Within this relatively small company I work for, I have been handing out usernames and passwords written very simply in a word document.

I wish for this process to be more professional now that we are expanding and quite regularly acquire new employees, to include some text stating things such as having responsibility of keeping the sensitive information for themselves, to not inflict any intentional damage to the systems, yada yada. Basic, common sense, I guess you could say "legal" stuff, is what I am looking for and then I would want the employee to finally sign a copy.

Does such a template already exist online? Are there perhaps any other recommendations as to what I otherwise could do? My last resort would probably have my boss, ceo, to have our lawyer produce something, but that would turn into a very expensive project.

Any help will be greatly appreciated!

  • This isn't really a ServerFault question.
    – ceejayoz
    Dec 6, 2011 at 17:30
  • 2
    writing this sort of document opens you up for what you don't mention, you need something that a lawyer has looked at even if it is a template
    – JamesRyan
    Dec 6, 2011 at 17:31
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    @ceejayoz - While it's not a technical question it definitely relates to the server, networks, and desktop PCs in the work place. Policy writing often falls on the shoulders of the SysAdmin in a smaller shop. Perhaps a liberal interpretation but I would have found this useful years ago. Dec 6, 2011 at 17:42

3 Answers 3


You're looking for boilerplate Acceptable Use Policy documents. I like the SANS one, but your mileage may vary. You REALLY want to run that document (or any policy) by your boss and probably legal before deploying it. Your state and/or federal requirements may be vastly different than where the template you modify was generated.

  • 1
    Good find with the SANS template. +1 Dec 6, 2011 at 17:39
  • This is an extremely nice template and place to start. I will have to edit it for our needs, and finally go through it with my boss, but again, a fantastic place to start and is in general exactly what I had in mind. Thank you SO much!
    – Amivit
    Dec 6, 2011 at 18:33
  • As others have said, it's definitely worth the hour of legal fees to have your company's lawyer review the final document. Also, consider including other documents in the information technology packet (mail server settings, webmail and other important URLs, calendaring information, who to contact for access to the shiny color laser printers, etc.)
    – voretaq7
    Dec 6, 2011 at 21:20

This is something I think you should write yourself. You can certainly look at other AUPs to get ideas, but it should be tailored to your environment.

For myself, I find an informal, non-legalistic document to work best for a smallish company. Ours spells out a few specific things we don't want people to do, it tells them a few things they should do (e.g. where to keep what type of files), tells them when/how they should ask for help.

You do need to run it by your boss and probably other managers, but I find that if the intent is to educate people about good and bad computer use, it needn't be a big deal.

  • +1 for having a document easily understandable by laypersons. While I think a lawyer should eyeball it and make suggestions the document shouldn't be a dense brick of legalease - just a friendly "Please don't download the sheep porn on company equipment, thanks." kind of note. If your company needs better legal protection a separate document people sign as part of their employment agreement is more appropriate.
    – voretaq7
    Dec 6, 2011 at 21:22

I believe you are looking for an Acceptable Use Policy.


Your company's administration and possibly lawyer should be involved in the creation and drafting of such a document if you have any hope of enforcing it. If it's just a formality, I say have at modifying one that you can find online.

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