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Policies on Internet and E mail use at work


My company needs to put into place policies for use of internet and e mail in the workplace. I would be grateful for any examples of actual policies. Many thanks.
Jan Bujko

9 Responses

  1. Changing staff’s contracts
    2 years ago my company realised it could be vulnerable to abuse of our 24-hour Internet access. One major concern was that there was no policy in place regarding proper use of the net and email in work time, and therefore no means of starting disciplinary action if abuse was found.

    We established some guidelines which were then appended to the staff manual, and all staff received a memo indicating that observation of the policy was now part of their contract with the company.

    The guidelines covered overloading the network with social email (e.g. the joke that does the rounds), visiting non-business sites in work time (not allowed, visiting non business sites in staff’s own time (allowed, so long as the sites did not contain offensive or illegal material.

    One clause, which the company felt was needed for full protection, said that if staff encouraged or did not discourage the receipt of (for example) pornographic or otherwise offensive material by email, that also constituted a breach of the new policy. In other words, saying you can’t help what your friends send you would be no excuse!

    Having said all this, the guideline I personally give to my colleagues is to regard internet use at work a little like use of the work phone for personal calls: the occasional call is OK, even essential, but don’t spend hours and don’t make a habit of it.

    I hope this helps. I can forward the wording of policy, if necessary.

    I have the same problem about an email policy and have the same view as you do. I would very much appreciate a copy of your policy is you could

  3. Email Policy
    Dear Selina

    I would be grateful for a copy of your policy wording

  4. Wording of Internet usage policy
    Here is the wording on Internet usage policy – see separate post for email. I hope ths is of use to those of you writing your own guidelines.


    Internet and Email Content
    This section concerns the content of emails sent and received, and the content of files sent (uploaded)
    and received (downloaded) to and from Internet sites. For the purposes of this policy the browsing of
    pages on the World Wide Web also constitutes receiving files from the Internet.
    Staff must not transmit or invite the reception of:
    · any unlawful, harassing, libellous, privacy invading, abusive, threatening, harmful, vulgar, obscene or
    otherwise objectionable material of any kind.
    · any material that violates the rights of another, including but not limited to the intellectual property
    rights of another.
    · any material that violates any applicable local, national, or international law or regulation.
    · “junk mail”, “chain letters”, or unsolicited mass distribution of email.
    In considering whether material falls into any of these categories staff must consider how the recipient
    and any other person likely to come into contact with the material will be affected by it.
    In addition to the intended recipients email and material downloaded from the Internet may be seen by
    IT staff during routine procedures.
    Receiving, transmitting or browsing on the World Wide Web material as described above is
    regarded as misconduct or gross misconduct, which normally would result in dismissal.

  5. wording of policy on email usage
    Here is the email policy – for internet usage policy see separate message.

    Selina 5.0 Use of Email Services
    The following basic guidelines will ensure that all users of the Internet and email services are able to gain
    the maximum benefit from them:
    · When replying to emails ensure that you have listed only the recipient(s) who really need the reply
    · Only copy messages to staff who really need to receive the information
    · Do not send trivial messages directly to a large number of people. Specific “conferences” or other
    “notice board” facilities can be provided for this purpose. Please contact the IT group. In this
    context “trivial” is interpreted as any message that does not relate directly to the business of the firm
    (e.g. sporting events, lost items and personal interests).
    6.0 Use of Internet Services
    Browsing the Internet for personal reasons is not permitted during office hours. However, you are
    permitted to use the corporate connection outside office hours for personal reasons.
    In some locations outside the main UK offices use of the Internet incurs extra cost to the company.
    Please contact the IT group to confirm whether your connection incurs additional charges. The company
    reserves the right to reclaim the cost from individuals using the Internet for personal reasons, where the
    company itself incurs additional charges.

  6. Ten E-mail Commandments (??????)
    1.Thou dost have several choices 2.Thou shalt never print thy e-mail 3.Thou shalt never send e-mail when furious or exhausted 4. Thou shalt never substitute e-mail for a necessary face-to-face meeting 5.Thou shalt never delete names from thy address book 6. Thou shalt never forward chain e-mail 7. Neither shalt thou pass on rumour or innuendo about real people 8. Neither shalt thou do so about companies thou workest for or may workest for one day 9. Thou shalt remember the hierarchy and keep it sacrosanct: First the meeting, then the phone call, then the voice mail, then the e-mail 10. Thou shalt send nothing over the e-mail that must be error-free.

  7. Help on cyber policies
    I have been on holiday so forgive my late reply.
    I have written numerfous policies for organisations so please contact me if you want more detail.
    However you will find the book e-policy, Michael R Overly [Amacon] very useful; not expensive. I also searched the IPD library documents and found them very helpful, up to date and practical materials.
    Carole Bryant


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