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Using our systems

We should all use computer hardware, software and the information on our systems responsibly.

Effectively managing our information, systems and communications is critical. We want our employees to access, process and publish information in ways that meet our social, ethical, legal and security requirements, while protecting our reputation.

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Cloud Computing Security

If you plan to store data or use applications outside of Serco's own infrastructure (i.e. in the 'Cloud'), you should check for any legal or contractual restrictions that may prevent the data being hosted in another country.

You should also follow the Cloud Security Standard Operating Procedure and complete the necessary risk assessment. And you should consult the owner of the data to ensure it conforms to any additional requirements they may have.

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What you can expect from us:

  • We provide you with computer technology to make our processes and communication more efficient and effective. All our computer hardware and software, and all the information we keep, including information about our intellectual property, and our clients, customers and employees, is our property.
  • We let you use Serco's information systems for appropriate personal use, provided it is of a reasonable duration and frequency, doesn't detract from your performance or that of your colleagues, and doesn't harm our reputation or interfere with our business.
  • We also let you use Serco-provided telephones, including mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), to make a reasonable level of personal calls.
  • We may monitor your use of the Internet, email, messaging and other information systems for security and compliance purposes. This can include scanning your email messages and attachments for unsuitable content.
  • We may use any information we receive through monitoring to investigate breaches of Our Code or the law, and to instigate disciplinary or legal proceedings if that is appropriate.

We expect you to:

  • Take responsibility for all text, audio and images you send using Serco's email and other messaging systems, including instant messaging and text messaging.
  • Only use Serco email addresses and messaging systems for Serco business. You should attach our standard disclaimer to the end of each email you send from our system. Do not send anonymous emails or messages from Serco systems.
  • Never use our email or messaging systems to send unsolicited messages, including advertising material ("spam"), chain letters, or Ponzi or other pyramid schemes of any type. You should not reply to or forward these types of messages and should delete them without opening them.
  • Keep a careful look out for suspicious emails and messages, delete them immediately and report them to your IT department.
  • Never use external email accounts (such as Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail), instant messaging or text messaging systems to transfer information with Protective Marking, sensitive information owned by or relating to customers, or marked 'Serco in Confidence'.
  • Never copy any commercially senstive, confidential or privileged information belonging to Serco, our customers or third party partners to any personally owned computers or devices except those enrolled in the approved 'Bring Your Own Device' (BYOD) programme.

Effectively managing our information, systems and communications is critical. We want our employees to access, process and publish information in ways that meet our social, ethical, legal and security requirements, while protecting our reputation.

A colleague seems to spend all day viewing non-work related Internet sites. Nobody else in the team seems to be bothered.

Who should you talk to abou this?

1. I'd try to have a word with him

Our Code says this:

"We let you use Serco's information systems for appropriate personal use, provided it is of a reasonable duration and frequency, doesn't detract from your performance or that of your colleagues, and doesn't harm our reputation or interfere with our business."

In this case it's possible the use might be unreasonable. But bear in mind that some roles require people to view sites on the Internet, so they may not be using the PC for personal use.

That said, some people do use the Internet at the expense of their work, and a few can acquire an unhealthy Internet habit, and may even need help.

If you are concerned, it's probably best to talk to the individual yourself. But don't make any accusations as they may have a legitimate reason for viewing the sites. If that's the case, you might suggest that they let their colleagues know this, so no one thinks they are wasting time.

If they are just viewing social network sites for personal interest, then they aren't following our Code, and they're letting the team down. If you feel comfortable doing it, you are perfectly entitled to raise this with the individual.

If not, you might ask your manager to remind everybody what they can and cannot do in the matter of Internet access.

2. No one, as no one else is worried

Wrong. Please try again.

3. I'd bypass him and report him so they can investigate him

Wrong. Please try again.

You've sent a text to the wrong person. It has information they shouldn't see.

Now what?

1. Too late. There's nothing I can do

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Ask the person to delete it

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Ask the person to delete it, tell them you must report this, and report it

Our Code tells us that we are each responsible for all text, audio and images we send using Serco's email and other messaging systems, including instant messaging and text messaging.

But of course sometimes things that we didn't intend to happen, do happen. And sending a text to the wrong person happens quite often.

What we do next has a lot to do with who we've sent the information to, and what the information is about. But in every case, it's our responsibility to address the mistake, and make sure that any potential damage is minimised or mitigated.

And in almost every case this requires us to report the matter at once.

If you sent a non-confidential document to your mum or a friend, it's probably fine just to ask them to delete it and ignore the contents – so long as the contents don't contain anything that might do harm if it fell into the wrong hands.

When important information is involved, you should always report what's happened, and tell the person you've sent the text to that this is what you've done. The same would apply if this were an email or other inadvertent communication.

If another Serco employee is involved they may need to sign a non disclosure agreement. In some cases it may also be necessary for a security manager to speak to the person you sent the text to, to make certain thy have not shared, and will not share, the information with anyone else.

