What is an Internet usage Policy?
An internet usage policy is a legal document that should be signed by every person at your company. The policy outlines what is and is not acceptable usage of company networks and digital assets. Organizations need an internet usage policy to ensure employees do not take improper advantage of workplace assets, expose the company to malicious attacks, and to assist with network security.
Below, you’ll find a sample internet usage policy that covers most of the general policies needed to protect your organization in regards to computers and internet usage. Ideally, an internet usage policy is tailored to the needs of the organization. We suggest using the below policy as a starting point to build a custom tailored policy for your organization.
Sample Internet Usage Policy
This Internet Usage Policy applies to all employees of who have access to computers and the Internet to be used in the performance of their work. Use of the Internet by employees of is permitted and encouraged where such use supports the goals and objectives of the business. However, access to the Internet through is a privilege and all employees must adhere to the policies concerning Computer, Email and Internet usage. Violation of these policies could result in disciplinary and/or legal action leading up to and including termination of employment. Employees may also be held personally liable for damages caused by any violations of this policy. All employees are required to acknowledge receipt and confirm that they have understood and agree to abide by the rules hereunder.
Computer, email and internet usage
Company employees are expected to use the Internet responsibly and productively.
All Internet data that is composed, transmitted and/or received by <company’s> computer systems is considered to belong to and is recognized as part of its official data. It is therefore subject to disclosure for legal reasons or to other appropriate third parties.
The equipment, services and technology used to access the Internet are the property of and the company reserves the right to monitor Internet traffic and monitor and access data that is composed, sent or received through its online connections.
Emails sent via the company email system should not contain content that is deemed to be offensive. This includes, though is not restricted to, the use of vulgar or harassing language/images.
All sites and downloads may be monitored and/or blocked by if they are deemed to be harmful and/or not aligned with the business’s values.
Unacceptable use of the internet by employees includes, but is not limited to:
- Sending or posting discriminatory, harassing, or threatening messages or images on the Internet or via <company> email service
- Using computers to perpetrate any form of fraud, and/or software, film or music piracy
- Stealing, using, or disclosing someone else’s password without authorization
- Downloading, copying or pirating software and electronic files that are copyrighted or without authorization
- Sharing confidential material, trade secrets, or proprietary information outside of the organization
- Hacking into unauthorized websites
- Sending or posting information that is defamatory to the company, its products/services, colleagues and/or customers
- Introducing malicious software onto the company network and/or jeopardizing the security of the organization’s electronic communications systems
- Sending or posting chain letters, solicitations, or advertisements not related to business purposes or activities
- Passing off personal views as representing those of the organization
If an employee is unsure about what constituted acceptable Internet usage, then he/she should ask his/her supervisor for further guidance and clarification.
All terms and conditions as stated in this document are applicable to all users of <company’s> network and Internet connection. All terms and conditions as stated in this document reflect an agreement of all parties and should be governed and interpreted in accordance with the policies and procedures mentioned above. Any user violating these policies is subject to disciplinary actions deemed appropriate by <company>.
I understand and will abide by this Sample Internet Usage Policy. I further understand that should I commit any violation of this policy, my access privileges may be revoked, disciplinary action and/or appropriate legal action may be taken.
Any breaches of the policy can be addressed by the network administrator, who is given control to oversee what downloads and site browsing is occurring on the network and the Internet within the workplace, through a user-friendly interface.