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AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) | What It’s All About For Internet Users

There’s a reason why you (webmaster or internet business owner) need an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for your site platform or even your web application. With this in mind, this kind of policy apathy might explain the case of Kaspersky’s study for more than 5,000 companies. The study found that 46% of Cyberattacks result from carelessness or uninformed employees.

For this reason, it’s also used as a reminder of individual responsibility for the appropriate use of the IT resources of certain institutions such as the UoN System Administration. Whereby, all its employees (external or internal) are required to acknowledge and sign the Acceptable Use Policy on an annual basis. That’s if they log in to the AUP Signature website.

In general, it is usually something like this: “utsystem\”, followed by your network ID (first initial + last name, by default). Most AUP admins work under the Office of Technology and Information Services (OTIS). With a mission to Support UT System Admin staff and functions. By providing proactive, customer-focused information technology management services.

Relevant Article: Why Cyber Security Awareness Is Important | Useful Tools

At the same time, it ensures a secure technology infrastructure. Additionally, together with the State, other Federal legislation councils as well as the institutions they work in, they also coordinate policy terms compliance. More so, related to electronic and information resources across the main UT System Administration and information technology teams.

What An Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) Is All About

Technically, an AUP (Acceptable Use Policy), is an agreement between two or more parties that outlines the appropriate use of access to corporate internet, network, a website, or an app. Specifically, this document describes what users may and may not do when accessing this network. In other words, according to TechTarget, it’s an interminable document.

Specifically, a document that is filled with technical and legal language that most employees sign after scanning only the first few paragraphs. As an example, the inappropriate use of IT systems puts most organizations with online undertakings at risk — in which IT resources may or may not be used. Hence, a need to implement such a feature on their website.

As of today, a majority of business companies and other facilities use an AUP to protect their networks from bad players. The purpose of an AUD is to ensure everyone is only using the given access for appropriate tasks. Not to mention, limiting what users can do can help these internet providers uphold the law and protect other users from cybersecurity threats.

A few stipulations you may find in an AUP include:
  • First, avoid violating the law while using the service
  • Secondly, do not attempt to hack the security of the network or users on the network
  • Thirdly, do not attempt to send spam or junk mail
  • Fourthly, do not attempt to crash a website’s server with a spam or mass emails
  • Lastly, report any suspicious behavior you may see on the network

At all costs, as an employee, you’ll be sent to your company or organization’s website that you work for if your AUP signature is either not on file or is nearing/past expiration. Fortunately, all you’ll need to do is to log in to the AUP Signature website to read, sign, and agree to abide by the new Acceptable Use Policy by the System Admin.

And, if you are prompted to log in to the AUP Signature website, always remember to use your UT System Administration username and password to log in (and not your other ID). Furthermore, the e-mail or pop-up alert you received to do so already has all your details in it. But, make sure that it displays the correct username and password for you to use, first.

Why AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) Is Important

Basically, having a target-based Site User Accessibility Statement in place is quite a resourceful tool for all leading content readers and target users to any given website. Bearing in mind, one-in-five users require accommodations to use any website nowadays. Including the jmexclusives website, if we may add. That’s why you’ll need a support tool for this reason.

Such as UserWay Widget, or The Bureau of Internet Accessibility wares as well. More so, to comply with strict legal requirements while protecting your users’ civil rights. Basically, an AUP is useful for businesses and educational facilities that provide internet access to employees or students. Before the access the network, they must agree to terms and conditions.

An acceptable use policy for workplace technology such as an internet usage policywork from home policy, or endpoint security policy is an excellent tool for providing your employees with an understanding of how they are expected to use technology in your organization, but if they are not properly enforced your expectations will be forgotten or outright ignored.

Additionally, harmful content or other computer technology may damage, interfere with, surreptitiously intercept, or expropriate any system, program, or data. This’s where an Acceptable Use Policy signature comes in handy.

Consider the following other access cases:

Interception And Unauthorized Access: By interception, it means monitoring data or traffic on a system without permission. Accessing or using any System without permission, including attempting to probe, scan, or test the vulnerability of a system or to breach any security or authentication measures used by a system.

Origin Acceptable Use Policy Falsification: Described as, forging TCP-IP packet headers, email headers, or any part of a message describing its origin or route, or otherwise falsifying or masking your identity or source. This prohibition does not include the use of aliases or anonymous remailers.

When properly enforced, an acceptable use policy provides an added layer of security that will help keep your organization and users safe. Whether your users are website readers, students, patrons, or even employees. Address the acceptable use of technology design in the workplace to communicate the right intention of work-related devices.

