Companies that have properly utilized information technology have gained from increased revenues and reduction in operation costs. Additionally, these companies have also benefited from the extensive information available on the internet e.g. marker surveys, new production techniques and available opportunities. However, Internet supplies a wide range of entertainment avenues such social cites, fun pages, movies and games. Thus, vigilance in the use of Internet at the work place enhances maximization of benefits. This paper provides an employee IT acceptable use policy for Wincom Consultant Company.
Wincom Consultant Company provides the best investment and business operation advisory services both in the home country and internationally. The company has been in operation since 1971. Since inception, the firm’s reputation has grown steadily to gain global recognition. Wincom’s mission is to invest heavily in research to provide the best investment advises to their clients across the globe. The company appeals to potential investors through their client information portal that helps clients’ to book for appointment. Later, the client is furnished with the outcome of the findings.
Wincom Consultant Company has approximately 450 employees located in over 100 countries. The company’s CEO is Mr. Alnasri Vishna assisted by the board of directors who works at the headquarters in Mumbai. The company assumes a hierarchical leadership where authority and delegation assumes a straight line from top to bottom. Most of the companies operations are done online. Hence, information technology is not only used by employees to reserve appointments, but it is also used by staff to undertake in-depth research on various markets and for relaying feedback both to the clients and to the company. Employee IT Acceptable Use Policy is used by the company to reduce Internet abuse as well as enhancing employee focus.
Wincom’s Employee IT Acceptable USE policy (EIAUP)
Since the company operations are mainly done online, use of internet for non-business operations should be restricted. The company’s IT policy governing employee is as follows:
Wincom EIAUP covers the use of the company computer services such as, voice mail, Internet, Emails, and Systems and files. Wincom Consultant Company appreciates the importance of Internet use to its entire employee in the daily operation. As such, Wincom Consultant Company has made Internet available to its entire staff for business purposes.
Wincom aims at ensuring the Internet is used solely for business purposes. The company’s staffs are to spend no more than ten minutes per day accessing the Internet for non-business purposes.
The company prohibits its staff from visiting the following sites at the work place:
- Pornographic sites
- Gambling sites
- Social sites such as my space, Face book, and twitter.
- Hate sites
- Any site promoting illegal activity
Wincom reserves the rights to use surveillance cameras or monitoring software to ensure the company’s Employee IT Acceptable Use Policy is adhered to by all. Thus, the company is at liberty to record or monitor staffs’ computer at will without issuing prior notice.
By signing this document:
- You agree that you have reviewed this document and asked any question concerning this agreement before hand.
- You agree to abide with the company’s Internet Use Policy.
- You agree to the disciplinary measures imposed on breaching the agreement, including termination of contract.
Acknowledgement of Receipt and Understanding
I hereby confirm that I have read and comprehend the details of the Wincom’s Internet Use Policy. I do recognize that the company reserves the right to make any amendment on these policies at will, without prior notice. My signature below confirms my knowledge, approval and loyalty to the company’s policies, terms, conditions and procedures regarding Internet Usage.
Ethical, Moral and Legal Implications
Ethical and Moral Implications
The EIAUP governs the conduct and shapes the behavior of employees in a given organization. Kuiper (2010) attests that AUP policy enforces the organization values and code of conduct. Any company requires enforcing its culture to regulate the behavior of its employees. With proper culture in place, the company stands a better chance to meet its objectives in a convenient way. In addition, the policy agreement not only helps in defining the relationships between the employee and the company’s equipments, but it also enhances a mutual responsibility.
Some Internet content is addictive like drugs. When an employee starts visiting a site, he/she continues doing so for more hours at the expense of doing his duties. The strong drive to attracting the person to visit the Internet sites in most cases hinders or reduces employees’ efforts. Kuiper (2010) contends that an organization with properly stated policy paper enjoys large outputs from employees. Hence, the policy protects the employee from unnecessary distraction from execution of daily routines.
With properly established policies, staffs and other works spend a little time in determining what is permissible and what is not. According to research conducted by the Data Corp (IDC), business related browsing only accounts to 60 per cent. Shocking observations revealed that 70 per cent of the pornography surfing occurred between 9 am to 5 pm – the working hours. Similarly, 60 per cent of online purchasing occurs during the same time span. Company’s espionage perpetrated by employees’ accounts to 58 percent. Insiders’ loot is in excess of $100 million while others steel $ 1 billion annually (GFI White Paper, 2010).
Internet harbors immense potential to corrupt even the saints, thus, affecting prevention measures helps to safeguard the company’s employees (Ackroyd, 2005). Internet influence has been proved to shape employee negatively. About 90 per cent of employees agree the Internet is addictive while 41 per cent owned up using Internet for over three hours weekly on non-work related browsing (GFI White Paper, 2010). Large companies attribute 30-40 per cent of lost productivity to non-work related browsing (Brennan and Johnson, 2004).
Most propagators of Internet ethic conduct advocate for Netiquette. Netiquette is the act of exercising leniency while in cyberspace by employing common sense. Internet should only be used by employees for work-related purposes. Employees are at liberty to use the Internet to settle pressing personal issues. With high of Cyber civility, the EIUAP is rendered useless; nevertheless, few employees’ posses such discipline (Lynch 2010).
