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Sample Policy
E-mail and Internet Use Policy

Acceptable Uses of the Internet and Company E-Mail

___________________ (Company) encourages the use of the Internet and e-mail because they make communication more efficient and effective. However, Internet service and e-mail are company property, and they are to be used only to facilitate company business. Every employee has a responsibility to maintain and enhance the company's public image and to use company e-mail and Internet access in a productive manner. The company has established the following guidelines for using e-mail and the Internet. Any unauthorized or improper use of e-mail or the Internet is not acceptable and will not be permitted.

Unacceptable Uses of the Internet and Company E-Mail
The company e-mail and Internet access may not be used for transmitting, retrieving or storing any communications of a discriminatory or harassing nature or materials that are obscene or X-rated. Harassment of any kind is prohibited. No messages with derogatory or inflammatory remarks about an individual's race, age, disability, religion, national origin, physical attributes or sexual orientation may be transmitted or forwarded using the company system. No abusive, profane or offensive language may be transmitted through the company's e-mail or Internet system. The company's harassment policy applies in full to e-mail and Internet use. Employees do not have a personal privacy right regarding any matter created, received, stored or sent from or on the company's e-mail or Internet system or computers.

The company e-mail and Internet system also may not be used for any other purpose that is illegal, against company policy or contrary to the company's best interest. Solicitation of noncompany business or any use of the company e-mail or Internet system for personal gain is prohibited.

Rules for Electronic Communication
Each employee is responsible for the content of all text, audio or images that he or she places on send over the company's e-mail or Internet system. Employees may not hide their identities or represent that any e-mail or other electronic communications were sent from someone else or someone from another company. Employees must include their name in all messages communicated on the company's e-mail or Internet system.

Any messages or information sent by an employee to another individual outside the company via company e-mail or Internet system (including bulletin boards, online services or Internet sites) are statements that reflect on the company. Despite personal "disclaimers" in electronic messages, any statements may be tied to the company.

All communications sent by employees via the company's e-mail or Internet system must comply with all company policies and may not disclose any confidential or proprietary company information.

If employees receive unsolicited e-mail from outside the company that appears to violate this policy, the employee should notify his or her supervisor immediately. Similarly, if any employee accidentally accesses an inappropriate web site in the normal course of business, the employee should notify his or her supervisor immediately.

Downloading software
To prevent the downloading of computer viruses that could contaminate the e-mail or Internet system, no employee may download software from the Internet without prior authorization. Any and all software that is downloaded from the Internet must be registered to the company. For authorization, please contact the system administrator.

Copyright and Trademark Issues
Copyrighted and trademarked material that does not belong to the company may not be transmitted by employees on the company's e-mail or Internet system without permission from the holder of the copyright or trademark. Every employee who obtains access to other companies' or individuals' materials must respect all copyrights and trademarks any may not copy, retrieve, modify or forward copyrighted materials, except with permission or as a single copy for reference only.

System Security
The company reserves the right to routinely monitor how employees use e-mail and the Internet. The company may monitor to measure cost analysis/allocation and the management of the company's gateway to the Internet. All messages created, sent or received over the company's e-mail or Internet system are the company's property and should not be considered private information. The company reserves the right to access and monitor every message and file on the company's e-mail or Internet system. Despite the existence of any passwords, employees should not assume that any electronic communication is private. Highly confidential information or data should be transmitted in other ways.

Violations
Any employee who violates these rules or otherwise abuses the privilege of the company's e-mail or Internet system will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination. If necessary, the company also reserves the right to advise appropriate officials of any illegal activities.

Contributed by smarti, participant on Employers' Forum

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