Internet misuse at work

April 2012

The internet is an essential tool for doing business. However, staff misuse can have serious implications for both the employee and the employer. An E-mail and Internet Usage Policy should be established to protect your business against liability for the actions of your employees and to educate your employees about the legal risks involved in misuse. All businesses should attach an email disclaimer message to the bottom of every outgoing e-mail.

An E-mail and Internet Usage Policy should establish the rules for internet use in the workplace and the consequences of breaching the policy. The policy should reflect the values of your business.

Employees must be informed that the use of social media in certain circumstances, both in and outside the workplace, can cause potential damage to the employer’s reputation and interests. An E-mail and Internet Usage Policy should deal with the use of social media by employees to reveal work-related misbehaviour and to express views which employers do not wish to be connected with their business.

A good policy will set out clearly what constitutes an unacceptable use of email, internet, and, social media in your business. Matters relating to confidentiality, offensive and defamatory messages, passwords, viruses, and monitoring of communications should also be dealt with in the policy.

An E-mail and Internet Usage Policy must be enforced effectively in the workplace. All new employees should be made aware of the policy and the consequences of any breach of the policy during the recruitment and training process.

If you require further information on internet misuse in the workplace please contact O’Callaghan Kelly.

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