Strengthen Your Internet Acceptable Use Policy through Internet Monitoring Software
The Internet has become the communications backbone of nearly every business. Its significance can’t de denied at any stage of the business development process. Every company provides Internet access to its employees to assist them in accomplishing their tasks. Although the Internet is a valuable research tool, it must be used appropriately. Many employees tend to take advantage of this valuable asset by using it for their private purposes. Internet monitoring software is the perfect tool for all type of small as well as medium sized companies to monitor the activities of their employees over the Internet. How does Internet monitoring software keep track of all your employees’ Internet activities? Here is a list of things that Internet monitoring software does for your company.
• Track Employee Activities: The Internet is a worldwide network of computers that connects millions of websites. Some of these websites contain useful information while some contain offensive, sexually explicit, and inappropriate material. In general, it is difficult to avoid at least some contact with inappropriate material while using the Internet. In addition, having an e-mail address on the web might result in unwelcome e-mail containing offensive content. Users accessing the Internet do so at their own risk. Internet monitoring software keeps track of all the pages surfed by the employees and the time spent by the employees on websites.
• Protect System Resources: In general, employees should understand the nature of their job and they should not deliberately perform any action that might result in a waste of system resources or unfair monopolizing of resources to the exclusion of others. This can include but is not limited to distribution of mass mails or chain letters, spending undue time on the Internet, playing games, participation in online chat groups, printing multiple copies of documents, or otherwise creating unnecessary network traffic. All these activities require bandwidth and specific storage space that can strain the performance of the system. Employees who take advantage of system resources are easily identified via Internet monitoring software.
• Curb Privacy Concerns: Employees must understand that the computers and computer accounts given to them are to assist them in performing their job efficiently. Employee privacy expectations should be set appropriately when using company assets on public networks. An Internet monitoring software keeps a record of all the things that an employee creates, stores, sends, or receives on the network. Internet monitoring software can also provide exceptions for privileged communications, such as what may occur between an employee and his or her attorney.
• Monitor Computer Usage: With Internet monitoring software a company can monitor the sites visited by employees on the Internet, monitor chat groups and news groups, review downloaded and uploaded material, and review e-mail sent and received by employees.
• Block Inappropriate Content: By using Internet monitoring software a business organization can identify inappropriate or sexually explicit Internet sites. Access to these types of sites can be blocked on company networks.
• Prohibit Activities: Many websites contain fraudulent, harassing, embarrassing, sexually explicit, profane, obscene, intimidating, defamatory, or otherwise unlawful, inappropriate, or offensive content. Offensive content can include material concerning sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, or other characteristic protected by law, or it may violate equal employment opportunity policies and policies against sexual or other harassment. To prevent content like this from being downloaded from the Internet or displayed or stored in a company’s computers, Internet monitoring software can be employed to prohibit these activities.
• Control Gaming: With Internet monitoring software in place, employees will not be able to use the company’s Internet connection to download games or other entertainment software, including wallpaper and screen savers, or to play games over the Internet.
• Detect Viruses: To prevent viruses, it is important to monitor all files obtained from sources outside the business domain, including disks brought from home, files downloaded from the Internet, newsgroups, bulletin boards, or other online services, files attached to e-mail, and files provided by customers or vendors. With Internet monitoring software in place, employees can be blocked from sites known to contain malicious code thus protecting against a “drive-by” attack.