Where the information is commercially sensitive, or contains personal details about an individual, and you sent the text to someone outside Serco, further actions may be needed – especially if that person works for a competitor or the media.

What matters is that you act fast and appropriately to keep our information and our systems safe and secure.

 

"At Serco we champion Human Rights."

You are desperate to win a competition and send in multiple text entries from your busines mobile phone.

Is that OK?

1. Yes, so long as I don't do it too often

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Not really, but it's not that serious is it?

Wrong. Please try again.

3. No, it's not appropriate

Right answer because:

We let you use Serco's information systems for appropriate personal use, provided it is of a reasonable duration and frequency, doesn't detract from your performance or that of your colleagues, and doesn't harm our reputation or interfere with our business.

Entering competitions is not appropriate personal use. Each one of your text entries is costing the company money, and the only possible beneficiary is you. So this is not appropriate either.

And often entering competitions requires the use of premium rate numbers, which is not permitted unless it is required for business purposes.

An important related point is that Serco does not allow employees to use its resources to participate in online gambling.

And you should never use our email or messaging systems to send unsolicited messages, including advertising material ("spam"), chain letters, Ponzi or other pyramid schemes of any type. You should not reply to or forward these types of messages and should delete them without opening them.

 

Dilemma 1

A colleague seems to spend all day viewing non-work related Internet sites. Nobody else in the team seems to be bothered.

Who should you talk to abou this?

1. I'd try to have a word with him

Our Code says this:

"We let you use Serco's information systems for appropriate personal use, provided it is of a reasonable duration and frequency, doesn't detract from your performance or that of your colleagues, and doesn't harm our reputation or interfere with our business."

In this case it's possible the use might be unreasonable. But bear in mind that some roles require people to view sites on the Internet, so they may not be using the PC for personal use.

That said, some people do use the Internet at the expense of their work, and a few can acquire an unhealthy Internet habit, and may even need help.

If you are concerned, it's probably best to talk to the individual yourself. But don't make any accusations as they may have a legitimate reason for viewing the sites. If that's the case, you might suggest that they let their colleagues know this, so no one thinks they are wasting time.

If they are just viewing social network sites for personal interest, then they aren't following our Code, and they're letting the team down. If you feel comfortable doing it, you are perfectly entitled to raise this with the individual.

If not, you might ask your manager to remind everybody what they can and cannot do in the matter of Internet access.

2. No one, as no one else is worried

Wrong. Please try again.

3. I'd bypass him and report him so they can investigate him

Wrong. Please try again.

Dilemma 2

You've sent a text to the wrong person. It has information they shouldn't see.

Now what?

1. Too late. There's nothing I can do

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Ask the person to delete it

Wrong. Please try again.

3. Ask the person to delete it, tell them you must report this, and report it

Our Code tells us that we are each responsible for all text, audio and images we send using Serco's email and other messaging systems, including instant messaging and text messaging.

But of course sometimes things that we didn't intend to happen, do happen. And sending a text to the wrong person happens quite often.

What we do next has a lot to do with who we've sent the information to, and what the information is about. But in every case, it's our responsibility to address the mistake, and make sure that any potential damage is minimised or mitigated.

And in almost every case this requires us to report the matter at once.

If you sent a non-confidential document to your mum or a friend, it's probably fine just to ask them to delete it and ignore the contents – so long as the contents don't contain anything that might do harm if it fell into the wrong hands.

When important information is involved, you should always report what's happened, and tell the person you've sent the text to that this is what you've done. The same would apply if this were an email or other inadvertent communication.

If another Serco employee is involved they may need to sign a non disclosure agreement. In some cases it may also be necessary for a security manager to speak to the person you sent the text to, to make certain thy have not shared, and will not share, the information with anyone else.

Where the information is commercially sensitive, or contains personal details about an individual, and you sent the text to someone outside Serco, further actions may be needed – especially if that person works for a competitor or the media.

What matters is that you act fast and appropriately to keep our information and our systems safe and secure.

 

"At Serco we champion Human Rights."

Dilemma 3

You are desperate to win a competition and send in multiple text entries from your busines mobile phone.

Is that OK?

1. Yes, so long as I don't do it too often

Wrong. Please try again.

2. Not really, but it's not that serious is it?

Wrong. Please try again.

3. No, it's not appropriate

Right answer because:

We let you use Serco's information systems for appropriate personal use, provided it is of a reasonable duration and frequency, doesn't detract from your performance or that of your colleagues, and doesn't harm our reputation or interfere with our business.

Entering competitions is not appropriate personal use. Each one of your text entries is costing the company money, and the only possible beneficiary is you. So this is not appropriate either.

And often entering competitions requires the use of premium rate numbers, which is not permitted unless it is required for business purposes.

An important related point is that Serco does not allow employees to use its resources to participate in online gambling.

And you should never use our email or messaging systems to send unsolicited messages, including advertising material ("spam"), chain letters, Ponzi or other pyramid schemes of any type. You should not reply to or forward these types of messages and should delete them without opening them.