All information stored on Company systems, including but not limited to computers, networks, voice mail, electronic mail ("e-mail") and telephone records, is considered Company property. The Company reserves the right to access, review, copy, disclose, and delete any messages sent, received or stored on these systems for any purpose and to disclose them to any party (inside or outside the Company) that it deems appropriate without prior notice.
Even voice mail or e-mail messages deleted or erased by an employee may not be permanently deleted from the Company's systems, and the Company retains the right to access them for so long as the information may be obtained from any source. Employees are required to provide their passwords to authorized Company personnel so that the Company may retrieve, review and respond to voice mail and e-mail messages as it deems appropriate in its sole discretion.
Employees use the voice mail and e-mail systems at the Company's expense to assist them in conducting Company business. These systems are to be used for business-related purposes. Employees are encouraged and advised not to use these systems to communicate personal messages, records or information, as there is no guarantee or expectation regarding the privacy of such personal information. Should employees nonetheless make use of either system to communicate personal messages or information, the Company reserves the right to access, review, copy, delete or disclose them for any purpose. Accordingly, employees should not use these systems to send, receive or store any information that they wish to keep private.
Messages transmitted by e-mail or voice mail should be courteous, professional and business-like. Employees may not use the voice mail or e-mail systems to transmit offensive, obscene, harassing or defamatory messages, or messages that disclose personal information about other individuals without authorization. Provided below is a non-exclusive list of prohibited activities in which voice-mail, e-mail and internet users may not engage. When considering the propriety of engaging in a particular act, employees should be guided by both the specific prohibitions provided below and the general objectives and guidelines expressed in this Policy Statement. Prohibited activities include:
a) Using any words, images, or references that could be viewed as obscene, derogatory, or racially, sexually, ethnically or otherwise offensive to colleagues, customers, suppliers or competitors.
b) Creating, accessing, downloading or transmitting messages or images that might be considered inappropriate in the workplace, including, but not limited to, messages or images that are lewd, obscene or pornographic and messages or images that might be considered offensive or harassing due to their reference to race, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital preference, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability or other protected status.
c) Using voice mail, e-mail or the internet to harass, intimidate or annoy other persons.
d) Spreading "chain mail" and other frivolous communications.
e) Downloading, copying or transmitting software and/or documents protected by copyrights.
f) Downloading any other software or materials (such as on-line publications) unless the Company's Systems Manager has approved such download and has taken appropriate anti-virus measures.
g) Using encryption devices and software that have not been expressly authorized by the Company.
h) Opening e-mail messages from unknown or unidentified external sources. Such messages may contain computer viruses capable of causing substantial damage to the Company's computer system.
Employees who violate this Policy or any other Company policy in connection with the use of these systems are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination of employment.
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