Advice for drafting an internet acceptable use policy

IT systems have become an intrinsic part of business processes. If they go down, your company could lose millions. But if they don’t allow employees to do their jobs more easily they may as well not be there. Here are some tips on producing an effective agreement.

  • ‘When you set any rule, almost inevitably you create loopholes,’ says Colin Rose of network management solutions company Actis. ‘Your policy must be carefully worded.’ Seeking legal help is a must.
  • It’s easy to be too restrictive, Rose advises. ‘The last thing you want to do is stop people doing their jobs,’ he says.
  • Ensuring the policy accounts properly for the function of the company is often overlooked. ‘Ask what are your business requirements from the internet and draft the policy accordingly,’ says Rose.
  • ‘Everyone has to be party to an acceptable use policy. People should be involved at all levels – they are the people who must buy in to the agreement,’ says Rose. Obviously this is going to be difficult in a larger organisation, but employers should consider using any staff council or employee forum that exists.

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