Email and the Internet are here to stay! Both have become a vital part of business and personal communication.
We understand its benefits and sometimes berate its downsides; too much email, lack of personal communication, privacy, discrimination, breach of copyright, spam, the risk of employees accessing inappropriate material and using employer resources for personal gain.
What Should I Include in my Electronic Mail & Internet Policy? We recommend that you implement email and Internet policies that include the following key elements:
1. Policies & Procedures
- Computer Policies & Procedures
- Email & Internet for Business & Private Use
Ensure that you have comprehensive computer policies and procedures protect you from legal risk for using your email and Internet facilities.
Communicate these policies and procedures to your employees and new starts – ensure that they sign off on these policies. 2. Email for Business & Private Use
Be upfront – use of email and the Internet is for business use. If you allow reasonable private use, specify when (lunch break) and the type of mail employees may compose (electronic banking, child-care arrangements, etc).
Be specific on what an employee may not access or use email or the Internet for (breach of copyright, spam, masquerading, personal business gain, acts that incite hatred, discrimination, to name a few). 3. Audit
Your policies and procedures should inform employees that you conduct regular computer audits in line with legislation. This is not an invasive procedure but is designed to protect your business.
No matter what the size of your business, whether you have stand-alone computers or you are networked, ensure that your computer logs are audited on a frequent basis.Philip Lye is Director of Biz Momentum Pty Ltd. He works with small to medium businesses to help them cut through the maze of people matters. Clients get specific actionable strategies to protect their business interests. For more information on Philip, visit www.biz-momentum.com and subscribe to his free monthly e-zine.