This policy is a template that can be used by any organisation in order to handle internet usage by employees and voluteers alike. Simply insert your organisations name where the term "COMPANY NAME" is used.
SAMPLE INTERNET POLICY
ELECTRONIC MAIL & INTERNET USAGE POLICIES
As an employee of "COMPANY NAME" or one of the affiliates using its information technology services, you are provided with access to the vast information resources of the Internet to help you do your job faster and smarter, and be a well-informed business citizen. The facilities to provide that access represent a considerable commitment of company resources for telecommunications, networking, software, storage, etc. This E-Mail and Internet Usage Policy is designed to help you understand our expectations for the use of those resources in the particular conditions of the Internet, and to help you use those resources wisely.
This policy applies to all users of "COMPANY NAME" owned and operated computer systems and networks. The word ‘company’ in the following text means "COMPANY NAME" or any organization using "COMPANY NAME" owned or managed systems. Any exceptions to this policy require the express written consent of both the "COMPANY MANAGEMENT" and /or the Director of Human Resources.
Any employees who discover a violation of this policy shall notify "COMPANY NAME"’s "COMPANY MANAGEMENT" immediately.
Any employee who violates this policy or uses the Internet system for improper purposes shall be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.
1. The use of "COMPANY NAME"’s Internet and e-mail systems is intended for "COMPANY NAME" business including staff research, communication, and professional development within the broad business objectives of the company.
2. The company has software and systems in place that can monitor and record all Internet usage. We want you to be aware that our security systems are capable of recording (for each and every user) each World Wide Web site visit, each chat, newsgroup or email message, and each file transfer into and out of our internal networks, and we reserve the right to do so at any time. No employee should have any expectation of privacy as to his or her Internet usage. Our managers may review Internet activity and analyze usage patterns, and they may choose to publicize this data to assure that company Internet resources are devoted to maintaining the highest levels of productivity.
3. The confidentiality of any electronic message using "COMPANY NAME"’s e-mail or Internet system should not be assumed. Even when a message is erased, it is still possible to retrieve and read that message.
4. Personal use of Internet and e-mail services cannot interfere with business operations and normally should be limited to non-working hours (breaks, lunch).
5. E-mail and Internet services, or any other network or computer resources, shall not be used for viewing, archiving, storage, distribution, editing or recording of threatening, obscene, harassing or derogatory material; or transmittal of material that is confidential to the company (e.g. membership lists, accounting records, business plans, etc).
6. E-mail and Internet services, or any other network or computer resources, shall not be used for the viewing, archiving, storage, distribution, editing or recording of any kind of sexually explicit image, material or document.
7. "COMPANY NAME" has no control over the information or content accessed through the Internet and cannot be held responsible for its content.
8. Use of the e-mail or Internet systems to receive (download) software programs, utilities or software extensions is prohibited without prior authorization from "COMPANY NAME"’s Network Administrator or "COMPANY MANAGEMENT". This includes (but is not limited to) screen savers, games, and utility programs. It does not include files such as Word documents, Excel documents, Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf) files and the like
9. Any software or files downloaded via the Internet into the company network become the property of the company. Any such files or software may be used only in ways that are consistent with their licenses or copyrights.
10. No employee may use company facilities knowingly to download or distribute pirated software or data. The use of file swapping software on company computers and company networks is prohibited.
11. No employee may use the company’s Internet facilities to deliberately propagate any virus, worm, Trojan horse, or trap-door program code.
12. No employee may use the company’s Internet facilities knowingly to disable or overload any computer system or network, or to circumvent any system intended to protect the privacy or security of another user.
13. This company’s Internet facilities and computing resources shall not be used knowingly to violate the laws and regulations of the United States or any other nation, or the laws and regulations of any state, city, province or other local jurisdiction in any material way. Use of any company resources for illegal activity is grounds for immediate dismissal, and we will cooperate with any legitimate law enforcement activity.
14. Users of "COMPANY NAME"’s information systems are prohibited from using password protection to restrict access to files on "COMPANY NAME" systems, without authorization from "COMPANY NAME"’s Network Administator.
15. Each employee using the Internet facilities of the company shall identify himself or herself honestly, accurately and completely (including one’s company affiliation and function where requested) when participating in chats or newsgroups, or when setting up accounts on outside computer systems.
16. The chats, newsgroups and e-mail of the Internet give each individual Internet user an immense and unprecedented reach to propagate company messages and tell our business story. Because of that power we must take special care to maintain the clarity, consistency and integrity of the company’s image and posture. Anything any employee writes on the Internet in the course of working for the company can be taken as representing the "COMPANY NAME"’s corporate posture. For this reason, users of "COMPANY NAME"’s e-mail system are prohibited from using their "COMPANY NAME" e-mail address (e.g. someone@"COMPANY NAME".com) or otherwise identifying themselves as employees of "COMPANY NAME" when participating in non-work related online discussion forums, bulletin boards, web sites, or chat sessions. Temporary or contract workers are not permitted to use "COMPANY NAME" e-mail and Internet services unless authorized by "COMPANY NAME"’s "MANAGEMENT".
17. Only those employees or officials who are duly authorized to speak to the media, to analysts or in public gatherings on behalf of the company may speak/write in the name of the company to any newsgroup or chat room. Other employees may participate in newsgroups or chats in the course of business when relevant to their duties, but they do so as individuals speaking only for themselves. Where an individual participant is identified as an employee or agent of this company, the employee must refrain from any unauthorized political advocacy and must refrain from the unauthorized endorsement or appearance of endorsement by the company of any commercial product or service not sold or serviced by this company, its subsidiaries or its affiliates. Only those managers and company officials who are authorized to speak to the media, to analysts or in public gatherings on behalf of the company may grant such authority to newsgroup or chat room participants.
18. Employees are reminded that chats and newsgroups are public forums where it is inappropriate to reveal confidential company information, customer data, trade secrets, and any other material covered by existing company secrecy policies and procedures. Employees releasing protected information via a newsgroup or chat – whether or not the release is inadvertent – will be subject to all penalties under existing data security policies and procedures.
19. The company retains the copyright to any material posted to any forum, newsgroup, chat or World Wide Web page by any employee in the course of his or her duties.
20. Use of company Internet access facilities to commit infractions such as misuse of company assets or resources, sexual harassment, unauthorized public speaking and misappropriation or theft of intellectual property are also prohibited by general company policy, and will be addressed under the relevant provisions of the Employee Handbook.