Policy on Use of Company Equipment and Resources

This is an example policy. We do not recommend it for any purpose.

The equipment and resources (including telephony and computer equipment) of the company have been obtained for the benefit of the company, and staff or other people have no right to use them for any other purpose. However, the company will allow staff to use the equipment and resources for personal purposes provided that this does not interfere with the working of the company and it does not cause significant incremental costs. Staff should seek the permission of their manager in any unclear cases. If the personal purpose is education or self-improvement (eg. studying for an exam) managers are advised to be more generous with their approval. Use of company equipment or resources by people who are not staff must be approved beforehand by an appropriate manager.

Staff should also be aware that their use of company equipment and resources may be monitored for various reasons and purposes, such as:

  1. The recording function is a feature of the equipment used.
  2. To find the usage levels of the equipment and resources in order to assess the need for it and plan future purchases that suite the company requirements.
  3. To check for misuse of the resources or equipment.

Guidelines and Examples

  1. Legitimate visitors to the offices (delivery people, agents of customers or suppliers etc.) are permitted to use the phone system for local calls. They should normally use the phone in reception, they should not be allowed to use a phone with International dialing access (unless approved by a manager).
  2. Outside of their working time, staff may use the phones for local personal calls. They may use the phones for short local personal calls in their working time if it is strictly necessary to make the call within office hours (eg. calling the Inland Revenue concerning personal taxation), but should schedule such calls to minimise the disruption to their work or the work of other staff.
  3. Outside of their working time, staff may use email and the Internet for personal purposes provided that this does not interfere with company requirements.

Monitoring

  1. The phone system logs the first 30 digits dialed (not including the 9 for an outside line), the originating extension and the duration when an outside call is made. Details of incomming calls are not currently logged, but they may be in future (installation of a Caller ID system could allow automatic presentation of client details when a client calls).
  2. The email system logs the address of the sender and recipient, and the message size. A badly addressed message will usually result in the complete message being sent to the system administrator for problem resolution.
  3. Browsing the Web. Browsers keep a list of recently visted sites that could be viewed after your session. They also keep a local cache of the pages recently visited, including images. Our browsers are configured to use a local proxy server that logs all requests made and keeps a larger cache of pages. Requests may also be directed via an external proxy server at our ISP which proabably also keeps logs.

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