Practices Contents

Computer Use Handbook - An Example


With the ever-increasing reliance on computers and their related data, both created and received, at the National Office, there is need for guidance, even policies that streamline these areas:

  1. Safeguard the loss of computer equipment and more importantly the loss of data
  2. Promote the easy exchange and sharing of resources and data
  3. Ensure the legitimacy of the user and the applied software

[Tip#01: As a starting point, it's recommended to develop guidelines for the office and thereafter as staff understands their importance, establish overall policy]

Main Concerns

The Computer User

Computer users are persons that are authorized to use specified computers of the National Office. The National Coordinator issues authorization and maintains a registry wherein users and their respective logon passwords and assigned computer will be placed. Users will be provided first with a list of guidelines. As the structure matures, Computer Usage Policy will be developed then shared with computer users - by which if provisions are violated, such violations will lead to appropriate action, such as: warnings, suspension or dismissal.

Access to Computers

The National Coordinator will usually have a technical person or team with whom the Coordinator will share authorization. Every computer should have at least two users: the principal user and that of the technical person -eg. systems administrator. No persons will operate any computer unless given authorization. All persons that operate any computer must have a usename and password to an assigned computer. There is no sharing of logon passwords and no computer left unattended and open for unauthorized use.

User Responsibility

- Data

Each user will collaborate with the National Coordinator or the Coordinator's assigned person to regularly backup the user's data according to schedule and to a selected backup device. With respect to email correspondence, all sent mail is recommended to be blind-copied to the general email mailbox called:

- Computer System

All computers must run only legitimate software authorized by the National Coordinator. With respect to updating software, the users are encouraged to actively allow updates to be installed when alerts to these are published. This is particularly important that the anti-virus application is always to be functional and kept up-to-date. The National Coordinator or the Coordinator's assigned person, during the regular backup exercise, will verify the status of the operating system and software. Unauthorized installation of software is considered a policy violation. On hardware, all computers and their related accessories must always be powered through a power protection device (relevant for countries where power supply is erratic). Similarly, all devices, when not in use, are to be protected from theft, dust and heat through appropriate action and coverings.

- Internet Browsing

Whether by email or by any internet site, no user will issue username and/or passwords without the explicit authorization of the National Coordinator. Users are to acknowledge that clicking on links without good knowledge of where such links lead to may compromise the security of their systems. The Coordinator will issue from time to time guidelines on the moderate use of Internet-based social networks and/or any cloud service.

Draft Computer Use Handbook

The link below refers to an example of a computer use handbook - as assistance towards the development of one that is necessary for any office/business environment.


Developing a Backup Strategy

In understanding one's own filing culture and priorities, it good to examine the many aspects at play concerning a good backup strategy to make a good fit to one's way of working. For a brief outline of those aspects, here is an attempt to gain more insights in the following brief (see link below).

Backing up DataV102.pdf