.
  12. If sending important information by e-mail, always obtain confirmation of receipt (either a reply to your e-mail or by following up with a telephone call).
  13. Never agree to terms or enter into contractual commitments or make representations by e-mail without having obtained proper authority.
  14. When you type your name at the end of an e-mail, this act is just as much a signature as if you had signed it personally.

External E-mails

  1. Never send strictly confidential messages via the Internet, or by other means of external communication which are known not to be secure.
  2. If requested to forward such information over the Internet, make sure that your client knows that it is not totally secure and is willing to accept that risk.
  3. Printed copies of all significant business e-mails should be retained on file.

End of Policy

Tags  policy technology usage

Corrections or suggestions