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Acceptable use policy

(also AUP, acceptable usage policy, fair use policy)

Acceptable use policy definition

An acceptable use policy is a set of rules users must agree to if they want to access a corporate network, website, or the internet. This documentation is necessary to establish clear guidelines so users know what they can and can’t do while they are connected to that network. Businesses and schools often require users to sign an acceptable use policy before allowing people to access their network.

Acceptable use policy purpose

Cyberattack prevention. Limiting what content users on your network can access and how they interact with it will minimize the risk of a cyberattack.

Productivity. Some institutions choose to restrict users’ access to certain websites (like social media) to encourage productivity at work or school.

Preventing illegal activity. If an organization has strict rules in regard to illegally downloading content, it may discourage users from breaking the law and becoming a liability for the business.