Sample Internet Use/Acceptable Use Policies

September 28 2007

The ProComp Group strongly advises developing an Internet-use policy (also called an "acceptable-use policy") for your company's IT resources. Below are two examples of IUP/AUPs covering Internet and email use. The first allows employees some personal use of the company Internet connection, while the second restricts use strictly to business purposes.

Please note these policies are offered here as samples only. You will need to consult with your human-resources or legal advisors before implementing a policy in your workplace. The ProComp Group is happy to provide advice on the technology issues involved.

For additional information, see our library article, "Acceptable Use Policies: Letting employees know what is/isn't OK to do on your computers."


Sample Policy (allows some personal use)

Introduction
[Company Name] provides its users with Internet access and electronic communications services as required for the performance and fulfillment of job responsibilities. These services are for the purpose of increasing productivity and not for non-business activities.

Use policy
Occasional and reasonable personal use of [Company Name]'s Internet and e-mail services is permitted, provided that this does not interfere with work performance. These services may be used outside of scheduled hours of work, provided that such use is consistent with professional conduct. Users should have no expectation of privacy while using company-owned or company-leased equipment. Information passing through or stored on company equipment can and will be monitored.

Violations of Internet and e-mail use include, but are not limited to, accessing, downloading, uploading, saving, receiving, or sending material that includes sexually explicit content or other material using vulgar, sexist, racist, threatening, violent, or defamatory language. Users should not use [Company Name]'s services to disclose corporate information without prior authorization. Gambling and illegal activities are not to be conducted on company resources. Infringements of this policy will be investigated on a case-by-case basis. Any violation of the policies may result in loss of access privileges and disciplinary action. Questions about this policy are to be directed to the [Company Name]'s owner.

Your signature indicates that you have read [Company Name]'s Internet and e-mail use policy. Signing this document does not mean that you agree with each and every provision of the policy. However, it does mean that you will abide by the regulations set forth in the above policy.

Employee Signature:

Date:

(Sample from Courtesy Computers, Inc.)


Sample Policy (no personal use permitted)

[Company Name] provides Internet access to employees for company business use only. The policies listed below are a guide to help employees determine proper business Internet usage. [Company Name] reserves the right to modify policies at any time. If a questionable situation arises, please contact the company owner for clarification. [Company Name] reserves the right to monitor and record Internet usage and fileserver utilization of all company members. [Company Name] reserves the right to suspend individual user accounts for violation of company policy.

  • E-mail and file transfers are to be for business use only by authorized users
  • Use of another employee's account or access to their personal files without their consent is strictly prohibited.
  • Confidential information is not to be transmitted over the Internet without proper encryption.
  • All downloaded files or applications are to be scanned for viruses before being saved on the firm's network.
  • All downloaded applications must be approved by the firm's IT administrator or company owner before being installed on the network.
  • Transmission of harassing, discriminatory or otherwise objectionable e-mail or files (as determined by the recipient) is strictly prohibited.
  • Access to non-business related, obscene or offensive sites is strictly prohibited.
  • Disruptive behavior such as introducing viruses or intentionally destroying or modifying files on the network is strictly prohibited.
  • Any personal use of the network for commercial or illegal activity is strictly prohibited.
  • Transmission of any religious or political messages is strictly prohibited.
  • Game playing is strictly prohibited.

I have carefully read [Company Name]'s Internet Usage Policy. I understand and agree to adhere to the company's guidelines. I understand than any questions are to be directed to the [Company Name]'s owner and any violation of the policies will result in loss of access privileges and disciplinary action.

Employee Signature:

Date:

(From Roman H. Kepczyk, CPA-AICPA MAP Handbook)