Protecting your net resource

These agreements, which are becoming commonplace at businesses, universities and in the public sector, are designed to protect costly IT networks, cut out time-wasting on the internet and guard against workers downloading offensive material.

The dark side of the internet has been well documented. Best known is the instant access to pornography, which has often resulted in the web coming under heavy fire. But there is a whole host of other material capable of damaging computers and resources to help perpetrate fraud, all freely available.

By entering a few simple terms in a search engine, it’s possible to find tools that can generate credit card numbers along with genuine American addresses and programs that can custom build computer viruses inside five minutes.

Understandably companies keen to embrace the internet would rather precious bandwidth was not used by employees for this kind of thing. But how can they stop them?

The most obvious way is by barring access to the internet altogether. But business has a lot to gain from the web ? new customers, more efficient buying and selling, keeping in touch an almost infinite information resource. Hence the emergence of the acceptable use policy.

This week features an in-depth look at these policies. Click on one of the links below.

Are your staff surfing safely?
An acceptable usage policy determines what an organisation’s link to the internet may be used for, and it’s a legal minefield for many companies.

Advice for drafting an internet acceptable use policy
Drafting an internet acceptable use policy needs to be an inclusive and carefully considered process.

A Guide To Developing Your Company’s Internet Access Policy
Provided by web filtering company SurfControl, this guide contains general information on putting agreements together.

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