These days, there are few, if any, organizations that can get along without the internet. But while the internet has both made work more efficient and created new work opportunities, it still comes with some significant downsides.
While having access to the internet may be necessary for an employee to do their job, it can also distract them from doing their job. It’s easy for employees to get sidetracked from their work by one or more of the many distractions that the internet provides.
The internet also provides a number of ways for people who have bad intentions to access personal information and proprietary data stored on your network. The right internet monitoring system can help mitigate these risks, but how do you make sure that your internet monitoring system is doing what you want it to do? Take a look at some of the risks that are posed by employee internet use and how an internet monitoring system can help.
Keep your employee’s attention on the things that really matter with an internet monitoring system.
When employees have unfettered access to the internet, there’s no guarantee that they’ll focus solely on the work that they’re supposed to be doing for your organization. The temptation to check on personal email, do some online shopping, or browse social media sites can be strong.
Employees may not mean to take advantage of their access to the internet. It can start innocently, with the employee just using their breaks or downtime to browse the internet for personal reasons, but it’s a short path from there to becoming so absorbed in personal web browsing that work-related tasks get ignored or get completed haphazardly.
This kind of productivity loss can come with serious costs to your organization. If only a few employees are spending significant amounts of work time doing personal tasks online, you could be paying out hours’ worth of salary each week for work that isn’t being completed. It’s understandable that there is some downtime in everyone’s day, but you shouldn’t have to pay your employees to answer personal email or scroll through Twitter for hours.
What’s more, employees who are distracted by personal tasks are also more likely to make mistakes. These mistakes can cost even more in time losses, as they have to be corrected, while an undistracted worker may have gotten it right the first time.
Mistakes in your employees’ work can also embarrass the company, lose your organization business opportunities and referrals, and alienate clients or customers. An internet monitoring system can help you keep an eye on what your employees are doing and redirect problematic internet behavior before it starts causing problems for your business.
Another good reason to have an internet monitoring system is to help locate and shore up vulnerabilities in your system. Employees who have full access to the internet can intentionally or unintentionally compromise your network. Clicking on a link in a phishing email sent to your employee’s personal email or spending too much time on an insecure website can end up compromising your entire network.
With an internet monitoring system, you can block insecure websites, limit the access that your employees have to specific parts of your network, and be alerted to potential security threats. This can help prevent both unintentional mistakes that might compromise your organization’s security and also prevent insider attacks from disgruntled employees with bad intentions.
Employee Internet Policy
A transparent and comprehensive employee internet policy will mitigate employee concerns.
A good internet monitoring system should also include a strong employee internet policy. It’s important to be transparent about what is being monitored and what that means for your employees. It’s also important to make sure that you’re protecting your employees’ privacy as well as that of your company. Employees want to know that their information won’t be exposed and that they aren’t going to be singled out for monitoring.
The employee internet policy is the best way to make sure that both you and your employees are informed and protected. Make sure that you explain your internet monitoring system in writing, as well as outlining your employees’ responsibilities when it comes to the use of company internet and company devices.
Clarify what sorts of things that you’ll be monitoring for and what the consequences are for unauthorized use or misuse of the company’s devices and network. This can help address employee concerns about monitoring and privacy in the workplace.
One thing that can head off many problems before they arise is making sure that employees are trained in how to use the internet securely and safely. Often, security breaches are caused not by malicious actors but by poorly trained employees who fail to understand security risks. Regular employee training can help prevent careless or thoughtless mistakes that turn out to be more harmful than anticipated.
New employees should be trained on the computer system and network in the workplace, and existing employees may need regular refresher training, as well as new in-service education to update them on changes or updates to the system.
Making sure that employees are trained and that training is documented protects both you and your employees. It prevents mistakes and ensures that employees can’t claim that they didn’t know how to use the system and network correctly and safely.
What to Look for in a Monitoring System
Different organizations have different needs at different times, so a monitoring system should be flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of conditions. You’ll want the ability to block by URL, keyword, and category as well as real-time alerts to potential security risks.
In order to monitor productivity and increase efficiency, it helps to have an internet monitoring system that can produce custom reports that show patterns in employee internet activity. This can help you determine how your employees are using their time and access and how to redirect them if they’re off track.
Learn more about what you should be looking for in an workplace internet monitoring system.