Clever Idea

Free Computer Usage Policy

Feb 19 , 2009 by Matthew Clark

Every business, school, club or committee needs to roll out a Computer Usage Policy to try to manage their network and PCs.

Without a computer usage policy, there is very little to stop your employees carrying out all kinds of bad practices, wasting time and even costing you money with extra support costs and lost time. Without one, you can do very little legally. But if you write, go through it and ask your employees to sign your computer usage policy, you can. As an employer, manager or chairman, it is also fairer to educate people so that they know exactly what is and is not acceptable.

The attached document has information relating to the storage of personal data, client records, and so on. Some of this may not relevant, please delete/edit it to make it match what you need.

Please click below for the Word or PDF edition of policy.

Free Computer Usage Policy - Word
Free Computer Usgae Policy - PDF

It is important though that all existing and new employees are taken through the computer usage policy. Some terms can be explained and questions dealt with. Then, if understood and the employees are ok, ask then to sign their covering sheet for the policy. This is good practice for any induction procedure, ask them to sign, and you can proove that they have read it.

A computer policy could have helped the companies below.

Norwich Union 1999 - Perhaps the most serious libel case of recent times was against Norwich Union. An employee circulated a series of internal emails claiming one of Norwich Union's competitors (Western Provident) was being investigated by the Department of Trade and Industry. These emails found their way to Norwich Union's competitor who promptly started legal action. The result was that Norwich Union paid £450,000 in compensation.

Chevron USA Inc. - Last year the oil company paid $2.2 million to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit over its email content. The allegations were made by a group of women employees who alleged a Chevron subsidiary allowed its internal email system to be used to transmit sexually offensive messages.

A dismissed employee of the IT department encrypted the entire database of his ex-company. He demanded £1 000 000 in ransom. The company was preparing to call his bluff, when it found out that not only had he actually succeeded, but it would cost at least £5 000 000 in computer and employee time to undo the damage. The compromise was that the company gave him a generous consultancy "fee" to sort out the problem and agreed that no crime had taken place.

Free Computer Usage Policy