Computer Policies for EmployersWhile the internet and email are essential tools for reaching out to customers, companies should be aware that there are many potential risks associated with allowing employees unlimited access to the web and email.
In terms of lost working time, the internet can be a huge drain on a company's resources. Employees who appear to be working can in fact be conducting private conversations, shopping, or downloading illegal information onto the company's systems, quite apart from the possibility of introducing viruses and other malicious software. Senior managers should think hard about why employees need internet access before granting it, and should set up controls to protect the company's interests.
Email is also a powerful tool in contacting customers and suppliers, but is consequently dangerous if used badly. Staff may be accustomed to using email socially in a very casual way, but business emails are a public expression of the company and its values, and an unprofessional email reflects badly on the organisation. In extreme cases companies may be held responsible for abusive or obscene emails sent by their staff. Personal emails can contain programs or other attachments containing viruses that can be extremely damaging to a company, and in particular to its reputation if the company then spreads them through its outgoing emails.
Race Associates can advise on setting up policies to control web and email access. These controls generally comprise two related parts:
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