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Model Technology Usage Policy

This model policy is a supplement to LAWPRO Magazine: Cybercrime and law firms, published December 2013.

This Technology Usage Policy precedent discusses the appropriate use of computing and
information resources.

 

1. Computer Security

  • Users must not share their accounts or passwords with others, and are only authorized to
    use their own accounts to access [Firm Name] systems. Authority levels to access various
    systems and resources as assigned are tied to the user’s personal account.
  • Users must shut down their computers at the end of each day, and are encouraged to log
    out of key systems if they are going to be away from their desks for an extended period of
    time.
  • Users are responsible for reporting any abnormal operation of their computers to
    [technology person].
  • Users are encouraged to report all spam messages to our email hosting service. Users
    must not click on links/attachments received from untrusted/unverified sources.
  • Users must not attempt to disable, circumvent or hack the security features built into the
    various hardware and software systems at [Firm Name].
  • Users are prohibited from installing hardware or software, either of business or personal
    nature, without approval from [technology person].
  • Users are prohibited from copying or sharing hardware, software, corporate data or
    intellectual property, either internally or externally, without supervisor authorization.
  • Users are prohibited from intentionally damaging hardware, software, or corporate data.
  • Users must exercise due care in handling hardware and accessing corporate data.
  • Users exchanging data with outside parties must review and observe the Electronic
    Document Handling Policy.

 

2. Use of Resources

  • Users must request access to the [Firm Name] resources (e.g., databases, mailboxes, via
    their manager.
  • [Firm Name]’s information technology is provided for [Firm Name] business purposes.
    Staff are permitted to use systems for occasional personal use.
  • Staff must not use [Firm Name] resources to conduct any non-work related business
    activity.
  • Staff are prohibited from using [Firm Name] resources for illegal or offensive purposes.
  • Staff are prohibited from using [Firm Name]’s Internet services to access illegal or
    offensive websites.
  • Staff are prohibited from using [Firm Name] data for any purpose other than for [Firm
    Name] business. Access and use of [Firm Name] data for personal interest, external
    business purposes, etc. is prohibited.

 

3. Social Media

  • [Firm Name] permits open access to most social media channels. Casual professional and
    personal use of social media is permitted.
  • Download and installation of social media software or plug-ins is permitted with manager
    approval.

 

4. Professionalism

  • All communications using [Firm Name]’s systems must be polite and not harass or offend
    anyone.

 

5. Monitoring

  • Phone and fax use, Internet use, email use, data access, login/logoff times, etc. may be monitored and logged. Logs may be reviewed periodically for security and audit purposes.

 

6. Consequences for Non-Compliance

  • Breaches of [Firm Name]’s Technology Usage Policy will be addressed by the user’s supervisor and firm management. Consequences for serious breaches of the policy may result in termination of employment.

 

7. Policy Revisions and Updates

  • This policy will be reviewed at least annually. Any changes to the policy will be made known to staff. Any questions about the policy should be directed to the [designated staff person].

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