Company IT policy

(12 Posts)
hmmhmmhmmmmm Wed 24-Feb-16 09:52:21

I've been offered a new job. I'm going through all the paperwork, and there are a few things that are putting me off: the company policies seem a bit over the top control-freaky. It's a senior management role, not in financial services or similar where I'm handling sensitive information. I appreciate the policies apply to people at all levels, but even so.

For example (from the IT policy):

Any personal use of the email or internet during or after working hours is strictly FORBIDDEN. (bold and caps theirs)

You are specifically forbidden from accessing any website that [amongst other things]: is for the purpose of downloading or playing music; is a social networking or chat site; is not business-related.

(These are just a couple of examples, they are fairly representative).

Is this just standard stuff that everyone then ignores, or do you think they mean it? Does your company/organisation have similar, or is it more laid back?

Am I being ridiculous for considering not accepting the job because of this? It's not a case of "I can't go on Facebook so I don't want the job", it's more a concern of how I'll fit in to the culture. In my current role, there's more of a blurring between work/personal which works well for me, e.g. if I need/want to send a personal email/pay a bill/ask for advice on mumsnet during work time then I do, the flipside is I take work calls/reply to emails when I'm not technically at work. I thought that was just how things worked nowadays?

Interested in your thoughts/experiences!

(I've name-changed for obvious reasons)

dementedpixie Wed 24-Feb-16 09:57:17

Does it not mean you can't use their computer systems to access social networking sites, send emails, etc during work hours whereas you could from your own phone.

hmmhmmhmmmmm Wed 24-Feb-16 10:06:35

Yeah demented that's probably what it does mean. But I have a work phone as well so generally turn my personal phone off when I'm at work and anyone who needs me (only really DD's nursery) would call me on my work number.

My feeling is it's a faff (and a waste of time) to be tapping personal emails into my personal phone when I'm sitting in front of a fully functional laptop. Although I think it's more that I'm a grown up, and it irritates me that they feel the need to strictly FORBID me from doing things, rather than exercising my judgement (which - presumably - is what they're paying me for!)

Although I didn't realise how strongly I feel about it until I wrote this, so that's been helpful in itself

Perfectlypurple Wed 24-Feb-16 10:11:52

We are not allowed to use he internet on work computers for non work related stuff. It's not a problem,I send personal emails/pay bills/go on mumsnet on my own time.

I expect people will abuse the privilege if they are allowed which is why they no longer allow it.

dementedpixie Wed 24-Feb-16 10:14:27

Shouldn't really be using work equipment for personal use anyway. I don't see any issue with the policy

Quietwhenreading Wed 24-Feb-16 10:17:25

I'm pretty surprised that you are surprised about this. It's very standard stuff.

In 20 years of working I've never worked for an organisation that allowed personal use of Internet on work laptops/PCs and social networking/hotmail/yahoo etc are always blocked.

It usually acceptable to send a very minimal amount of personal email eg emailing your DH to say you're working late etc but not use your work email as a personal account (none of my friends have my work email for example)

Honestly most companies will have the same rules.

And 'ignoring' them will get you dismissed.

BestIsWest Wed 24-Feb-16 10:18:15

We're very limited on what we can do. I can visit the BBC website but can't access my personal emails or social networks or Mumsnet. I just use my phone.

hmmhmmhmmmmm Wed 24-Feb-16 10:31:40

That's all very interesting, thanks. I'm obviously spoiled in my current role! I genuinely didn't think it was an issue; as I often answer work emails at 9pm/on weekends (and have no problem with that) it seems perfectly resonable that I can check my personal emails in work time. But I will accept I seem to be in the minority on that, so thank you for a different perspective.

My current organisation gives you a shiny macbook and iphone and positivley encourages you to put all your personal stuff on (itunes, spotify, personal email on the phone) so maybe my idea of what is usual is skewed. Although I much prefer this approach, it means my whole life is on my work mac, so I take it bloody everywhere with me - I'm sure they get loads of extra work out of us this way, despite the time spent faffing on the internet in the office!

HidingFromDD Wed 24-Feb-16 10:48:20

Access to personal email accounts should always be blocked for information security reasons, you can attach confidential information and it's very difficult to trace.
Using your work email for personal use can raise contractual and legal issues, in the same way as sending a personal letter on company headed notepaper.
I think you'll find that the company isn't stopping you checking your email, Facebook etc during working hours. They're just stopping you doing it on the company kit.

Quietwhenreading Wed 24-Feb-16 11:29:09

They 'encourage' you to out all your stuff on your work kit? I'd love a read of your ts&cs - I bet they have legitimate right to monitor all your usage, including the personal stuff. hmm

In which case they may well be forewarned you are thinking about resigning...

HermioneWeasley Wed 24-Feb-16 19:21:59

It's not unusual, but it's a bit old fashioned

EBearhug Thu 25-Feb-16 00:42:21

They blocked webmail sites with us, after someone introduced a virus that way. I just check them on my own phone at lunch. I would expect that policies about social networking sites have come up as a result of people spending time on them rather than working. We don't have FB and so on blocked (and some of the PR people have company accounts to post work-related stories), but I rarely go on during work time. MN is too sweary for work anyway. I have also checked that from my phone on slow days. And we've had issues in the past with people downloading illegal videos and music, which raises the whole issue of copyright - you're welcome to break the law that way on your own equipment (though you'd be advised not to get caught and end up with a criminal record), but the company takes a dim view of anyone jeopardising its own legal position. People have been sacked for it.

I prefer to separate work and personal stuff anyway. I don't want work to have access to it all. I like being able to turn my PC off at the end of the day, and that's it, no more work till I'm next in the office (except if I'm on-call or have out-of-hours updates to do). If you were to google, you'll find loads and loads of articles about the issues of BYOD (bring your own device); there is a blurring of what's work and what's personal, but there are lots of security risks and so on alongside that. Different companies take different approaches to this.

I think you'll find that the company isn't stopping you checking your email, Facebook etc during working hours. They're just stopping you doing it on the company kit.
We have some departments which run "clean rooms" - you're not allowed to take any kit in, not even pen and paper, but absolutely no electronic devices. You log on to the company PCs in that room, which are really locked down, and that's it. I would hate to work with that level of restriction myself, but some areas need to be more secure than others.

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