Facebook, Twitter, Fantasy Football, personal email and many other websites are accessed by employees on a daily basis. This can greatly affect productivity or worse – it could put your firm in jeopardy of an unwanted scandal (if unsolicited sites are accessed), and don’t forget the potential danger of viruses – these could wreck your whole database!
Every firm should have an Electronic Use Policy in place to ensure a complete understanding of the permitted use of company computers. These policies should be set forth to demonstrate that all actions on PCs are subject to monitoring and policies will be strictly enforced if rules are violated.
The following concerns should be addressed in every Electronic Use Policy:
- Acceptable use of email
- Transporting confidential data off-site
- Password accountability
- Adding or removal of software
- Limitations on the internet (accessible sites & banned sites)
- Copyright infringement
- Control of company property and usage
- Protecting the company image
- Accessing external email accounts
It is recommended that a realistic Electronic Use Policy is put into place by allowing “personal use” only during lunch breaks or after hours when it will not interfere with the employees’ work performance or affect the operation of the computer systems. It should be made clear that any actions made for personal use are not private and will be monitored on a daily basis if deemed necessary by management.
There are many issues to take into consideration in protecting your company’s image, efficiency, and effectiveness. In your Electronic Use Policies you should also include the usage of cell phones and other electronic devices in the office such as iPods, iPads, Mobile Apps, etc.
Be sure to either put an electronic use policy in place or update your existing policy to include the latest technology employees have access to on a daily basis in your office and under your company name.
To view more information on creating a sufficient Electronic Use Policy click here.