What is acceptable use policy (AUP)? – Definition from WhatIs.com – TechTarget

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An acceptable use policy (AUP) is a document stipulating constraints and practices that a user must agree to for access to a corporate network, the internet or other resources. Many businesses and educational institutions require employees or students to sign an AUP before being granted a network ID.
From an information technology (IT) perspective, an AUP states what a user can and cannot do when using computers and computing resources. This applies whether the organization provides the device or it is a personal device that the user provides.
One of the benefits of an AUP is that it spells out acceptable and unacceptable employee behavior and actions. AUPs also provide a company with a legal mechanism to compel compliance, and they describe penalties for noncompliance.
Internet service providers (ISPs) usually require new customers to sign an AUP. It may be part of a service level agreement (SLA) between the ISP and customer.
The following are nine stipulations that might be included in an ISP’s acceptable use policy:
A disclaimer is often included in an AUP absolving the organization from responsibility for a data breach, malware or other issue. Statements about when a person is in violation of this policy and when law enforcement might be called in could also be included.
The following are examples of areas where an acceptable use policy could be helpful:
Signing an acceptable use policy may be required as part of an employment contract. It often happens during the employee onboarding process or as needed with existing employees.
However, employees must be reminded periodically of their responsibility to understand and adhere to the rules spelled out in the AUP. Some best practices that help employees comply with these policies include the following:
BYOD acceptable use policies are becoming common. Find out more about BYOD policy enforcement and creation.
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