by Laurianne McLaughlin

How to Create an Internet Use Policy

Oct 15, 20062 mins
IT Leadership

How can you construct a solid policy? Here are some key tips:

1. Get HR involved. IT should list the technologies to be mentioned in the policy, and HR should ensure the rules are explained in layman’s terms, says Jennifer Berman, a managing director with CBIZ Human Capital Services, a business services firm.

2. Be clear and specific. “Use real examples of what’s permissible,” Berman says. Address online shopping, sports scores, streaming video. The more specific, the better, she says. The policy templates she provides to clients increasingly mention new technology such as video, social networking and IM.

3. Understand that video can fuel hostile workspace claims. There are “inappropriate videos” on sites such as YouTube, says Scott Fisher, an attorney at law firm Fowler White Boggs Banker, that could lead to discrimination, harassment and hostile workplace suits filed against companies that have allowed those videos to come into the enterprise.

4. Make avenues for complaints clear. Employees must understand how to report violations, Fisher says. And managers need training on how to deal with violators, says Berman.

5. Review policies at least yearly. “There’s so much in this arena that takes place in a year. You want to make sure your policy covers a new situation or device,” Fisher says.