Likewise, when you sign up with an internet service provider, they usually have you sign an AUP that requires you to follow a certain set of stipulations. But, there are many other reasons why you need an AUP as far as access is concerned. For example, if your business provides internet access or other web-related service solutions. Below are a few more reasons:

1. Avoid Illegal Activities

The first thing is to ensure that your users are avoiding any illegal activity. Thus, an AUP can help ensure users are following the law. For instance, an AUP may strictly prohibit users from pirating music, movies, or other files. It may outline that if a user is violating these rules, they will be banned from the network.

Having users break the law on your network can become a liability for your business, which is why outlining these prohibited activities in your AUP is so essential. AUPs may also address the social expectations that a company has of its employees when using company equipment. Such as what is and is not appropriate to send to coworkers.

2. Control Offensive Content 

Simply put, this includes content that infringes or misappropriates the intellectual property or proprietary rights of others. While, in the same fashion, it’s also content that is defamatory, obscene, abusive, invasive of privacy, or otherwise objectionable. Including content that constitutes child pornography, relates to bestiality, or depicts non-consensual sex acts.

Clearly, most internet scammers/hackers use a website or service solutions to violate/infringe the security or integrity of the network. Or even a computer, communications system, software application, network, or computing device.

3. Prevent Cybersecurity Threats

Of course, all businesses and institutions want to have some sort of control over what activity takes place on their networks. Limiting what users can browse, download, and search on the internet is all a part of keeping a safe network, to begin with. If a student or employee were to open a suspicious attachment or visit unsecured websites, the risks are many.

Whereby, they could make your network vulnerable to hackers and viruses. And, as a result, they may give a way to attackers to plant their malicious codes. Including viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, or cancelbots. An acceptable use policy is intended to set clear internet usage expectations for every user in your network.

4. Focus On Productivity

In the workplace, employees are expected to use the internet to perform work tasks, but sometimes employees visit distracting websites that take them off-task. Internet usage policies communicate the employer’s expectations when employees are using work devices. By the same token, schools may also use an AUP to ensure their students are focusing on classwork.

Rather than just looking up things for fun on the web. Also, when young people are using the internet, schools need to make parameters to protect children from any inappropriate websites. Businesses can use it to ensure their employees are working on their tasks. Instead of browsing social media or tending to personal communications.

5. Avoid Fraudulent Activities

In this case, illegal, harmful, or fraudulent activities include advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available gambling sites or services or disseminating, promoting, or facilitating child pornography. As well as activities that may be harmful to others, partner operations, or even business reputation, including offering or disseminating fraudulent goods.

As well as illegal services, schemes, or promotions, for example, the use of make-money-fast schemes, Ponzi, and pyramid schemes. Or otherwise, phishing, spamming, pharming, or engaging in other deceptive practices.

Website AUP Prohibited Conduct Plus Best User Practices

As an example, we encourage you to report suspected violations by sending an email with the page(s) in question, and the details of the alleged infraction, to [email protected]. Whereby, we will investigate any violations of this Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and will respond where appropriate or necessary, at our sole discretion.

You agree to accept, in full, any conclusions related to an investigation into your complaint, without limitation. Keep in mind, that sites such as ours do not allow illegal, harmful, or offensive use of content. Not forgetting, all capitalized terms not defined in any Acceptable Use Policy have the meanings given to them in the main body of the Agreement.

Suffice to say, such Acceptable Use Policy Terms also do apply to your use of this website and services. The examples described in our AUP are not exhaustive. So, it’s important to realize, that we (referring to “jmexclusives” in this case) may modify this AUP at any time, without prior notice. Perse, by using the website or services, you agree to all our terms.

Especially, in regards to the latest version of Our Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) Terms among others. You may not use, encourage, promote, facilitate, or instruct others to use, a website or service solution for any illegal, harmful, or offensive purposes. Or even, to transmit, store, display, distribute or make available content that is illegal, harmful, or offensive.

Other prohibited activities or content include:
  1. Monitoring or Crawling: Monitoring or crawling of a System that impairs or disrupts the System being monitored or crawled.
  2. Denial of Service (DoS): Inundating a target with communications requests so the target either cannot respond to legitimate traffic or responds so slowly that it becomes ineffective.
  3. Intentional Interference: Interfering with the proper functioning of any system, including any deliberate attempt to overload a system by mail bombing, news bombing, broadcast attacks, or flooding techniques.
  4. Network Services Operation: Operating network services like open proxies, open mail relays, or open recursive domain name servers.
  5. Avoiding System Restrictions: Using manual or electronic means to avoid any use limitations placed on a system, such as access and storage restrictions.

