Assets are a vital part of your business. They can be physical items (e.g., cars, buildings, or machinery) or intellectual property (e.g., trademarks, patents). The inappropriate use of these assets could lead to lawsuits and even bankruptcy for your company. That is why you must have an acceptable use of assets template in place before you start using any asset in your business operations. This template is a document that guides the proper use of assets. It is to be used by both employees and contractors to ensure that they appropriately use company resources. In addition, it provides a set of guidelines to help ensure that you can use assets freely without any risk of legal action.
These are the different categories of AUP (Acceptable use policy):
- Acceptable Use Policy Guidelines - These define what is allowed on company computers and internet access while at work.
- Acceptable Use Policy Rules - These list specific examples of unacceptable behavior such as downloading illegal software or sharing confidential information with outsiders.
- Acceptable Use Policy Consequences – These are the consequences an employee must face in case of a security breach. They could be terminated or face serious lawsuits.
This template will also help you maintain the confidentiality of what is on your computer or network, as well as who has access to it. The list below is life-changing reasons to use this template today!
- You can keep track of changes made to any files or folders in your system, so you know when they were last modified.
- You can prevent unauthorized software from being installed on your company's computers, which could lead to the theft of confidential data.
- Your employees will not be able to install programs without permission from IT staff
Importance of Acceptable use policy :
The importance of an acceptable use policy cannot be understated. From a protect your company standpoint, it is not just about protecting yourself from legal action. It is also about protecting your employees and customers by instilling guidelines for appropriate behavior on the internet. These policies are important because they set out limits to what is allowed in terms of content that you produce and share online and how people can behave when interacting with other members of your community or organization.
The following is a sample template that you may want to consider using as a starting point when drafting your AUP:
- All users must abide by all applicable laws and regulations on any device connected to Company networks and systems (but not limited to copyright law).
- Users shall not engage in any activity which interferes with another user's ability to utilize Company network assets effectively
Components of Acceptable use policy :
There are three main components to an acceptable use policy:
1.List the prohibited activities-
2.Outline the consequences of violating the agreement-Below is a list of some potential implications for those who violate their company's policies:
- Disciplinary action including, but not limited to termination or suspension without pay
- Loss of license or credentials from professional organizations
3.Provide instructions on how people can report misconduct-
- Gather evidence
- Report the incident
- Follow up with your complaints department after filing your complaint.
- Seek legal advice if necessary
How to create Acceptable use policy
These policies are unique as different companies have their approach to apply them. Therefore, you need to consider how it will change the work culture and the disadvantages of its implementation.
Use a template- You can use a template as per your requirements. Some organizations have an AUP template that defines acceptable use of the equipment and computing services and the appropriate employee security measures to protect the organization's corporate resources and proprietary information.
- Easy to understand- Use words that the employees easily understand. Test the knowledge of your employees to make sure they have read and understood it.
- Write down the purpose of the policy- Both companies and individuals need to have an AUP because it can protect you from liability in the event of misuse by a user. The policy should make sense so that the employees will understand its purpose. The rules should be practical and specific. In case of any problem, how and in which areas would it impact the organization? The policies should focus on those kinds of issues and be involved in preventing those issues.
- Revisit the policy- As technology changes, the guidelines will have to adjust themselves. Even if the organization has established a strong culture, everyone needs to be reminded of the policies and changes in the guidelines.
- Awareness - The organization should make its employees aware of how its network can get infected by downloading stealthy malware or irresponsible browsing. It makes them understand that policies are not meant to deny them access to the internet.
- Data- The company holds confidential information like a client, employee, product service, and other details. Explaining how the data is collected, processed, used is an essential part of this policy, and it needs to be protected. Examining the internal data process may help identify and address any weakness as to how data is handled.
- Appropriate conduct when using email -The rise in the number of people who use email has also led to an increase in inappropriate behavior on the internet. Whether it is spamming or phishing, there are many ways that you can protect yourself and your business by educating yourself about appropriate conduct when using email or other electronic communications. Take time to educate the team on how to spot, avoid, handle threats.
- Review the policy with HR and legal teams- Before implementing the AUP review it with the lawyer to ensure the company does not cross any boundaries or break any laws. Taking feedback from the employees and manager is also a good idea.