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Employee IT Acceptable Use Policy of Venus Corporation Research Paper

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Updated: May 15th, 2019

Company Overview

Founded in 1996, Venus Corporation has grown to be one of the leading manufacturers and retailers of furniture in the United States. The mission of the organization is to be the leading furniture manufacturer and retailer in the world by providing quality and affordable products to its customers.

To achieve the above goal, Venus Corporation has been involved in extensive research on alternative sources of raw materials and designs for its products. This will ensure that the organization uses cheap but quality raw materials in the process of manufacturing its products.

As a result, the cost of production will reduce and there will be a lot of improvement on the quality and design of its products making them to be more attractive to its customers (Nicolini, 2000).

To reduce its operational costs, Venus Corporation has a small staff. In total, the organization has a total of 650 employees in the thirty stores that the organization has in America. These employees comprise of managers, sales and marketing representatives, research and design technicians and maintenance staff.

To sustain its mission, the organization has to be creative, innovative and undertake a lot of research on product design and marketing. To achieve all these, Venus Corporation has embraced the use of information technology in its operations. Like many other organizations, IT has come in handy to ensure that the organization operates in an effective and efficient manner (Biddle, 2003).

The organization has a number of operating systems that have made the production and marketing of its products to be easier. The normal running and operation of the organization has also been made easier through the use of information technology.

Information flow, employee monitoring and security have been made easier and much efficient. Finally, through the use of IT, the organization has found it easier to record, store and retrieve data. This has reduced the amount of human effort that was required to conduct this process.

The incorporation of information technology has its advantages and disadvantages in the operation of a firm (Mullins, 2010). That is why the management of Venus Corporation came up with the concept of acceptable use of the internet and other assets of the company.

This is to ensure that these resources and assets are used for purposes that will improve the operations of the organization. If employees deviate from this policy, strict actions may be taken against them. To ensure that the interests of the employees and the corporation are protected, the organization has come up with a usage policy of the firms resources and assets.

The Acceptable use Policy

Overview of the policy

Venus Corporation is not preparing this document in order to interfere with the already established culture of openness, trust and integrity that it has with its employees.

This documents aims at protecting the name of the company, its employees, its suppliers and other stakeholders at all costs from the actions of its employees. To achieve this, Venus Corporation has come up with this document that aims at controlling the use of the companys assets and resources.

Employees should know that the internet and other computer related systems and resources are properties of Venus Corporation. This includes operating systems, computers, softwares and hardwares, networking accounts, storage media and internet browsing.

Due to this fact, these assets and resources should be used for the interest of the company, its clients and other stakeholders. This should only be in the normal course of operations. For further information regarding to this issue, employees should refer to the Human Resource policy manual.

The employees of Venus Corporation should therefore work as a team to ensure that the security of the companys assets and resources are protected at all times. This can only be achieved through effective and efficient use of computers and other resources as per the set rules and guidelines of the organization.

It is therefore the responsibility of all computer users to be familiar with these rules and guidelines in order to conduct their activities in accordance to the companys requirements.

Purpose of the Policy

The purpose of this policy is to clearly state the acceptable use of computers and related services at Venus Corporation. This will protect the company and its employees from external attacks like viruses, legal issues and system failure.

This therefore ensures that the organization operates in an effective and efficient manner. Employees should therefore follow these rules and guidelines so that they do not compromise the operations of Venus Corporation.

Scope of the Policy

This policy applies to all the employees that work under the name of Venus Corporation. This includes all the permanent and temporary employees, contractors, consultants and any other third party personnel. This policy also covers the use of all assets and resources that is owned by Venus Corporation. This includes any asset or resource that is within the companys premise, leased or borrowed.

General Use and Ownership of Assets and Resources

While the administrator of Venus Corporations allows employees to use and store data on the companys network, employees should be aware that all the data that is stored on the network of Venus Corporation and its storage units is the property of the company.

To protect the name and image of Venus Corporation, the company does not guarantee the confidentiality or privacy of any information that is stored in the companys system or any other device that is owned by the company.

It is therefore the responsibility of employees to have a good judgment and guideline on the use of the assets and resources of the company with regards to their personal use. In addition, it is the role of every department to ensure that proper rules and guidelines have been put in place with regards to the personal use of the internet and network system of the company.

This will ensure that there is effective and efficient use of the companys assets and resources. In an event where such rules are absent, employees should be guided by the general rules and codes of conduct. In case of uncertainty, employees should contact their supervisor or the Human Resource Manager.

Security and Property Information

The information that is contained in the system network of Venus Corporation should always be classified as confidential or non-confidential. This definition is contained in the policies and guidelines that are provided by the Human Resource department. There system of Venus Corporation contains information that is classified as confidential.

This includes Venus private information, corporate strategies, customer lists, companys designs and specifications, research information, competitor sensitive and companys secrets. It is the duty of all employees to protect this information from being accessed by unauthorised individuals.

