Internet Usage Policy
Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to assign the charge and commitment to employees for the use of email and internet. This also emphasize on the fact that the employee is using internet with the same value and ethics as they are using in other areas of their work. The email and internet usage must be conducted professionally.
Scope: This Policy applies to all regular employee of the company.
The email and internet access policy for employees is formed on the basis of following principles:
1. Email and other electronic data must be used by an employee majorly for business purpose. It must be used by an employee in a way that it does not damage the company’s reputation. It should however must contribute to the effective operations of the company.
2. The employee is solely responsible for the use of internet and email. Employee will be held liable for an activity which is related to the breach of internet policy.
3. All the material stored on any electronic device for any business purpose remains the property of the company.
Employee – An employee includes all the employees of the company who have access to company’s electronic mail and internet.
Offensive material - Offensive material includes messages or pictures which are obscene, insulting, harassing, sexist, pornographic, threatening or otherwise inappropriate.
Email Policy statement:
According to email policy statement means that all forms of emails are meant to be used only for business purpose. Sometimes it can be used for personal purpose till the time it is not excessive or inappropriate and it is not at the cost of official work. Use is defined as excessive or inappropriate when its use obstructs the normal working of an organisation.Similarly the email access policy says that the company reserves the right to access all data and files in any network system used in the company. The company also reserve the right to monitor all the content that is sent or received by electronic mail, Content that is sent or received by electronic mail. Employees must be aware that company has the right on any material sent or received by them.
- No employee has the right to view or to have access to other employees email until unless permitted by senior officials.
- Electronic mails are subject to all times monitoring and the release of specific information is subject to applicable company’s law.
- Also the company’s email security procedure says email messages received should not be altered without sender’s permission nor email be altered or forwarded to another user.
What are different types of emails?
Broadly email can be differentiated as personal or business email as per email usage.
- Business email: Emails that are sent or received to carry on organisational business.
- Personal email: Emails that are meant for personal purpose.
With the way of writing of business email can be defined further as
• Newsletter: Newsletter are most popular type of email. It majorly consists of information on upcoming event.
• Standalone email: These are types of email which are sent for specific purpose and put the call to action front and centre.
• Lead Nurturing: These emails are typically a series of related emails which are sent over a period of several days or week.
• Transactional email: These are types of emails which are sent for day to day operations.
• Milestone email: Emails which are sent for special occasions.
• Plain text emails: Emails sent without any HTML element as a plain text.
• Mobile optimized: Optimized on Mobile devices.
How to write a formal business email / Etiquette to write down a business email
The email writing process in business is the most common form of business communication. So it becomes important to write it well. Though email writing is not as formal as letter however there are certain points to be kept in mind before writing.
• Always start the email with greetings– Start the email with greetings such as Dear xyz, If the relationship is more formal one can use family name foreg. Mrs. Sharma. If the relationship is more casual we can write HI xyz, If names of the person is unknown we can write dear sir/ mam.
• Thank the recipient – In case one is replying an email it must always start with thanks. Similarly if someone has inquired about your company, always write thanks for contacting ABC Company. Also in case someone has replied to your email always write thanks for your prompt reply.
• Purpose of email– After thanking the recipient state the purpose of writing an email in the first few lines. After making your purpose clear early move to the main text of the email. Try to keep the sentences short and precise. While writing an email keep in mind the correct use of grammar, spellings etc. so that you maintain a good image of your company.
• Add your closing remarks: In business email writing before ending the email one should politely thanks the reader one more time. The following types of sentences can be used such as :
Thanks for your patience and cooperation
Thanks for your consideration
In case you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us.
• End with a closure: The business email etiquette stress upon the inclusion of closure in the business email.
• We use like “Best regards”, “Thanks and rewards”, “Thank you with the name.
Email security guidelines:
The following guidelines to be used as per the email security policy.
• Think 2-3 times before opening any attachment in the email no matter an attachment has been sent by someone trusted.
• Attachments are the primary way to spread virus on the internet.
• The email address can be moulded easily so don’t trust the content of email.
• Don’t easily trust an email sent from bank or credit card Company for password or other confidential information. Companies do not ask for these details from customers on email. Verify with your bank first.
• Do not open attachment on any status or confirmation email from the email address not recognized by you. If you suspect any illegal act confirm first with the bank or the company.
• Be sceptical if someone requests you to pay some money basis an advertisement etc. It can be a complete fraudulent message.
• Never send confidential information like bank account number, credit card number through an email, it may be a threat to your confidential information.
• Create a group while sending an email to several persons. This protects the personal email address. It also prevent any virus attack which may be aimed at the address of the email.
• There should not be exchange of heated argument on emails.
• Email addresses must be checked carefully as guided by email security policy. This is done to minimise the risk of sending emails to a wrong person.
• Confidential information should not be sent with an attachment. It must be sent with a hyperlink which takes the user to the desired file.
• In case some confidential information is being sent or received by email double check it.
Email privacy: According to Wikipedia “Email privacy” is the broad topic that deals with the issues of unauthorised access and inspection of emails. This unauthorised email access can happen while an email is in transit, as well as when it is stored on email servers or on a user computer.
The Challenge of email privacy in business communications:
Other way is the use of some technology like cloud. It also provides email virus protection.
Benefits of using latest technology for email privacy
1. Greater email privacy: as per email security policy IT administration cannot view information sent with email privacy settings, some latest technology allows server to server encryption.
