Every business that uses an internet connection is a candidate for an IT Use Policy.  It is a necessity to ensure that staff know the acceptable policies, procedures and expectations when using the company’s internet and email systems. An IT policy will help you deal with employees using their computers for inappropriate purposes, such as browsing certain sites and using email / instant messaging inappropriately, it is important to have a defined approach of how breaches of the policy will be met.

An IT use policy is also essential as it will stipulate the monitoring of internet and email to ensure employee expectations are immediately set.

Why do you need an IT Policy?

As a small business owner, director or team leader you want your staff to be productive when using their computer and prevent inappropriate computer use.

If you are a small business starting out you may overlook the importance of IT policies, irrespective of your business size 3 users to 1000 users, and IT policy is critical for the running of your IT system.

How does it work?

An IT policy binds employers and employees to the conditions of acceptable IT use by the company.  The policy will give clear advice on how the policy will be enforced, reserving the company’s right to control and filter content and prevent inappropriate use, taking an appropriate disciplinary action if a breach occurs.

What does this policy contain?

  • A description of appropriate email and internet use, outlining employee expectations and what inappropriate use.  As well as the consequences of inappropriate use.
  • A list of  what is outlined as prohibited use of the company internet and email.
  • Importantly such a policy limits activities carried out in a manner which could expose the company to loss or liability.

Consider the following preventable and not uncommon scenarios

Stacey in HR emails the entire company using the company email system to promote sales for her personal business. Is this appropriate use?

Ned decides to look up a controversial video he heard about at lunch discussions.  A co-worker sees this video.  What is the backlash for the company if the co-worker decides to file a sexual harassment suit.

Prevent!

By ensuring your company has an IT policy you will be prepared and better equipped to protect against these situations when the arise. Creating standards is important.

You can easily get an IT Policy through LawPath. Additionally, the LawPath legal document store has a workplace policies bundle for just $199 – providing your business with 11 policies essential for all types of business.

Unsure where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

Dominic Woolrych

Dominic is the CEO of LawPath, dedicating his days to making legal easier, faster and more accessible to businesses. Dominic is a recognised thought-leader in Australian legal disruption, and was recognised as a winner of the 2015 Australian Legal Innovation Index.