Employees should also ensure the secrecy of their accounts and passwords. As such, authorised users of the Venus Corporations network are responsible for protecting their accounts and passwords from unauthorised individuals. This should be done at all costs to ensure that no information is accessed by unauthorised personnel.

To guarantee security, system level passwords should be changed after every three months while individual user passwords should be changed twice a year. All the PCs and laptops that are on the various stations of the organization should also have passwords. These computers should also be protected by password protected screensavers that reactivate themselves within ten minutes or less.

When such systems are unattended, they should log off automatically in less than five minutes. Reactivation should require the user to enter his/her username and password before login in.

Unless postings to news rooms are business related, employees should clearly state that the ideologies and opinions expressed via the emails that they have sent containing the name of Venus Corporation are independent and not related to the company in any way whatsoever.

Any host that is connected to the network of Venus Corporation must undergo a virus scan by the companys antivirus software. Finally, employees should be extra vigilant while opening emails with attachments from unknown senders or sources. Such emails may contain viruses, Trojans or email bombs that may cause system malfunction or security breach.

Unacceptable Use

The activities that will be discussed in this section are deemed to be against the policy of Venus Corporation and as such, they are illegal. However, employees may be exempt from such actions if they are conducted in the course of normal operations of the organization.

It should also be noted that under no circumstance shall an employee from Venus Corporation be allowed to engage in actions that are illegal under local, state, federal or international law under the name of Venus Corporation, its assets or resources. The list below represents activities that are unauthorised by Venus Corporation:

  1. Breaching or violating the rights of an individual or a company that is protected ether by patents, trade secrets or copyrights by selling, distributing, copying or installing softwares that are pirated or not licensed by Venus Corporation.
  2. Introduction of unfamiliar softwares or programmes into the network of Venus Corporation. This includes but not limited to Trojans, viruses and email bombs.
  3. Giving out your personal or level passwords to family members or any other unauthorised person when work is being done at home or outside the premise of Venus Corporation.
  4. Using of Venus Corporation assets in procuring or transmitting any material that violates the sexual harassment or hostile work laws within the organization.
  5. Making offers outside the scope of normal operations with regards to assets manufactured or sold by Venus Corporation.
  6. Initiating security breaches or disrupting the network of Venus Corporation.
  7. Denying access to authorised users of Venus Corporation network.
  8. Leaking information about the list of employees, customers, trade secrets, companys strategies and so on to unauthorised personnel.
  9. Sending spam mail and junk mail to individuals without their consent.
  10. Instigating any form of harassment via email, paging, text messaging or telephone calls.
  11. Unauthorised use or forging the Venus Corporation logo.
  12. Creating or forwarding chain letters.

Blogging

This policy also has some restrictions with regards to blogging. Blogging by employees while using Venus Corporation’s network or system shall be subjected to terms and restrictions. The same shall apply in an event where employees use their personal computers but use the network of Venus Corporation. Venus Corporation shall allow limited use of the companys network for blogging activities by its employees.

However, this should be done in a responsible and professional way and should not violate the companys name or its policy. Blogging should also be done on the best interest of the company and should at no point interfere with the performance of duties by employees. It should however be noted that blogging from the system of Venus Corporation is subjected to monitoring.

In the course of blogging, employees should maintain the confidentiality of the company, its reputation, image and goodwill. Employees should clearly state that the ideologies and beliefs presented while blogging are their own and independent from the beliefs and ideologies of the company. Finally, employees should not at any moment use the logo, trademark or any other intellectual property of the company in the event of blogging.

Implementation

It should be noted that any employee who goes against the stated or implied rules and policies presented by this document may be subjected to disciplinary action. On severe occasions, this may lead to termination of employment.

Employees Signature Date

Legal Implications of the Policy

This policy has been designed in such a way to incorporate all legal elements that Venus Corporation and its employees are expected to adhere to. It is essential for an organization and its employees to understand and follow the rules and procedures that govern them (Beri, 2007).

To ensure that employees adhere to all rules and regulations that fall under them, the policy clearly states that, “…under no circumstance shall an employee from Venus Corporation be allowed to engage in actions that are illegal under local, state, federal or international law under the name of Venus Corporation, its assets or resources.”

This clause therefore forbids all the employees of Venus Corporation from engaging in actions or activities that may be seen as illegal before the eye of the law.

With regards to the use of computers, the internet, softwares and hardwares, the policy strictly prohibits employees from using, installing or pirating any material or software that has not been authorised by the company or the company has no exclusive rights to undertake such actions.

This clause protects manufacturers and distributors of such computer softwares and hardwares that easily find their way into the illegal market. Venus Corporation does not want to be associated with such implications. If an employee breaches this rule, then he/she will be personally liable for his/her actions (Aaker, 2002).

The policy is also in accordance with the fourth amendment act that protects individuals from searches and seizures (Berry, 2009). This act aims at ensuring that the privacy of individuals is maintained.

