Acceptable Use Policy Template

Acceptable Use Policy Template

Posted by Peter Bassill on 05/01/2021

The aim of this Policy is to enable the business to operate effectively and efficiently, to comply with legislation, regulations, information standards (ISO/IEC27001, PCI-DSS, CE & CE Plus) and good practice, and to safeguard information and data against potential loss by theft, malicious or accidental damage, or breach of privacy or confidentiality.
The purpose of this policy is to outline the acceptable use of computer equipment within the firm. These rules are in place to protect the employee and our firm. Inappropriate use exposes the firm to risks including virus attacks, compromise of network systems and services, and legal issues.
This policy applies to the use of information, electronic and computing devices, and network resources to conduct business or interact with internal networks and business systems, whether owned or leased by {company_name}, the employee, or a third party. All employees, contractors, consultants, temporary, and other workers at {company_name} and its subsidiaries are responsible for exercising good judgment regarding appropriate use of information, electronic devices, and network resources in accordance with {company_name} policies and standards, and local laws and regulation. Exceptions to this policy are documented within this policy.
This policy applies to employees, contractors, consultants, temporaries, and other workers at {company_name}, including all personnel affiliated with third parties. This policy applies to all equipment that is owned or leased by {company_name}.
General Use and Ownership
{company_name} proprietary information stored on electronic and computing devices whether owned or leased by {company_name}, the employee or a third party, remains the sole property of {company_name}. You must ensure through legal or technical means that proprietary information is protected in accordance with geographically applicable Data Protection Acts.
You have a responsibility to promptly report the theft, loss or unauthorised disclosure of {company_name} proprietary information.
You may access, use or share {company_name} proprietary information only to the extent it is authorised and necessary to fulfill your assigned job duties.
Employees are responsible for exercising good judgment regarding the reasonableness of personal use. Individual departments are responsible for creating guidelines concerning personal use of Internet/Intranet/Extranet systems. In the absence of such policies, employees should be guided by departmental policies on personal use, and if there is any uncertainty, employees should consult their supervisor or manager.
For security and network maintenance purposes, authorised individuals within {company_name} may monitor equipment, systems and network traffic at any time.
{company_name} reserves the right to audit networks and systems on a periodic basis to ensure compliance with this policy.
Security and Proprietary Information
All mobile and computing devices that connect to the internal network must comply with the Minimum Access Policy.
System level and user level passwords must comply with the Password Policy. Providing access to another individual, either deliberately or through failure to secure its access, is prohibited.
All computing devices must be secured with a password-protected screensaver with the automatic activation feature set to 10 minutes or less. You must lock the screen or log off when the device is unattended.
Postings by employees from a {company_name} email address to newsgroups should contain a disclaimer stating that the opinions expressed are strictly their own and not necessarily those of {company_name}, unless posting is in the course of business duties.
Employees must use extreme caution when opening e-mail attachments received from unknown senders, which may contain malware.
Acceptable Use
The following activities are, in general, prohibited. Employees may be exempted from these restrictions during the course of their legitimate job responsibilities (e.g., systems administration staff may have a need to disable the network access of a host if that host is disrupting production services). Under no circumstances is an employee of {company_name} authorised to engage in any activity that is illegal under law while utilising {company_name} owned resources. The lists below are by no means exhaustive, but attempt to provide a framework for activities which fall into the category of unacceptable use.
System and Network Activities
The following activities are strictly prohibited, with no exceptions:

Violations of the rights of any person or company protected by copyright, trade secret, patent or other intellectual property, or similar laws or regulations, including, but not limited to, the installation or distribution of "pirated" or other software products that are not appropriately licensed for use by {company_name}.
Unauthorised copying of copyrighted material including, but not limited to, digitisation and distribution of photographs from magazines, books or other copyrighted sources, copyrighted music, and the installation of any copyrighted software for which {company_name} or the end user does not have an active license is strictly prohibited.
Accessing data, a server or an account for any purpose other than conducting {company_name} business, even if you have authorised access, is prohibited.
Exporting software, technical information, encryption software or technology, in violation of international or regional export control laws, is illegal. The appropriate management should be consulted prior to export of any material that is in question.
Introduction of malicious programs into the {company_name} network or servers (e.g., viruses, worms, Trojan horses, e-mail bombs, etc.).
Disabling or attempting to interfere with the Trend Micro Security Agent or other endpoint protection where installed.
Revealing your account password to others or allowing use of your account by others. This includes family and other household members when work is being done at home.
Using a {company_name} computing asset to actively engage in procuring or transmitting material that is in violation of sexual harassment or hostile workplace laws in the user's local jurisdiction.
Making fraudulent offers of products, items, or services originating from any {company_name} account.
Making statements about warranty, expressly or implied, unless it is a part of normal job duties.
Effecting security breaches or disruptions of network communication when not involved in Penetration Testing. Security breaches include, but are not limited to:

