Acceptable Usage Policy

Table of Contents

    An acceptable usage policy (AUP) is a crucial document underlining the workplace’s rules, regulations, and restrictions for using IT devices and networks. 

    It is a practice in corporate offices where the new joiners must sign the AUP before gaining access to information systems. This policy safeguards highly secure network systems from unauthorized access, with regular IT audits ensuring compliance. 

     

    Acceptable Usage Policy Sample

     

    At [Organization’s Name], we foster a culture of openness, trust, and integrity as the core of our daily activities. This policy is designed to protect employees, partners, and the organization from legal actions resulting from unintentional damages caused either knowingly or unknowingly. Every employee is responsible for upholding the security of our cyber networks and devices, understanding and adhering to the basic rules and guidelines in their daily activities. 

     

    Purpose

    The primary purpose of this policy is to ensure everyone within [Organization’s Name] is aware of the acceptable usage of computer equipment and network systems.  Inappropriate uses compromise the overall security, making networks susceptible to virus attacks and malware risks. 

     

    Scope

    The policy applies to all the employees, contractors, consultants, freelancers, partners, and other workers at [Company’s Name]. It also applies to all equipment owned, registered, or leased under the organization. 

     

    Overview of Technology Resources

    • The technology resources under the organization include: 
    • Internet/Extranet/Intranet-related systems. 
    • Computer equipment (like desktop computers and laptops). 
    • Computer hardware, software, operating systems, storage media, and network accounts 
    • Any other equipment serving business interests. 

     

    Acceptable Use

    • All mobile and computing devices connected to the organization’s network must adhere to the policy. 
    • System and user-level passwords must comply with the Password Policy. 
    • All the system hardware (desktops and laptops) must be password protected with an automatic screen saver feature activated. 
    • Employees will be responsible for all the network traffic generated by their devices, adhering to stipulated limitations for business purposes. 
    • Our IT infrastructure is strictly for business use, and any data services for personal use will not be entertained.  
    • Employees should not try to hide their identity from the system and misuse it to threaten, intimidate, or harass anyone. 
    • Employees are strictly prohibited from using the system network systems to probe into the personal details of others and publish sensitive information regarding employees on a public forum. 
    • Employees must maintain the latest system software update to protect it from viruses, worms, trojans, and other harmful programs. 
    • Employees must not use the authorized network to share illegal files like copyrighted or obscene material. 

     

    Unacceptable Use

    • Violating the rights of individuals or the entire organization safeguarded by copyright, trade secret, patent, or other intellectual property rights. 
    • Downloading, printing, or externally sharing confidential data, files, or information is strictly prohibited. 
    • Exporting software, technical information, or encryption software from unauthorized sites violates international or local export control laws. 
    • Unauthorized copying of photos, content, music, and software from copyrighted websites, materials, or books is prohibited. 
    • Accessing legal websites to conduct personal business during work hours is not allowed. 
    • Introducing malicious programs like viruses, worms, trojans, etc., into the system is strictly prohibited. 
    • Letting other employees or external individuals use the company assets is prohibited. 
    • Making fraudulent claims about products or services to clients, customers, and partners from official accounts is prohibited. 
    • Introducing networks like honeypots, honeynets, etc., to our network is prohibited. 

     

    Employee Responsibilities

    • Exercise extra caution when opening email attachments received from unknown senders. 
    • Refrain from sending junk mail to individuals who did not request them. 
    • Abide by the rules of using the IT infrastructure within the organization. 
    • Do not breach the firewall and access rules, which may endanger network security. 
    • The organization regularly audits the network and systems to ensure compliance with this policy. 
    • Everyone in the organization must uphold the network and system security of the organization. 

     

    Data Privacy

    • Protect confidential business information using advanced security features (using apps like Authenticator). 
    • Log off computers when left unattended. 
    • Dispose of business-related printer matters using shredders. 
    • Equipment carried to off-site projects or locations must be secured. 
    • Carry laptops as hand luggage while traveling. 
    • Use CDs, DVDs, and memory sticks only when no secure network or data transfer mode exists. 
    • During off-site projects or remote work, employees must use company equipment. 

     

    Acknowledgment

    Our IT team ensures compliance with this policy through business tool reports and internal and external audits. Higher management must approve any exceptions, and violation may result in severe consequences, including disciplinary action and termination. 

     

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Q1. What is Acceptable Usage Policy?

    An Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP) is a set of rules and guidelines that define the ways in which a particular service, network, or system may be used. It outlines acceptable behavior and activities for users, as well as prohibited actions and activities that could result in disciplinary measures or consequences.

    Q2. What technology resources does the AUP cover? 

    The AUP covers the technological resources of an organization, like computers, networks, internet access, and other digital devices. 

    Q3. What constitutes acceptable use of technology resources? 

    Acceptable use of technology resources consists of responsible behavior, respecting privacy, avoiding unauthorized access, adhering to the organization’s policies, and promoting positive digital citizenship. 

    Q4. What activities are considered unacceptable under the AUP? 

    Activities like hacking, unauthorized access, cyberbullying, malware distribution, copyright infringement, and other actions violating legal or ethical standards are considered unacceptable under the AUP. 

    Q5. What are the consequences of violating the AUP? 

    Violation of the AUP can lead to severe consequences like account suspension, privileges loss, legal action, or service termination. The penalties depend on the severity of the policy violation. 

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