Did you know that almost 40 percent of the UK workforce don’t have basic computer skills? And 20 percent can’t operate IT or software at an advanced level?
Not everyone can be a software power user, but technology is vital to virtually every job these days. This is why IT literacy and cyber security awareness are so important. It only takes one employee to click a malicious link and put your business at risk.
A well-written, understandable IT policy gives your employees a clear understanding of what to do - and what not do - with company IT. It outlines best practices and company expectations, and it helps new or less tech-savvy employees learn:
- which tools, processes, software and devices they should be using;
- how to safely use those things; and
- best practices in data security, privacy and cybersecurity.
If the creation of a comprehensive IT policy from scratch fills you with dread, have no fear. There are many free online IT policy templates you can use.
The benefits of using an IT policy template
There are two key benefits to using an IT policy template:
- It’s already written. If you don’t know where to begin, an IT policy template makes for a useful starting point. However, this isn’t to say you should just blindly implement any template. Make sure it’s compatible with your business needs and, where it’s not, amend and adapt accordingly.
- It’s cheaper. A free template is going to be less of a strain on your wallet than hiring IT experts to write a policy for you, although that's the best way to get a comprehensive policy prepared.
Here are 6 free online IT policy templates you can use to write your IT policy. There are many more available online - a quick Google search can attest to that - but we like these the most.
1. Pensar’s IT Security Policy Template
Safeguard your security with our free IT security policy template. Writing your security practices down will help employees follow procedure and learn best practice. Download the template, fill it out and you'll have an IT security policy written within hours instead of days.
2. GDPR Compliant Data Protection Policy Template
But remember: every business is different. We recommend getting professional advice about GDPR compliance, and assessing your GDPR readiness with this quiz to make sure you're really compliant. A data protection policy is just one piece of the puzzle!
3. Email Policy Template
4. Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Policy Template
A BYOD programme lets your staff use their own personal devices for work purposes - something they're probably doing anyway, regardless of whether you have a formal programme or not.
BYOD can help reduce your IT costs and even improve productivity and employee happiness, since it allows people to work on familiar devices, but it's not without its risks. You need a policy, like this one to outline the steps to follow when connecting personal computers and devices to business networks, apps or services.
5. End User Encryption Key Protection Policy Template
Mismanagement of your Encryption Keys can lead to data breaches. Yet, employees may not be familiar with minimum standards for encryption key protection. This policy shows end users how to protect their encryption keys to prevent unauthorised disclosure and fraudulent use.
6. Disaster Recovery Plan Policy Template
Too many businesses don’t like to think about a potential outage or business interruption, but preparation pays off.
This policy is for the worst of times. It defines the requirements for a baseline disaster recovery plan that you can implement to recover all IT systems, applications and data.
Write the right IT policies for your business
With these IT policy templates, you can quickly set out how you and your employees use IT throughout your business. Give them a try, and reach out to us if you need help.