Why You Need an Internet Acceptable Use Policy
By Dave Roberts on Monday, August 25th, 2014
These days a computer with Internet access is practically a requirement when it comes to running a business. With everything from Facebook and YouTube to gambling and x-rated websites a few key clicks away, unrestricted internet access can distract employees from their duties making them less productive — which can affect your bottom line.
Creating a safe and productive environment is important for any business, and one way to ensure that is to implement an Internet Acceptable Use Policy (IAUP). Of course, you don’t want your employees to feel they’re working under the watchful eye of Big Brother, but a well-planned IAUP protects them, as well as your business, by providing clear guidelines about what is and is not accepted internet use during work hours. It helps to eliminate any confusion and possible abuse that could prevent a company from being productive.
What Elements Should Your Internet Acceptable Usage Policy Contain?
An IAUP should clearly outline some key points:
- The company Internet is for company business only
- All work done on company computers during business hours, including all emails, is company property and can be accessed by the employer at any time.
- Establish what type of computer use is unacceptable such as accessing personal social media accounts, personal email, pornographic websites, etc.
- Employees must refrain from accessing websites, creating, or forwarding email that promotes any type of discrimination such as racial or sexual discrimination, or that is defamatory or harmful towards another person or group.
- Employees are not allowed to gain access to or attempt to access other employee’s computers, employee stored information, or any information unauthorized by the company.
Employees should be informed that company business and information stored on company computers is confidential. They should also be informed that accessing unapproved sites can open the company network to harmful viruses and malware that could shut down the entire system.