Creating An Acceptable Use Policy
An Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is a written document agreed to by everyone sharing a computer network. It defines the intended uses of the network, including unacceptable uses and the consequences for violating the agreement. Mike Theriault, President and CEO of B2B Computer Products LLC,lays down some basic definitions and steps to get you started: Although it may be necessary to include some legal terminology in the document, the best AUPs are written in clear terms that everyone can understand. Before you start drafting the AUP, give notice to everyone affected that policy creation or revision is underway and establish a contact point for collecting feedback. Then decide on the purpose of your AUP. Will it only set general guidelines and expectations? Or will it be a legally enforceable document? This will have a strong bearing on the tone and wording. Begin the document with your company’s code of conduct, if you have one. Otherwise, develop a paragraph that sums up your company’s operational ethics. Most companies will add to their AUP as issues arise, but the following key areas are good places to begin.