What is an acceptable use policy?
The basics: This acceptable use policy (sometimes called an “AUP”) governs what a user can and cannot do when visiting a website, including in relation to any content the user can add or upload to the website. It is a set of standard terms that are not intended to be negotiated, only publicised on the applicable website, and should be available to read through a hyperlink at any point a user can access content or features.
When should I use this acceptable use policy template?
Control the content on your website: You should use this acceptable use policy template where you want a set of enforceable guidelines on how a website visitor can and cannot use your website. This could be particularly useful where the website users have the ability to add their own content to the website (e.g. via a discussion board) as your acceptable use policy can include rules around the type of content that can be added.
Other considerations: The document can be used for users that are either businesses or individuals (B2C and B2B), but does not reflect industry-specific sector rules, such as for financially regulated businesses. You should not use this document if your website users or customers include children, as laws and rules around age-appropriate content and restricting viewing and interaction with children are not included in this draft.
What does this acceptable use policy template include?
Key provisions: The acceptable use policy template contains a set of rules that control website visitors' interaction with the content, the company and other users of the site. The terms allow the company to suspend or revoke access to the website (or certain features or functions of it) where users do not comply with certain content and usage standards, such as through hacking the site or uploading harmful viruses or code, or inputting offensive or illegal content. The acceptable use policy template includes the option to include the following sections:
- Information about the website and the website owner;
- Restrictions on the use of the website;
- Details of the responsibilities the website visitor must comply with when using the website;
- Rules on user-generated content - restrictions on the type of content that the user can add or upload to the website;
- What happens if the policy is breached, including rights to remove user-generated content and suspend the user’s website access;
- A complaints procedure; and
- Law and jurisdiction.
This document assumes that the website owner is based and incorporated in the UK, and that English law applies.
What other documents do I need on my website?
This website acceptable use policy is not a standalone document, and should also sit alongside other website documents:
- Website privacy notice - it is a strict requirement of UK data protection laws to provide a privacy notice to individuals when you collect (or process) personal data about them. You are very likely to collect personal data about website visitors - whether that’s through your online shop, via a contact form on your website or through tracking technologies such as cookies. It’s therefore crucial that a privacy notice is provided to website visitors, so they know how their personal data is being used.
- Legal notices - website disclaimers enable you to clearly set out important warnings, statements or notices on your website that you intend to have a binding legal effect to website visitors.
- Terms of sale - if your website has an online shop, you also need to include terms that deal with the products being sold on your website (e.g. payment terms, delivery, responsibilities in relation to the products). Docue has a number of different dynamic terms of sale templates ready for use:
- Online terms for the sale of goods;
- Online terms for the supply or services; and
- Online terms for the sale of digital content.
Read more about the key documents that should be included on your website (and why) on our handy blog.
By using Docue’s high-tech platform, you can create a top-quality website acceptable use policy in just minutes. Docue's service includes model content designed (and kept up to date) by English law-qualified lawyers to help you draft the terms yourself and tailor them to your business’ specific needs
Tags: acceptable use policy, website use policy, AUP, notice board AUP, website content policy, website acceptable use policy, website guidelines