That said, most sites including ours are very strict when it comes to security violations and network abuse. You may not make network connections to any users, hosts, or networks unless you have permission. And, if you violate, authorize, encourage, or help others to do so, they may immediately, without notice or liability, suspend or terminate your use of the Services.

On the same note, no email or message abuse is allowed. And on one hand, you will not distribute, publish, send, or facilitate the sending of unsolicited mass emails. Or even, other messages, promotions, advertising, or solicitations (like “spam”). Including commercial advertising and informational announcements.

On the other hand, you will not alter or obscure mail headers or assume a sender’s identity without the sender’s explicit permission. In addition, you will not collect replies to messages sent from another internet service provider if those messages violate this AUP or the AUP of that provider.

What To Consider For Your Business Acceptable Use Policy

Having acceptable use policies for workplace technology easily accessible on shared networks makes it easy for employees to refresh their knowledge on how they are expected to use company equipment. Acceptable use policies are not intended to be a ‘set it and forget it’ measure – they’ll simply be forgotten or ignored that way.

If you want your AUPs to be truly successful, you need to keep the content and intention of your policies fresh in the minds of your employees. By making policy engagement a normal practice in your organization.  The sensitivity of the data that your organization handles and the related regulations that apply to it will heavily influence your policy awareness planning.

When creating an AUP for your web-based or internet business, you need to consider some of the very key factors. Such as limiting access to Social media, Streaming, Shopping, News, Personal email/communications, Pornography, Gambling, Illegal Activity, etc. Below are other key implementation factors that you should always bear in mind:

Acceptable Use

Employers should have an internet use policy to ensure their employees are staying on task during working hours. The level of freedom your team gets should depend on the type of work they do. For instance, creative teams may need a larger scope of access to be able to check out social media trends and pop culture. Some teams may need access to the news.

While others may need access to local reports to do their job right. When deciding what’s allowed, remember that your employees want to be treated like adults. An overly restrictive AUP may hinder their work and make them feel that you can’t trust them. Many businesses choose to restrict various types of websites such as social media and streaming platforms.

But, can you fire employees for their Internet usage? Well, there must be policies that dictate the acceptable use of the internet in the workplace. And, will often include details regarding the employer’s stance on employee productivity. As well as the use of distracting websites during the work day. It is not common for employees to be fired for occasional cyberloafing.

Cybersecurity Data 

Protecting sensitive information is at the heart of most AUPs. It’s crucial that you outline which at-risk behaviors employees should avoid when using your network. A data breach could cost your business and employees a lot of time and money. So, use your AUP to outline the most common security policies: Keep all passwords private, and change them regularly.

Do not use public Wi-Fi on company devices. Never open email attachments or links that you are not expecting. And, when something appears suspicious, contact the IT department. You should also make sure that you sign up for two-factor authentication — social media is only allowed for business purposes.

Private Information

Employees need to be able to send confidential information to one another securely. In your AUP, outline how employees can safely send, view, and store company data. If there happens to be a data breach, it can also tell employees how to handle such a situation. Outline how to report an incident, who to report it to, and any other important protocols.

Markedly, for when an employee is experiencing a network issue. In terms of user access, many businesses have also a separate network for their guests. When a guest logs on, they usually have to sign an AUP. In this document, it’s wise to make your policies even stricter for those who are not employees. Make sure guests cannot access internal files or information.

Straightforward Language

Rather than using confusing legal jargon, write your AUP in terms that employees can understand. A contract lawyer has the skills to help you create an easy-to-comprehend document that still covers all of your bases. Along with the actual wording, also make sure it’s in a legible format. Make different sections per topic.

Bullet points and short phrases are much easier to read through than long paragraphs. It’s also important to create an upfront plan for correcting issues. When employees know there are actual consequences for violating your AUP, they are more likely to follow your parameters. Have a clear policy on what management will do if an employee is caught misusing the network.

Do not create policies that you do not intend to enforce – the inconsistency of enforcement will lead to confusion and frustration among your employees. Make policy awareness a priority. To ensure that corrective action measures are an expected consequence when addressing an employee’s misuse of technology.

Policies Advocation

More often than not, users skim over an AUP without actually absorbing what is included in the agreement. That’s why you should also include the terms of your AUP in your employee handbook. Along with this, you should also make the policies common knowledge for all employees. You could do this during the onboarding process or have an annual review of your AUP.

