Company Manual: Acceptable Use Policy Employee

Pages: 9 (2398 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 6  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] 14. ELECTRONIC ACCESS

I hereby certify that I have read and fully understand the contents of the Electronic Access Policy. Furthermore, I have been given the opportunity to discuss any information contained therein or any concerns that I may have. I understand that my employment and my continued employment is based in part upon my willingness to abide by and follow the Company's policies, rules, regulations and procedures. I acknowledge that the Company reserves the right to modify or amend its policies at any time, without prior notice. These policies do not create any promises or contractual obligations between this Company and its employees. My signature below certifies my knowledge, acceptance of and adherence to the Company's policies, rules, regulations and procedures regarding Electronic Access.

Signature ____Date

Print Name____ (Spectorsoft, 2005, pp. 3-8).

Justification Report

The use of an acceptable use policy serves to address employee behavior in terms of Internet usage and security. The purpose of the acceptable use policy is to direct staff in the use of Internet services so that appropriate is maintained throughout the organization. Such policies are crucial in helping organizations to maximize the benefits that the Internet has to offer (Sykes, 2005).

Improper Internet and email use creates liabilities for employers and employees, which companies can manage by developing an Internet and e-mail policy and communicating that policy to all employees. Internet access and e-mail use are a source of financial liability for companies, with the potential liability coming in various forms. Lawsuits have been filed on the basis of sexual and racial harassment. Frequently employee productivity suffers because of Internet use. Other potential problems include the following activities by employees:

Engaging in defamation on the Internet or through e-mail

Transmitting protected company information or trade secrets

Cyberstalking

Interfering with company electronic communications by clogging the network

Causing spyware to enter company network systems (Arnesan & Weis, 2007).

Employers have a clear legal right to review e-mail and Internet use to protect the business from its inappropriate use. A long standing legal precedent exists that it is not an invasion of privacy to monitor employee communications but rather is an appropriate business practice to ensure quality control and customer service (Arnesan & Weis, 2007).

Research indicates that requiring an employee signature on an Internet use policy agreement improves its effectiveness as a deterrent. Study results also suggest that if an organization uses a policy, discipline-only is the most common outcome when Internet misuse is found, as opposed to termination. A considerably larger number of employees were terminated in organizations that do not use a policy (Case & Young, 2002).

E-mail systems are the number one entry point from which most malicious programs enter a company. IT security experts recommend that company-wide security can be improved through proper education of staff. Incorporating e-mail and Internet best practices into an acceptable use policy helps to promote employee awareness of security concerns (Danchev, 2003).

Another benefit of having an acceptable use policy is its ability to define e-mail and Web access as organizational tools intended exclusively or primarily for business use. Employees and users are notified that should not have an expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send, or receive on their computer (M86 Security, 2011).

One question that comes up with respect to using an acceptable use policy is whether such a tool works or not. Organizations that have implemented an acceptable use policy have reported significant improvements in network speed and avoidance of costly network bandwidth upgrades. These results come from successful reductions in inappropriate usage once a policy has been announced and distributed within an organization (Internet acceptable usage, n.d.).

More and more companies are finding it to their benefit to implement acceptable use policy best practices. The American Management Association reports that most companies have policies regarding personal e-mail use and that more than a quarter of their survey respondents have fired workers for misusing the Internet. A survey by Vault.com showed that eighty-seven percent of employees surf non-work related websites while at work (Armour, 2006, February 20). With statistics like these, it is clear that the use of employee acceptable use policies is justified.

Works Cited

Armour, S. (2006, February 20). Companies keep an eye on workers Internet use. USA Today. Retrieved October 30, 2011 from: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/internetprivacy/2006-02-20-internet-abuse_x.htm

Arnesan, D.W. & Weis, W.L. (2007). Developing an effective company policy for employee internet and email use. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict (11)2, 53-65. Retrieved October 30, 2011 from: http://www.alliedacademies.org/Publications/Papers/JOCCC%20Vol%2011%20No%202%202007.pdf#page=59

Case, C.J. & Young, K.S. (2002). Employee internet use policy: An examination of perceived effectiveness. IACIS Issues in Information Systems, 82-88. Retrieved October 30, 2011 from: http://www.iacis.org/iis/2002_iis/PDF%20Files/CaseYoung.pdf

Danchev, D. (2003). Building and implementing a successful information security policy. Retrieved October 30, 2011 from: http://www.itrevizija.ba/materijal/security-policy.pdf

Internet acceptable usage policy guidelines. (n.d.). Mississippi Office of the State Auditor. Retrieved October 30, 2011 from: http://www.osa.state.ms.us/downloads/iupg.pdf

M86 Security. (2011). Acceptable use policy and compliance. Retrieved October 30, 2011 from: http://www.m86security.com/resources/acceptable-use-policy-and-compliance.asp

Spectorsoft. (2005). Implementing an Internet acceptable use policy. Retrieved October 30, 2011 from: http://www.spectorcne.com/images/PDF/WP_AcceptableUsePolicy.pdf

Sykes, C.B. (2005). The importance of internet acceptable use policies for large businesses. Retrieved October 30, 2011 from: http://www.infosecwriters.com/text_resources/pdf/IAUP_Sykes.pdf [END OF PREVIEW]

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