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Grab these security policies to protect users, the network

Solid policies on e-mail and Internet use are crucial elements in securing your network. TechRepublic puts these vital tools at your fingertips.

If you're looking for the complete 'policy' book, check out TechRepublic's detailed IT Professional's Guide to Policies and Procedures, Third Edition. Not only do you get the critical e-mail and Internet usage policies, but new tools for fighting virus prevention and protecting users' privacy.

Threats to network and desktop security are continually increasing—just this past week computer security experts warned of another new Internet threat that's stealing passwords and account information from online banking sites. It was the second such announcement in a week.

Then, there are ever-growing data-security threats tied to e-mail use. Viruses, spam, and other harmful or unwanted content all represent a serious risk to companies—it's estimated that PC-based viruses cost businesses about $55 billion last year alone.

A key element to thwarting future attacks and virus impacts is end-user security education and strong security policies.

To help IT managers get a strong foothold on both vital tasks, TechRepublic offers detailed comprehensive security policies (priced at $14.95 each) that organizations can easily customize, or use as-is. The downloadable policies not only help inform users about how to avoid e-mail viruses and dangerous downloading, but also establish clear insight on what can and can't be done by users.

Here's a quick look at what each policy provides:

E-mail Security Policy

This ready-to-use customizable policy covers a broad range of topics as it relates to E-mail usage like authorized usage, privacy rights, and message monitoring to name a few. You choose to edit, leave as-is, or delete the topic section based on your organization's needs.

Instant Messaging Policy

This policy outlines the IM carrier supported by the technology department and the appropriate end user behavior. IM etiquette and IM security are also covered in detail. This policy includes an "Acknowledgement of the IM policy" for the end user to sign and date. As with all of our policies, they are designed to be customizable so you can easily control the depth of coverage.

Internet Usage Policy

The Internet Usage Policy provides two customizable templates, one for moderate Internet use and one for strict Internet usage. The moderate policy allows for occasional and reasonable personal use of the Internet and the strict policy spells out the permitted and prohibited behavior as well as defining violations. You may choose to require employees' acceptance by having them submit their signatures.

More helpful resources

If spyware and adware have become a drain on IT resources, check out TechRepublic's Quick Guide: Spyware Detection and Removal resource collection that examines how these programs can damage your systems, reviews three of the most popular removal programs (Spy Sweeper, Spybot, and PestPatrol), and provides valuable tips and recommendations for maximizing each application's capabilities.

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