Computer and Internet Acceptable Use Policy

A model form for employees to sign regarding the use of computers and the Internet at your firm:


Computer & Internet Acceptable Use Policy



1. Overview

2. Policy

3. Principles of Acceptable Use

4. Unacceptable Use

5. Rights of the Firm

6. Enforcement and Violations

7. Computer & Internet Access and Confidentiality Statement

1. Overview

The Internet is an important resource for the [FIRM NAME] ("the Firm") to provide effective and efficient service to our clients. The connection to the Internet and related equipment and software provided by the Firm (the "Internet Facilities") exist to facilitate the work of the Firm. The Internet Facilities are provided for employees and authorized persons affiliated with the Firm for the efficient exchange of information and the completion of assigned responsibilities consistent with the work of the Firm. The use of the Internet facilities by any employee or other person authorized by the Firm (the "Users") must be consistent with this Policy (including all security and confidentiality provisions set forth therein).


2. Policy

This policy is intended to identify the principles of Acceptable Use and Unacceptable Use of the Internet Facilities; define Firm rights; address Enforcement and Violations provisions; and set forth a statement that Users will be required to acknowledge and sign.


3. Principles of Acceptable Use

Users are required:


  • To respect copyright and license agreements for software, digital artwork, and other forms of electronic data;
  • To protect data from unauthorized use or disclosure as required by state and federal laws and Firm policies;
  • To respect the integrity of computing systems: for example, Users shall not use or develop programs that harass other Users or infiltrate a computer or computing system and/or damage or alter the software components of a computer or computing system;
  • To restrict personal use of the Internet Facilities and personal use of equipment to non-working hours, defined as the hours before 9:00 am, after 5:00 pm, and for no more than 30 minutes during a lunch break, or such other hours as may be determined in advance on an individual basis and confirmed in writing;
  • To safeguard their accounts and passwords. Accounts and passwords are normally assigned to single Users and are not to be shared with any unauthorized person. Users are expected to report any observations of attempted security violations.


4. Unacceptable Use

Unacceptable uses of the Firm's Internet Facilities include but are not limited to:

  • Activities unrelated to official assignments and/or job responsibilities, except incidental personal use in compliance with this Policy;
  • Any illegal purpose;
  • Transmitting threatening, obscene or harassing materials or correspondence;
  • Unauthorized distribution of The Firm data and information;
  • Interfering with or disrupt network Users, services or equipment;
  • Private purposes, whether for-profit or non-profit, such as marketing or business transactions unrelated to Firm duties;
  • Any activity related to political causes;
  • Advocating religious beliefs or practices;
  • Private advertising of products or services;
  • Any activity meant to foster personal gain;
  • Revealing or publicizing proprietary or confidential information;
  • Representing opinions as those of the The Firm;
  • Uploading or downloading commercial software in violation of its copyright;
  • Downloading any software or electronic files without reasonable virus protection measures in place;
  • Interfering with the normal operation of any Firm Internet gateway.


5. Rights of the Firm

Pursuant to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (18 USC 2510 et seq.), notice is hereby given that there are NO facilities provided by this system for sending or receiving private or confidential electronic communications. System administrators have access to all mail and User access requests, and will monitor messages, Internet access, and Internet content as necessary to assure efficient performance and appropriate use. Messages and activities relating to or in support of illegal activities will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

  • The Firm reserves the right to log network use and monitor file server space utilization by Users and assumes no responsibility or liability for files deleted in connection with enforcing this Policy.
  • The Firm reserves the right to remove a User account from the network.
  • The Firm will not be responsible for any damages. This includes the loss of data resulting from delays, non-deliveries, or service interruptions caused by negligence, errors or omissions. Use of any information obtained is at the User's risk. The Firm makes no warranties, either express or implied, with regard to software obtained from the Internet.
  • The Firm reserves the right to change its policies and rules at any time. The Firm makes no warranties (express or implied) with respect to Internet service, and it specifically assumes no responsibilities for:
  • The content of any advice or information received by a User through the Internet Facilities or any costs or charges incurred as a result of seeking or accepting such advice;
  • Any costs, liabilities or damages caused by the way the User chooses to use the Internet Facilities;
  • Any consequence of service interruptions or changes, even if these disruptions arise from circumstances under the control of the Firm. The Firm Internet Facilities are provided on an as is, as available basis.


6. Enforcement and Violations

This policy is intended to be illustrative of the range of acceptable and unacceptable uses of Internet Facilities and is not necessarily exhaustive. Questions about appropriate use and about specific uses related to security issues not enumerated in this policy statement and reports of specific unacceptable uses should be directed to a partner of the Firm. The Firm will review alleged violations of the Internet Acceptable Use Policy on a case-by-case basis. Violations of the policy will result in disciplinary actions as appropriate, up to and including dismissal.


7. Computer & Internet Access and Confidentiality Statement

Employees of the Firm, as a condition of employment, and other authorized persons affiliated with the Firm, as a condition for computer use and Internet access on our premises, will be asked to review and sign the following statement.


"I recognize and acknowledge that computers, the connection to the Internet, Internet communication facilities and related equipment and software provided by the The Firm must be used according to terms and conditions set out by the Firm and agreed to in writing by me. The Internet communication facilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Internet and the World Wide Web

Computer-based online services

Electronic mail and messaging systems

Electronic bulletin board systems


I acknowledge that the distribution of any information through these and other facilities available through the Firm is subject to the scrutiny and approval of the Firm, and that the Firm reserves the sole right to determine the suitability and confidentiality of said information.


Confidential Information

I also acknowledge that the Firm assets include many items, including but not limited to the following information types:

Employee information

Employee benefits and insurance information

Databases and the information contained therein

Computer and network access codes and similar or related information

Contractual and proprietary information

Research projects and all related information connected with research efforts

Other confidential or proprietary information that has not been made available to the general public by the Firm.


I further acknowledge that all information related to the accomplishment of the work of the Firm, including the information types referenced above and other tangible and intangible assets and other information obtained by me in the course of my duties are Confidential Information and the property of the Firm. Further, such Confidential Information may be subject to trademark, copyright or similar protections.


I acknowledge that any disclosure of the Confidential Information, even inadvertent disclosure, may cause irreparable harm and material damage to the Firm. Both during and after my employment or affiliation with the Firm, and regardless of the reason for termination of such employment or affiliation, I agree (a) not to use or disclose the Confidential Information, other than solely in the furtherance of Firm business or as required by law; (b) to take all lawful measures to prevent the unauthorized use or disclosure of the Confidential Information to any third party; (c) to take all lawful measures to prevent unauthorized persons or entities from obtaining or using the Confidential Information; and (d) not to take any actions that would constitute or facilitate the unauthorized use or disclosure of Confidential Information. The term "unauthorized" shall mean the following:

  • In contravention of any written policies or procedures of the Firm
  • Otherwise inconsistent with Firm measures to protect its interests in its Confidential Information
  • In contravention of any lawful instruction or directive, either written or oral, of an employee or partner of the Firm empowered to issue such instruction or directive
  • In contravention of any duty existing under law or contract.


I acknowledge that all of the items comprising the Confidential Information are confidential, whether or not the Firm specifically labels such information as confidential or internally restricts access to such information.”


I have read and agree to comply with the terms of the Computer Use and Internet Policy of The Firm and the Computer & Internet Access and Confidentiality Statement.


Date ______________


                                       Employee Signature



                                       Printed Name