accessing data of which the employee is not an intended recipient
logging into a server or account that the employee is not expressly authorised to access, unless these duties are within the scope of regular duties.
Causing network disruption. "disruption" includes, but is not limited to:

network sniffing
ping floods
packet spoofing
denial of service
forged routing information for malicious purposes.

Port scanning or security scanning is expressly prohibited unless prior notification to Lead Penetration Tester is made.
Executing any form of network monitoring which will intercept data not intended for the employee's host, unless this activity is a part of the employee's normal job/duty.
Circumventing user authentication or security of any host, network or account.
Introducing honeypots, honeynets, or similar technology on the {company_name} network.
Interfering with or denying service to any user other than the employee's host (for example, denial of service attack).
Using any program/script/command, or sending messages of any kind, with the intent to interfere with, or disable, a user's terminal session, via any means, locally or via the Internet/Intranet/Extranet.
Providing information about, or lists of, {company_name} employees to parties outside {company_name}.
Transporting any storage medium unencrypted outside of the office.

Email and Communication Activities
When using company resources to access and use the Internet, users must realise they represent the company. Whenever employees state an affiliation to the company, they must also clearly indicate that "the opinions expressed are my own and not necessarily those of the company". Questions may be addressed to the CEO. The following is prohibited in email and other forms of communication:

Sending unsolicited email messages, including the sending of "junk mail" or other advertising material to individuals who did not specifically request such material (email spam).
Any form of harassment via email, telephone or paging, whether through language, frequency, or size of messages.
Unauthorised use, or forging, of email header information.
Solicitation of email for any other email address, other than that of the poster's account, with the intent to harass or to collect replies.
Creating or forwarding "chain letters", "Ponzi" or other "pyramid" schemes of any type.
Use of unsolicited email originating from within {company_name} networks of other Internet/Intranet/Extranet service providers on behalf of, or to advertise, any service hosted by {company_name} or connected via {company_name} network.
Posting the same or similar non-business-related messages to large numbers of Usenet newsgroups (newsgroup spam).

Blogging and Social Media 

Blogging by employees, whether using {company_name}’s property and systems or personal computer systems, is also subject to the terms and restrictions set forth in this Policy. Limited and occasional use of {company_name}’s systems to engage in blogging is acceptable, provided that it is done in a professional and responsible manner, does not otherwise violate {company_name}’s policy, is not detrimental to {company_name}’s best interests, and does not interfere with an employee's regular work duties. Blogging from {company_name}’s systems is also subject to monitoring.
{company_name}’s Confidential Information policy also applies to blogging. As such, Employees are prohibited from revealing any {company_name} confidential or proprietary information, trade secrets or any other material covered by {company_name}’s Confidential Information policy when engaged in blogging.
Employees shall not engage in any blogging that may harm or tarnish the image, reputation and/or goodwill of {company_name} and/or any of its employees. Employees are also prohibited from making any discriminatory, disparaging, defamatory or harassing comments when blogging or otherwise engaging in any conduct prohibited by {company_name}’s Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment

Employees may also not attribute personal statements, opinions or beliefs to {company_name} when engaged in blogging. If an employee is expressing his or her beliefs and/or opinions in blogs, the employee may not, expressly or implicitly, represent themselves as an employee or representative of {company_name}. Employees assume any and all risk associated with blogging.
Apart from following all laws pertaining to the handling and disclosure of copyrighted or export controlled materials, {company_name}’s trademarks, logos and any other {company_name} intellectual property may also not be used in connection with any blogging activity

All systems will be disposed of in a safe and secure manner once failed. No maintenance will be performed on any assets.
Compliance Measurement
Management will verify compliance to this policy through various methods, including but not limited to, business tool reports, internal and external audits, and feedback to the policy owner.
Any exceptions to the policy must be approved by the CEO in advance.
Any employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

Data Classification Policy
Data Protection Standard
Social Media Policy
Minimum Access Policy

Password Policy 

Download the Policy Template

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