Sample personal computer use policy

Here are some highlights from a sample personal computer use policy.

The computer resources belong to ABC Company and are provided to users to assist in the performance of their jobs. Computer resources should be used for business purposes only. Limited personal use of computer resources by users is permissible, provided that this does not interfere with the computer resources or the user's job performance, and provided that users never engage in unacceptable computer resources use.

Users must abide by the limits set out in the "Unacceptable Computer Resources Use" section of this policy. ABC Company will monitor its computer resources and all data and resources created, received and stored thereon including user e-mail and Internet use, to ensure that the company's facilities are protected and properly used. All data on computer resources belongs to ABC Company, and ABC Company may access, read, use (in any way or medium it wishes), disclose and delete any data on the computer resources at any time and for any reason without advance notice to any user. Users do not have any expectation of privacy regarding anything created, sent or received on computer resources, whether the use is business or personal. Anything stored on computer resources may be disclosed in legal proceedings against ABC Company or users.

Users are responsible for safeguarding their system passwords for all computer resources. Users are responsible for all transactions made using their passwords. Individual passwords, logon ID, internal network configurations, addresses and system names must not be transmitted in e-mail messages, printed, stored online, or given to others. Users suspecting that their access password has been compromised should take steps immediately to change the password.

Abuse of this policy will be subject to appropriate discipline, which may include dismissal of an employee or termination of a contractor's contract.

This policy may be amended or revised at any time by ABC Company. This policy supersedes all other ABC Company policies with regard to accessing, monitoring, disclosing, and properly using mail systems and messages. This policy is not meant to be exhaustive; additional rules, procedures, and guidelines regarding the use of mail systems and the treatment of messages may be set forth in other ABC Company policies and documents. In the event of an inconsistency, however, this policy shall govern to the extent that the issue falls within the scope of this policy. Mail system administrators and corporate security may change, bypass, or disable a user's password or other security mechanisms at any time without permission of or advance notice to the user.

If you have questions concerning this policy, contact the director of technology services or the vice-president of human resources:

Unacceptable computer resources use:

These restrictions apply to all internal and external use of all computer resources by all users, regardless of geographical location. The following practices are improper and unacceptable:

i) transmitting or releasing sensitive, confidential, proprietary or privileged information concerning ABC Company to anyone not permitted by ABC Company to receive it;

ii) sending or soliciting communications containing material which is fraudulent, harassing, pornographic, profane, obscene, vulgar, intimidating or unlawful;

iii) participating in controversial or inappropriate Internet discussion groups such as pornographic, hate-based or terrorist discussion groups;

iv) accessing or displaying any material that may be considered offensive in ABC Company's environment unless required for specific research;

v) downloading copyrighted content from web sites on the Internet except for research purposes or non-commercial use which results in limited machine-readable or print copies;

vi) interfering with, removing or bypassing any security features or devices designed to protect data, whether ABC Company data or not, from viruses, unauthorized external access or other security risk;

vii) intentionally broadcasting messages or participating by propagating non-business documents/messages such as chain letters or knowingly transmitting destructive programs (viruses and or self-replicating code);

viii) sending mass mailings that have not been authorized by an appropriate ABC Company manager;

ix) disrupting the business's ability to perform its mission;

x) engaging in any activity intended to cause congestion or disruption of networks and systems;

xi) attempting to send anonymous transmissions or to falsify information regarding the originator by any means including use of another user's identification or logon ID;

xii) downloading data files from networks external to ABC Company computers or networks, without subjecting the files to up-to-date anti-virus checking;

xiii) downloading software from the Internet, disks, CD-ROMs or elsewhere onto computer resources without Information Solution's prior written permission to do so (phone or e-mail the helpdesk to receive permission);

xiv) using any software on computer resources without a valid license to ABC Company (some software licensed to individuals may be loaded on to the desktop (not the LAN) with approval from Information Solutions);

xv) distributing or copying software contained in the computer resources without Information Solution's prior written permission to do so (phone or e-mail the helpdesk to receive permission);

xvi) sending or soliciting transmissions of commercial or personal advertisements, solicitations, promotions, political material or other material for unauthorized or personal use;

xvii) storing personal data of more than a minimal amount on computer resources; and

xviii) conducting any personal business venture/ money-making activity.

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