IT & computer use policy: e-mail, Internet and communications

This model IT and computer use policy helps prevent the misuse of computers and other IT systems within your business by employees, including e-mail systems, Internet and other communication systems. It should also help to protect business data stored on IT systems.

Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
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About this document

This IT policy covers all areas of computer use including e-mail, Internet, intranet  and communications between computers. The policy helps to ensure that computers and other IT systems are used correctly, and that sensitive data is not transferred out of your systems inappropriately.

Misuse of an employer’s computer is one of the most common reasons for dismissal. Tribunal cases are frequently lost in circumstances where common sense dictates that natural justice favours the employer. Invariably, a feature of a successful employee’s case is the employer's failure to set out in a policy document what was and what was not permitted.

By including this document in your staff handbook or alongside a new employment contract, your employees should be aware of the business' position on issues such as using computers at work for personal tasks.

Whilst having a policy cannot prevent misuse entirely, a clear policy can reduce the likelihood of unintentional misuse, which in turn is likely to help prevent spread of computer viruses or malicious software or the distribution of confidential information outside the business or appropriate departments.


  • Computer network use and constraints
  • Special provisions for laptops
  • Prohibited actions
  • Explanation of e-mail system
  • E-mail management and control provisions
  • Prohibited actions
  • Changes permitted
  • Other communications issues
  • Example confidentiality statement for the footer of e-mails
  • Other provisions

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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