The geographical interaction of the Internet culture distinguishes it from the contemporary culture. The online standards are unique since they represent norms of the society that is being represented by the network. This accommodates various cultures, traditions, and values with which the Internet user ought to be familiar. For instance, what may be acceptable in Asia is not always acceptable in Europe or America (Perreault, 2000). In addition, ideas that are appropriate in a home setting may not be acceptable in public. For Wincom, the Acceptable User Policy has enhanced understanding between the company properties and the private use. At first, employees feel as if their rights have been infringed, but with time, they learn to accept the situation and like it.
Employees indulging in non-work browsing expose the company’s computers to risks. For instance, downloading games and freeware software using a company computer may introduce malicious viruses that might cause loss of data and corrupt essential files. The ability of viruses to spread through the company LAN risks other computer within the network. With few laws prohibiting Internet surveillance, limiting Internet access helps in preserving the entire company (Brennan and Johnson, 2004).
Crimes perpetrated by the employees have significantly increased in the 21st Century. Insiders engineer most frauds in collaboration with external hackers to swindle the company. According to the survey conducted by ICD, 80 per cent of the crimes are perpetrated by the insiders (GFI White Paper, 2011). In order to curb these frauds, Brennan and Linder (2004) advice companies to install tracking software to track employing involved in such activities.
Therefore, surveillance needs to be done in according to policy agreement, otherwise, provoke animosity among workers. Companies EIUAP provides protection to property rights such as; privacy, intellectual rights, patents, and copyrights. By reducing unnecessary lawsuits, a good environment is generated for the company to achieve its goals and objectives. However, the company needs to obtain employee consent before offering them the contract to avoid future legal dilemma.
Moral and Ethical Considerations
In preparing, EIUAP Wincom Consultant considered enhancing ethical issues by protecting employee against Internet abuse. By prohibiting access to harmful sites such as pornographic, gambling, and hate sites, Wincom enhances good culture among its employees. In addition, the company policy instill moral by prohibiting employees from sending provocative and slanderous emails. On the other hand, the policy does not endeavor to eradicate happiness and creativity. Therefore, the company’s policies enhance both moral and ethical issues. Employees guilty of breaching these policies are liable to predetermined penalty.
Employees who are found violating a company’s EIUAP are liable and could face legal implications. Companies with a UAP have a legal obligation to furnish their employees with the policy agreement before signing the contract. The policy agreement assumes that each employee has read and fully understands the content of the document. Thus, subsequent violation of the agreement is subjected to a legal hearing for breach of contract. It is, therefore, the duty of employees to observe agreement terms to the letter.
Companies that are not actively involved in addressing inappropriate behavior at the work place may be held liable under the principle of respondent superior (Bidgoli, 2006). This principle compels all organization to enforce some strict measure to avoid employee in unwanted browsing. Violation of the UAP is one concern, but the imposition of strict measures to govern the policy may stir rebellion amongst the employees. For example, when Internet activities of some staffs insult others, the company’s management should address the problem promptly to avoid employee fury (Bidgoli, 2006).
Some companies totally prohibit private emails, which, at times, have caused eye blows. Consider a situation where the employee is sued for writing to his spouse, ‘I have to work late’. Such a scenario may become very humiliating and extremely inconveniencing for the company. Therefore, designing an AUP requires a proper balancing between protecting workers private rights and company’s rights. Some jurisdictions such as U.K. Data Protection Act 1998, only allow surveillance of personal mails when substantial suspicion is presented (Bidgoli, 2006).
The aim of this policy is to timely address a problem, but not to ambush employees. By informing employees that the company is at liberty to monitor them without issuing a notice, the company reduces employees’ reaction. This mode helps to reduce animosity compared to when monitoring is realized without prior knowledge. This policy psychologically prepares employees to expect random monitoring of their Internet use (Cobb, 2003).
Wincom policy informs employees on the consequences associated with violation of each agreement. According to Burgunder (2010), prior determination of the consequences for each wrong, increases employee accountability. This principle also helps in reduction of arbitration time since the victim is already aware of the penalty involved.
Although Internet is a powerful and resourceful tool, instances of its abuse have been on the increase over the years. To address this problem, Wincom Consultancy Company has designed an AUP. Armed with an Acceptable Use Policy, the company regulates Internet usage effectively. The development of the policy caters for ethical, moral, and legal implications for the company’s employees. The policy addresses moral issues by allowing minimal time for employees to conduct personal activities. Unethical acts like watching pornography are prohibited. Finally, the policy illustrates the legal implications for breaching the agreement.
Ackroyd, S. (2005). The Oxford Handbook of the Work and Organization. London: Oxford University Press.
Bidgoli, H. (2006). Handbook of Information Security. Vol 3. New Jersey, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Burgunder, L.B. (2010). Legal Aspects for Managing Technology. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Cobb, C. (2003). Network for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing, Inc
GFI White Paper, (2011). The Importance of an Acceptable Use Policy. Web.
Kuiper, S. (2010). Contemporary Business Report Writing. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning
Lynch, M. (2010). Ethical Issues in Electronic Information Systems. Web.
Perreault, H. (2000). Ethical Perceptions Regarding the Use of Workplace Technology. Springfield, MO: Southwest Missouri state University Press