Company Computer Usage Policy
Do your employees stab at their keyboards when you approach? Are their giggles unlikely to be caused by open invoice report or check register on the screen? Are they spending more time reading from their screen than producing when at the computer?
Maybe it's time for a formal Computer Usage Policy. Consider a policy that expressly states all or a variation of the following check list. I print two copies, require that employees sign both copies (one for them and one for me) and I add a disclaimer above their signature that violation of one or a combination of the above policies will be considered grounds for termination.
Company Computer Use Policy
1 - Our company uses a web-based email (if applicable). Do not use any other email or install email portals on your workstation.
2 - Our company uses only Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, etc. Do not use or install any other web browser on your work station.
3 - Do not open an email attachment before scanning it with virus protection software.
4 - Your company email address is for company use only. Do not send or receive personal email at this address. Personal email or Instant Messaging are not allowed on company time or via company computers.
5 - No Web Surfing is allowed while on company computers.
6 - No games, gambling, pornography or other personal multi-media activities are permitted on company computers...don't check your stock, personal email, the news, or shop online while on company time or facilities.
7 - Do not share your password with co-workers.
Our Company reserves the right to:
1 - Read & review all email activity on company computers or company email accounts.2 - Monitor & review employee email and Internet activity at any time3 - Restrict access to and distribution of email and Internet4 - Prohibit distribution of email that may violate federal or local laws5 - Restrict personal use of company computers6 - Prohibit sending/forwarding of chain e-letters, gambling, or using company computers to create or forward pyramid schemes.
7 - Prohibit dissemination of confidential or proprietary information 8 - Prohibit forwarding company emails to personal email addressesOne more thing: Make sure you have a very strong, very reliable AUTOMATIC ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE in use to minimize damage should an employee open an email attachment before scanning it for potential viruses. Keep it current!
It's a good idea to formally establish and distribute a company policy and make sure everyone understands it. Additionally, make sure you have a policy of review in place. Don't issue directives if you don't plan to follow through or don't know how to....hire an IT person or contract with a local service that can install and update security software and will monitor activity and produce activity reports as well as set up an alert system when your employees violate your policies.
Jayne Miller is the owner of Custom Business Solutions, a firm in Reno Nevada that specializes in bookkeeping, payroll and small business accounting software support.
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