Acceptable Use Policy Template

Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) are designed to outline the responsible, ethical, and legal use of technology resources at your company. This sample policy aims to protect both the organization and its employees by setting clear expectations for the appropriate use of all electronic devices and network resources.

May 6, 2024
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Andy Przystański
Senior Content Marketing Manager
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What the Policy Should Include

  • Scope and Applicability: This section defines who is covered by the policy, including employees, contractors, and third-parties.
  • Definitions: Key terms used within the policy should be clearly defined to avoid misinterpretation.
  • Acceptable Use of Technology: Detailed guidelines on what constitutes acceptable use of the company’s technology resources.
  • Prohibited Actions: Explicit list of behaviors and uses of technology that are considered unacceptable.
  • System and Information Security: Protocols to ensure the security of company systems and sensitive information.
  • Enforcement and Consequences: Description of the actions the company will take in response to policy violations.
  • Monitoring and Privacy: Details on how the company monitors compliance with the policy and handles privacy issues.

Acceptable Use Policy Sample

Please note: This sample policy is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is a generic template that may not suit your specific circumstances. When adopting or revising a policy, consult legal counsel to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Purpose of This Policy

The AUP is critical for ensuring that technology resources at [Company Name] are used appropriately and responsibly. The purposes of this policy include:

  • Security: To protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of [Company Name]’s technology resources from unauthorized access and damage.
  • Compliance: To ensure that all technological practices are in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • Productivity: To minimize the risk of technology resources being used in a manner that impairs workplace productivity.
  • Awareness: To educate users about their responsibilities and the acceptable use of technology resources.Sample Policy

1. Policy Overview

[Company Name]’s technology resources are vital for day-to-day operations. This Acceptable Use Policy outlines the appropriate use of these resources to ensure they are used safely, legally, and ethically. Adherence to this policy is mandatory for all employees and contractors of the company.

2. General Use and Ownership

  • Ownership: All communications and stored information transmitted, received, or stored in [Company Name]’s network are the property of [Company Name].
  • Privacy: Users should have no expectation of privacy in their use of company resources. The company reserves the right to review any material on its computer systems at any time to ensure compliance with this policy.
  • User Compliance: Users are expected to follow this policy and all related security procedures to protect organizational assets.

3. Security and Proprietary Information

  • Data Protection: Users must protect sensitive data according to [Company Name]’s data security protocols.
  • Virus Protection: Users must ensure that all devices are protected by up-to-date antivirus software and must not disable such protection.
  • Password Security: Strong passwords must be used and changed regularly in accordance with [Company Name]'s password policy.

4. Acceptable Use

  • Internet Use: The internet should be used responsibly and primarily for professional or business-related purposes. Personal use should not interfere with professional responsibilities.
  • Email Use: Email resources must be used efficiently for business purposes, although reasonable personal use is allowed if it does not affect business operations or security.
  • Software: Users may only install software that has been approved by [Company Name], and must not use unauthorized software for any purpose.

5. Unacceptable Use

  • Prohibited Actions: The following actions are not permitted:
    • Users must not engage in illegal activities or those that infringe on the rights of others.
    • Users must not access, download, or distribute pirated materials or software. Doing so violates intellectual property laws.
    • Users must not use [Company Name]'s resources, confidential information, or trade secrets for personal gain, such as operating a business or soliciting for personal causes.
    • Per our security policy, users must not attempt to access restricted areas of the network or any user account belonging to another employee.
    • Engaging in activities that could harass, degrade, intimidate, or create a hostile working environment for others is strictly prohibited.

6. Monitoring and Enforcement

  • Monitoring: [Company Name] reserves the right to monitor all use of its technology resources to ensure compliance with this policy. This monitoring may be conducted without notice and may include logging internet usage, auditing files, and reviewing email communications.
  • Consequences of Violations: Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action, which may include termination of employment, legal action, and compensation for damages caused to [Company Name].
  • Reporting Violations: Employees are encouraged to report any suspected violations of this policy to their supervisor or the IT department.

7. Acknowledgment

All employees, contractors, and other users of [Company Name]'s technology resources must acknowledge that they have read, understand, and agree to abide by this policy. Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Frequently asked questions

What should I do if I receive a suspicious email?

Do not open any attachments or click on any links within the email. Report the email to the IT department and human resources immediately for further analysis.

Can I use my company email account for personal emails?

Yes, but with limitations. Personal use of email should not interfere with work responsibilities and should adhere to all aspects of this Acceptable Use Policy.

Are my activities on the company’s computers being monitored?

Yes, all activities on company systems can be monitored according to the policy outlined above. This is to ensure compliance with legal and policy requirements and to protect the company’s assets.

What are the consequences of violating the Acceptable Use Policy?

Consequences can range from warnings to termination of employment, depending on the severity of the violation. Legal action may also be taken for illegal activities or severe breaches of company policy. This detailed Acceptable Use Policy template is designed to meet the needs of [Company Name] while ensuring compliance with industry standards and legal requirements. By adhering to this policy, employees help maintain the security and efficiency of workplace technology resources.

What types of activities are considered unacceptable on company devices?

Unacceptable activities typically include, but are not limited to, visiting inappropriate websites, downloading unauthorized software or media, using the company network for personal gain, and engaging in illegal activities.

Can I use social media on company devices?

Yes, but use should be moderate and not interfere with your work responsibilities. The company reserves the right to restrict access to social media sites if it impacts productivity or poses a security risk.

What should I do if I suspect a security breach in the company’s IT systems?

Immediately report any suspicious activity or suspected breach to the IT department and human resources. Do not attempt to investigate or respond to the security issue yourself.

Are there restrictions on using company email accounts for registering on external websites?

Yes, company email accounts should only be used for business-related registrations unless explicitly authorized. Personal use, such as signing up for newsletters, social media, or personal services, should be avoided.