Protecting Company Computers

Written by Robert G. Brody on August 15, 2009

Protecting Company Computers

Do you provide computers for your employees? Almost everyone does. If so, your employees have access to your company’s most critical data. Are you protecting it? Here are a few tips for how you can protect your company:

  • Have a policy in your handbook clearly stating that the computer and all its contents are property of the company. The policy should say that the computer can be searched at any time.
  •  Specify whether the computer can be used for personal use. Consistently enforce this policy.
  • Specify if employees are allowed to download or add software which is not provided by the Company.
  •  Make sure all employees who receive a computer sign an agreement stating they understand the computer policies.
  • Have a disclaimer that appears each time the employee signs on, notifying them of the company’s policy regarding computer privacy issues.
  • Perform periodic audits of the computers. This will deter employees from unauthorized use of the computer and alert you to such violations.
  • Make sure all employees have confidentiality notices at the bottom of their email messages as well as any required notices. Also, employees should note in the header or title line when an email is extremely confidential, especially when it is going to the Company attorney.
  • Have restrictive covenants covering the usage of confidential company data.
  • Once you inform someone they are being discharged, be sure to closely monitor their computer use so as to prevent theft of company documents and data or sabotage. In cases of immediate termination, consider locking the employee out of your server at the same time they are told of the discharge. This is harsh but necessary in some cases.

For additional tips on maintaining control over employee use of company computer equipment, or for assistance on these and all types of employment-related issues, please contact one of our attorneys.

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About the Authors

Robert G. Brody is the founding member of Brody and Associates, LLC. He has been quoted and published in national publications and appears as a guest T.V. commentator on contemporary Labor and Employment issues. Learn More