Computer Logon Banners provide a message (usually on the log-in screen) that generally states that a user of said computer system will be held accountable for their actions and consent to things like monitoring. It sets the correct expectations regarding authorized and acceptable use of a computer system and it’s resources, data, and network access capabilities.

Since warning banners also establish what is and is not acceptable on a computer system, it can tell a person legally what actions will be taken against them if any terms of use are violated (such as termination of employment).

Secure Your Work & Home Computers Risk Assessment

Though not required, it can be a good idea to provide guidance and warning about the rules of using a computer system of your business to your employees (or clients) prior to using them. Even the US Department of Justice has guidelines on including and using this legal tool in Appendix A of their “Searching and Seizing Computers and Obtaining Electronic Evidence in Criminal Investigation” manual.

computer login banners
Many times a login banner shows up before you are able to type your login credentials. Sometimes though, you can find a banner that pops up immediately after you log in.

Here is an example of the one that the Department of Justice points out and it can be applied to your business too:

This computer network belongs to the Brownie Corporation and may be used only by Brownie Corporation employees and only for work-related purposes. The Brownie Corporation reserves the right to monitor use of this network to ensure network security and to respond to specific allegations of employee misuse. Use of this network shall constitute consent to monitoring for such purposes. In addition, the Brownie Corporation reserves the right to consent to a valid law enforcement request to search the network for evidence of a crime stored within the network.

If you need more examples, you can visit here to read more about it. If you need even more examples, the DOJ supplies several good examples too here in Appendix “A” named “Sample Network Banner Language”. There is even a checklist-like list to use in Appendix A to check if your banner is good.

If you want to have banners on your  computer OS’s displayed on or after your log-in screen, here are some resources to setting up log-in banners on your particular type of computer system’s OS. It helps to implement this on a:

Note: If a person, malicious hacker or not, were to just try and simply log into your computers and they are NOT presented with appropriate legal computer logon banners, are they actually breaking the law? If something bad was done, will you have trouble prosecuting them? These are questions to ask yourself or when you consult an attorney about this issue for clarification.

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