However, the same law clearly states that a warrantless search conducted by corporations within their system does not violate the fourth amendment (Bian and Moutinho, 2009).

With regards to this, this policy clearly states that the Venus Corporation does not guarantee the confidentiality of information that is stored in their database or storage media. The policy also informs the employees that they are under constant scrutiny from the management.

Finally, the policy also respects the laws that protect individuals from any form of harassment. This may be sexual, racial, religious or any other form of harassment that may be deemed illegal by the law (Bender, 2001).

Due to this fact, employees are restricted from sending offensive or discriminatory messages with the use of emails, pagers, telephones and instant messages.

If an employee is found engaging in such an action, he/she may be punished before the court of law after suffering a disciplinary punishment from the organization (Baker, 2008). With regards to this, employees should respect and adhere to all the laws that affect the manner in which they use the resources of Venus Corporation.

Ethical Considerations

While using the resources and assets of Venus Corporation, employees should ensure that they maintain professional ethics and stick to the professional code of conduct. Employees are therefore expected to respect all the assets of the organization (Egan, 2000). They should only use these assets in activities and operations that ensure the well being of the organization.

To ensure that all the employees stick to these ethics, this policy clearly states what employees should and should not do with the assets and resources of the company, how they should use these resources and assets and when and where they should be used.

Employees who go against this policy will have breached the code of ethics that the policy contains and therefore they will face the full consequences of their actions (Geistfeld et al, 2007).

Venus Corporation has, for example, allowed its employees to use the companys network for blogging activities. However, these activities should be used to improve the operations and status of the company (Gofman and Mets, 2010). Blogging should also not prevent employees from performing the roles and duties that have been vested to them.

Employees should also not use the trademark, logo or patents of Venus Corporation while blogging. The blogs that they post on line should be based on their thoughts and ideas which are independent from those of the company.

Finally, employees should ensure that they maintain the reputation, credibility and a bright image of the company while blogging. Employees are thus expected to follow these ethical considerations in the process of using the companys assets and resources (Ford, 2005).

Moral Considerations

Through this policy, employees of Venus Corporations shall be able to differentiate between the actions that are right from those that are wrong (Cross, 2007). To ensure that employees follow moral considerations while using the resources and assets of the organization, the policy has clearly stated what the employees can do and what they cannot do with the resources and assets of Venus Corporation.

For instance, employees are allowed to use the internet to research, communicate with other employees, to market the products of the organization and to source for clients. All these actions are conducted to improve the overall status and operations of the organization.

However, the policy prohibits employees from using the internet and other assets and resources in a manner that is inconsistent with the operations and activities of the organization (Freedman, 2009). For instance, employees are restricted from procuring or transmitting any pornographic media or information that may lead to the breach of harassment laws.

Employees are also supposed to ensure that the security of the company is protected at all times. They are therefore not supposed to share their passwords or any other confidential information that may put the company at risk (Pride et al, 2011). As a result therefore, this policy acts as a tool of controlling and monitoring the morals of its employees.

References

Aaker, D.A. (2002). The Value of Brand Equity. Journal of Business Strategy, 13 (4), 27- 32.

Baker, J. (2008). The Strategic Marketing Plan Audit. New York: Pearson.

Bender, T. (2001). Community and Social Change in America. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Beri, M. (2007). Marketting Research. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill

Berry, L. (2009). Relationship Marketing of Services, Growing Interest and Emerging Perspectives. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 23, 236–245.

Bian, X. and Moutinho, L. (2009). The Role of Brand Image, Product Involvement, And Knowledge in Explaining Consumer Purchase Behavior of Counterfeits Direct and Indirect Effects. European Journal of Marketing, 45 (1), 191-216

Biddle, J.E., Davis, J.B., Samuels, W.J. (2003). Contributions of Medieval Muslim Scholars to the History of Economics and their Impact: A Refutation of the Schumpeterian Great Gap. A Companion to the History of Economic Thought. Malden: Bradshaw.

Cross, R.G. (2007). Revenue management: hard-core tactics for market domination. Washington: Broadway Books.

Egan, J. (2000) Relationship Marketing. ã Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall

Geistfeld, L.V., Sproles, G.B. and Badenhop, S.B. (2007). The Concept and Measurement of Hierarchy of Product Characteristics. Advances in Consumer Research, 4, 302-307.

Gofman, A. and Mets,T. (2010). Consumer Behavior. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 27 (2), 157–168.

Ford, K. (2005). Brands Laid Bare: Using Market Research for Evidence-Based Brand Management. Michigan: John Wiley and Sons

Freedman, H. (2009). Chinese copycats are leaving international brands fit to be tied. Forbes,163, 48-54.

Mullins, L.J. (2010). Management & Organizational Behavior. New York: Prentice Hall.

Nicolini, D. (2000). Organizational Learning; Journal of Management Studies, 37 (6), 783-795.

Pride, M., Hughes, R.J. and Kapoor, R.J. (2011). Business. Portland: Cengage Learning

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