2. Simplicity: Simple to use. User does not have to go in depth of technology.
3. Better control: Such technology provides better control on the message sent or received.
4. Customisable branding: Sending or receiving of secured email works follows email compliance and increases organisational brand value.
With the setting up of email system in a company the employer owns it and he/she can’t be questioned to review its contents. Messages sent within and outside of the company are subject to monitoring by employer.
Why to Monitor?
To make the email communication secured employers may be required to review employee communications in connection with investigation of possible misconduct. Also, companies which deal with sensitive data fears that such data can be leaked outside therefore email privacy and monitoring is done by the companies.
Guidelines for email monitoring:
1. Email must be used only for business purpose.
2. If the business demands the employer will monitor email and may even disclose content of email even after they have been deleted.
3. Personal use of email is allowed occasionally but only up to an extent they are not misused. Employer can monitor personal email also like business emails.
4. No business task can be performed using the personal emails.
5. Employees must keep in mind all guidelines while drafting an email like one does in writing a formal letter.
6. Till the time technology does not allow any company trade secret and confidential information can be shared with email. This is as per email policy guidelines.
7. Use of employer’s communication system constitutes consent to monitoring.
8. Any failure in email compliance may result in strict disciplinary action which may lead to termination.
9. Responsibility of monitoring must be given to a selected group of employees.
10. Implement uniform system for periodic deletion of email after certain time duration.
One of the most important purposes of email is sending or receiving confidential data. It should be simply written that message should be read only by original recipient and its sharing is strictly prohibited. Though monitoring of email is done however sharing of information is related to the laws applicable on confidentiality. Rules and regulations of email security procedure are applicable in sharing of information.
Different uses of an email:
Before studying the different uses of an email let’s have a look on “What is an email”?
According to Wikipedia “Email is a method of exchanging messages between people using electronic device.
Though we have different kind of means of communication email is one of the most popular method and is a necessity today like telephone number and mailing address.
Some uses of an email are:
1. It is one of the most in expensive means of communication.
2. The email writing in business is one of the most popular means of writing.
3. It can communicate across different geographical locations.
4. Communication can happen with more than one person at a time.
5. The interaction and communication which takes place through an email gets documented.
6. Messages can be delivered to any person any time with no time foundation.
7. The purpose of email is also to work collaboratively.
8. It can also be used sending attachment thus saves time taken in sending a document physically.
9. Messages sent and received can be searched at any point in time.
10. Multiple people can talk together via thread of email.
11. Company created email has capacity to integrate calendars and appointments.
Personal electronic equipments
It is strictly prohibited in the company the use of removable storage device and the same can’t be used in office as per email and internet access policy for employees. However if the business or job position demands use of any such device it can be used with special permission. No personal computers or storage device to be brought in the workplace or connected to any company based electronic system until unless permitted by the company.
Employee bringing in personal computer or any other device which is connectable to computer are liable to monitoring by the company personnel. Any file data, device can be checked at any point in time. This comes under email privacy and monitoring guidelines.
Statement for internet usage policy for
The internet is used towards the fulfilment of organisational mission and also to provide service of highest quality to the organisational employees. Internet usage is meant to support the job related purpose. Immediate managers must work collaboratively with employees to determine the usability of internet for professional activities and career development.
• Basically internet is being used by an employee for research, professional development and work related communications. However occasionally Internet can be used for personal use.
• Employees are personally responsible for any damage occurring as a result of usage of internet.
• All organisational policies and guidelines apply to employees conduct on internet.
Internet access policy for employees:
• Using internet has its own pros and cons It is one of the necessity to operate business but same time its misuse can be a big liability for the company. A proper internet usage policy can help an organisation to reap the benefits of internet and minimise the hazards.
• A well thought policy ensures employee use the internet productively mention clearly what is allowed and what is not allowed and procedures are put to minimum risks.
Internet access rules guidelines:
1. Internet access can be given to some or all employees depending upon the work conditions. For e g. It is must in service industry however used by few in a factory setup.
2. Company must make sure to use firewall and security software.
3. Usage of personal device to computer is strictly prohibited.
4. Employees are advised to access only officially allowed websites.
5. All employees are provided with company email address to carry on business communication.
6. Employees are encouraged to limit the personal use of internet. There should be limited internet usage for personal work.
7. Employees are given access to only those websites to browse which are officially allowed.
8. Company’s confidential data also has restricted access.
9. It must also be communicated to employees that we would majorly be used for business purpose only.
10. As most of the social networking sites distract an employee and are a big time waste so their use is banned in company premises.
11. For productive internet usage sites which are largely problematic are banned to be used.
12. Some websites consumes loads of bandwidth so their use is not allowed.
13. Online sales of commodities are not allowed in the company premises.
14. For company websites an individual is responsible for complete handling and would decide how other employees and contractor would be involved.
15. Infringement into other employees IPR is strictly prohibited.
16. The policy must be communicated to all employees.
Prohibited activities while using company’s internet
1. Excessive personal use of internet and email which interfere with working of the employee is not allowed.
2. Display or storage of any obscene material.
3. Act of gambling
4. Downloading of personal games etc.
5. Storage of non business related applications on personal computers.
6. Doing business of any kind for personal use
7. Deleting company records without permission.
8. Sending personal images
9. Use of electronic device without permission.
10. Downloading or circulating pirated material.
11. Circulation of any message which contains harassing, defamatory or threatening behaviour.