Harker, Anderson remind employees
to limit computer, e-mail use
Early this month, Mary Harker (HR manager) and Forrest Anderson (Cyber Security Office) visited with District 3 supervisors and employees about Internet and e-mail usage at ITD. The central point was adherence to policy - as defined by management, ITRMC (Information Technology Resource Management Council) and the Idaho governor’s directive – that reinforced using computers, Internet and e-mail appropriately.
Although the meeting was at District 3, the message bears repeating to all employees: It need not come to this, according to Harker and Anderson, but both warned that failure to comply with such policies not only puts the employee’s career at risk but also may represent a security risk or even a legal liability risk for the department.
Harker also emphasized that supervisors need to model the policy, and if employees become aware of misuse they have the obligation to deal with it or report it, especially if the content is inappropriate.
Here are a few of those reminders:
Any e-mail sent from an ITD address can end up anywhere through forwarding. It is like sending a note on ITD letterhead through the regular mail.
Citizens who see non-business e-mails coming from an ITD e-mail address have complained, creating the perception that employees are not busy or working hard.
Employees who receive sexual, pornographic, racial, political, or other inappropriate e-mail content or links to such content, are required by policy to report it.
ITD work computers are not personal equipment and should be used primarily for business-related purposes. Like a copy machine, a state car or a snowplow, these items are not personal property.
As much as possible, limit personal use to breaks and lunch hours.
Use common sense and basic etiquette when sending and receive e-mails or when surfing the Internet.
“But as we all know, common sense is not common at all,” Anderson said. “Just think about what you’re doing before you do it.”
“Inappropriate or excessive personal activity should be avoided,” Anderson explained, and “even non-work related activity may compete with legitimate applications for limited network resources.”
“If one person does it once, that’s not a huge problem, but if 1,500 people do it all at the same time, the network can not handle it,” Anderson said. Streaming media, which includes audio and video such as Internet radio or You Tube, were given as examples of bandwidth-consuming sites.
The message from Anderson and Harker was this: Employees should use discretion and common sense and be conscientious and responsible for their actions. They also should be aware that some activity may be monitored to ensure compliance with policies. They should understand and take seriously their responsibilities as employees, supervisors and representatives of ITD.
For more information, please see the Governor’s Executive Order 2001-12 governing this issue and the ITD policy A-22-02, based on the executive order.