Risking Your Business with no Internet and Email Policy?

The internet is a scary place. Yeah – we all know how good it is and also how potentially bad it is as well. Do you really want to invite the ‘bad apples’ into your business? Not likely I would say.

Don’t risk your business. Be smart and enforce the rules and policies to your team. You cannot afford to risk something happening in your business as it will just be a colossal waste of time.

Colossal Waste of Time

You cannot afford to waste time dealing with problems that come from the internet. These problems can be huge. Information Technology is a very big area and ensuring your system is secure should be a priority.

Further to this, you should ensure your team understand what their actions can cause and educating them through a policy is the best way to communicate the rules to everyone.


What are some of the risks?

Image of Risky

The risks can be significant. They could take down your business. Here is a list of risks. Have you considered all of them?

Image of Tiny Risk Hackers

Malware. Viruses. You name it. This stuff will take down your system before you even get out of bed. Don’t risk it.

Image of Tiny Risk Stealing

Identity Theft. People taking your Client and Staff details. Eaow!

Image of Tiny Risk NSFW – Inappropriate Content

You don’t need complaints between team members about this stuff. It could get you in some hot water as a business owner fast.

Image of Tiny Risk Data Loss

Losing completed work is never a fun experience. Imagine having to do it again. Arrrrg !

Image of Tiny Risk Social Waste of Time

Social Networking will burn up your productive hours like nothing else. Lost productivity due to staff on social media will be the ‘death knell’ of your small business. You expect better than this so don’t let it happen. Enforce an appropriate policy to fiend off a case of the ‘socials’.

Image of Tiny Risk Stealing IP and Copyright

Does your business do good work? The last thing you want to do is let someone have it. Protect your Intellectual Property and Copyright to your hard earned work.

That is just some of the risks you are up against with no policy regarding internet and email usage in your organization.


3 Advantages of Having Good Policies

Policies are good for you, your business and your team. Think you can wing it without them? Chances are you can. But it is much easier not to.

Here are 3 reasons you should have them in your business.

1. Expectations

This is a big one yeah? Your team know exactly where you standard and what your expectations are. No second guessing here.

2. Communication

It forces communication to occur. People typically don’t communicate that well, so creating policies helps to fix this.

3. Preparation for Hard Times

Policies help you prepare for when things get tough. Having a small business is already tough. Be prepared and get your policies in place so you are ready just in case it gets tougher.


So what Does a Good Policy Look Like?

Image of Thumbs Up

Well firstly it is easy to read and understand. Nobody likes reading mumbo jumbo with big words and hard to understand language.

Your team are not professor’s (unless you work for a university) so don’t bamboozle them with jargon and technical terms that are just too difficult.

Keep it simple and simple enough to understand the consequences. There are resources like Acceptable Use Policy online that might be worth reading as well.

You can also refer to the Digital Document Direct Internet and Email Policy Template to save time.


Detail Drilldown

Image of Detail Drilldown

So to kick things off, let’s take a look at the detail. This is called Detail Drill-down in some countries…..


Provide an Aim

Providing an Aim is a good idea.

Image of Tiny Tick Something like this:

AIM
Your Company Name is committed to providing a fair and equitable work environment and that all employees will be treated fairly, equally and consistently.


Application of the Policy

Then you can talk about how the policy applies to their job and your business.

Image of Tiny Tick Something like this:

APPLICATION OF THIS POLICY
This Policy applies to all employees of Company. This Policy does not form part of any contract between an employee and Company. The activity of this Policy isn’t restricted to the working environment or work hours.

This Policy includes all activities that are business related or out of work related of the representative that may affect Your Company Name. A business-related activity is any activity that is associated with work, for instance work gatherings, Client events and so on.


Be Specific About Your Expectations

You want your team to know exactly what they are thinking. Otherwise they will be guessing.

List out your expectations.

Image of Tiny Tick Something like this:

SPECIFIC PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES
Specific prohibited activities include (but not limited to):

– sending emails that discriminate;
– sending or forwarding non-business emails;
– viewing pornography;
– sending pornographic jokes or stories via email;
– utilizing the internet, email or computer systems for private
– business or personal reasons;
– hacking;
– stealing or using someone else’s password;
– sharing confidential information;
– downloading pirated software;
– introducing malicious software;
– passing off personal views as representing those of the organization.

The Heavy Stuff

Image of Heavy Weight Lifting

Then you can talk about the heavy stuff.

Image of Tiny Tick Something like this:

DISCIPLINARY ACTION
An employee might be the subject of disciplinary action for issues including (however not restricted to):

– Poor Performance;
– Poor Conduct;
– Misconduct.

Informal Disciplinary Action
Informal disciplinary action may include:

– Retraining;
– Reassignment of roles;
– Counseling;
– Direct supervision.

Formal Disciplinary Action
Formal disciplinary action may include:

– Verbal Warning;
– Written Warning;
– Dismissal.


Documentation

Image of Documenting Policies

Then you want to indicate something about documentation and keeping records. Keeping good business records is essential to your business.


Definitions

Then you might wanna wrap it up with some definitions. This will help explain any terminology you have in your policy.

Image of Tiny Tick Something like this:

DEFINITIONS
This policy applies to all terms related to discipline and termination including, but not limited to the following.

List out terminology.

– Information Technology
– Email Usage
– Internet Usage
– Intellectual Property
– Confidentiality
– Discrimination


Check out an Example

Check out an image of an example below.

Policy Internet and Email
Policy Internet and Email

Follow those steps above and you will be well on your way to providing a good Internet and Email Policy for your team. Use an Internet and Email Policy Template to save time.


What about you? Leave a comment below. Have you had any situations where the internet has created chaos for your business?

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