Similarly, if you do learn that a user is breaking the terms of your AUP, you need to enact these consequences consistently. If you give people a free pass all of the time, employees are unlikely to take your AUP seriously. After employees read through the policy, test their knowledge of the document.

Letting them know they’ll have to take a short quiz ahead of time will motivate them to understand the entire AUP. Be willing to explain any part of the AUP so your employees can feel confident about the information there. Focus on the communication aspect of policy design to create a workable AUP that clearly outlines how to use technology in your organization.

Management Software

Actively engaging in time theft while doing things that are not safe for work is often grounds for dismissal. In that case, Employee Internet Management Software is essential for enforcing the acceptable use of the internet. Use software such as BrowseReporter to track apps and internet activities — address workers that are using technology inappropriately.

It includes web filtering software for proactively blocking websites. Coupled with an employee computer monitoring software for insights into how employees are using technology in the workplace. In terms of enforcing an AUP in cyber security, the software ensures that there’s no visitation to high-risk websites on managed computers.

Software for monitoring employee computer use will provide you with tangible insights into the effectiveness of your acceptable use policies. These tools will identify the employees that require further attention. Whilst, providing the resources needed to ensure that the misuse of technology goes properly addressed.

Accessibility Widget

In nutshell, by using our website, therefore, you should also bear in mind, that we may cooperate with law enforcement agencies, regulators, or any other appropriate Third Party. Generally, to help with the investigation and prosecution of illegal conduct. Particularly, by providing network and systems information related to alleged violations of this AUP.

Overall, our Web Tech Experts Taskforce is committed to making this website usable by all people. Including those with disabilities by meeting or exceeding the requirements of Web Content Accessibility. Especially, the 2.1 Level A/AA (WCAG 2.1 A/AA) guidelines. Perse, we strive to make our site an equal experience for everyone — each and every day 24/7.

Luckily, they are some of the world’s leading engineers, entrepreneurs, and visionaries who are defining the future of digital online accessibility for us all. We continue to monitor our site and make sure that all content provided is accessible to all visitors. In order to help us in this process, we have engaged The Bureau of Internet Accessibility.

Getting Started: UserWay Accessibility Widget | Installation & Activation Steps

Their main role is to conduct a full accessibility audit consisting of both automated and manual testing of our website using BoIA’s A11Y® platform. The Bureau of Internet Accessibility provides us with specific recommendations that will assist us in ensuring that our Web presence is in conformance with the WCAG 2.1 A/AA.

Additionally, with UserWay Accessibility Widget Tools, we can now deploy UserWay’s advanced website accessibility solutions. All this without refactoring our website’s existing code. And, as a result, ensure a comprehensive legal & regulatory compliance framework covering ADA, Section 508, WCAG 2.1 AA, and much more.

Takeaway Notes: 

Forthwith, it’s good to have an Acceptable Use Policy that is understandable, accessible, reasonable, and backed up with industry-standard computer monitoring software. By doing so, your organization will see success. It will be better at equipping and enforcing the user’s safety and respectably making good use of the technology.

Note that your employees will not agree with every policy they are expected to follow. Therefore, making a genuine effort to foster buy-in when developing an internet-acceptable use policy for employees will make the enforcement of your policies significantly easier. Since they will be less motivated to be actively non-compliant with your expectations.

Also, ask yourself: Is your AUP a legally binding document intended to protect personal health information? Or is it a general policy in your employee handbook? Corrective action is a necessary component of policy enforcement. A policy without enforcement is simply a hopeful thought that will ultimately be neglected. Ensure that you are due diligence.

Having an AUP is an integral part of protecting your network, avoiding illegal activity, and ensuring your employees are staying on task. When it’s time to create or update yours, we have the expertise to help you do it. By clearly communicating your workplace technology use expectations, you’ll not surprise your employees with your policy enforcement measures.

Related Web Resources:
  1. Cookies Policy Terms
  2. Privacy Policy Terms
  3. User Accessibility Statement
  4. Acceptable Use Policy Template

Finally, it’s our hope that you’ve read and understood all the above-stated Acceptable Use Policy guidelines. But, if you’ll have additional contributions, suggestions, or even more questions, please feel free to Contact Us and let us know how we can sort you out. Also, don’t forget that you can donate to support our blog articles research, and other ongoing projects.

Join Us Today! Meaning, that if you’re a designer or developer with writing chops, well, you can contribute to Our Blog for free or be paid through our Guests Posting Program. At the same time, if you’re in need of a B2B Freelance Writer for your blog or a copywriter for your marketing content, we’re all here for you! Just Get In Touch to discuss all our terms.


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