Monitoring Worker Internet Use

Internet Abuse in the Workplace

The Internet has become an indispensable resource in the office, the world’s biggest referral library, social networks center, and pornography outlet is now only a click away. This accessibility presents a significant danger aspect for employer liability and expenses companies thousands of hours in efficiency each day. Keeping an eye on employee internet use is one way to lower company liability, and whether you agree with the principles behind web tracking, numerous employers concur that it is a necessary evil.

Web abusers vary from upper management staff members in private workplaces seeing hardcore pornography, to the department assistant in a cubicle that spends 3 hours a day doing online shopping, making travel plans, and paying costs through the company Internet. Web abuse is endemic in the office and companies are being forced to face the problem head on, or suffer the consequences.

Among the many repercussions of internet abuse is a loss of productivity and scores of litigation problems such as unwanted sexual advances, hostile workplace and discrimination. Keeping an eye on Employee Web gain access to is one manner in which an organization can restrict its liability.

Defining Web Abuse

Defining Web abuse is the very first challenge, and creating a company large appropriate use policy (AUP) is the first step in the definition. An AUP defines what makes up web abuse in your company. Exactly what was acceptable web habits in one organization might be undesirable in another, so the AUP is an extremely personalized policy, based on the organizational objective. The organization determines exactly what lines will be drawn when it pertains to internet abuse.

The key to a successful AUP application in a lot of organizations resembles other policy development concerns in the work environment. There should be “buy-in” from the “top-down”, to puts it simply, the leaders of the company must agree to the principles of the AUP and undertaking to press that policy down to the directors, supervisors and managers within the organization. The most critical stage of AUP development depends on upper management “buy-in” and their willingness to show the importance of this policy to the remainder of the organization.

Web Workshops

Holding a series of Web workshops with the staff members of your company is one method to present your brand-new appropriate use policy. As an educational session, a web workshop can attend to the sensitive issues surrounding web abuse in an open online forum where workers can ask concerns and supply input in a non-confrontational setting.

Throughout the internet workshop, the company can start to educate the staff members about Web abuse and give them a possibility to re-evaluate their internet habits at work. It is necessary to be as open as possible with your employees regarding your selected method for enforcing the AUP.

For instance, if the organization has actually decided to employ internet blocking technologies, the AUP must specify the particular types of sites that will be blocked, for instance, many organizations block pornography, “gross representations” and “hate” websites. Talking about the kinds of websites the company has decided to obstruct and addressing questions regarding the reasons for blocking will reinforce the organizational objective, and show the types of sites that are improper within your company.

If your company is going to keep track of and report on staff member internet gain access to, the workshop will provide you a possibility to show the staff members what the internet reports look like, and go over the scenarios in which they will be used. Taking the mystery from what the organization is preparing in regards to internet tracking and obstructing will reduce staff member speculation and set new expectations throughout the company.

Issues with Internet Tracking

The technical elements of obstructing website gain access to and monitoring employee internet gain access to are not without problems. The software for blocking websites has advanced tremendously over the past 5 years; however, there are still issues with obstructing “all” inappropriate websites and obstructing websites that you did not plan to obstruct. No system is best and you will require support from your selected software application/ hardware vendor in addition to your information systems department.

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If possible, it is constantly better to meet, face to face, with the supplier agents prior to the purchase of any web monitoring software. Voice your worry about the vendor and secure “after sale” support with the supplier assistance desk. If you have an info systems department, make sure they are involved from the start of the job to assist address any technical issues that the new system might bring.

Keeping an eye on Employee Internet Gain access to- the People Side

Beyond the technical issues that will happen, individuals side of internet monitoring can be the most bothersome of all. Even with the dissemination of details offered at the web workshop and taking great care throughout your policy development, some workers will, inevitably feel that web monitoring is unfair. Provided this fact, it is of the utmost importance that the internet reports are precise, beyond question. Even if they are appropriate, there are still concerns to think about. The scenarios listed below are examples of how workers could react if they are faced with the accusation of internet abuse. Furthermore, the reasons listed below might be completely precise and excellent explanation by the accused.

” It wasn’t me!”

It’s constantly possible that some other individual was on the implicated worker’s computer surfing the Internet. As soon as a user actions away from the computer system anything can occur. Another person sits down and begins utilizing the computer logged in as the accused, whatever they do on the Internet is tape-recorded under somebody else’s name. One suggestion is to have the user lock their computer system before leaving for a prolonged amount of time; this will reduce the possibilities of misidentification of the internet abuser.

” They have my password”

This is a similar situation to the one mentioned above, if I have a user’s password, I could log-in as the user and all of my web gain access to would be attributed to them. How they got the password is another concern completely, nevertheless the user makes a good point and has a potentially valid reason for a web report that reveals abuse.

” The Web Report is Wrong”

This can occur if the tracking software application is setup incorrectly or if there are network problems triggering identification problems. This is another reason why you want your information systems department involved from the start and technical assistance from the vendor who sold you the web tracking service. Defending an internet report that reveals abuse is a challenging when you do not understand how the technical elements of internet tracking work.

The Bottom Line

Internet reporting is not a specific science, the reports could be incorrect, and the individual accused of Web abuse may be completely innocent. The secret is to investigate the potential culprit and check out their history. People who abuse the internet generally have a history of doing so, so look into their previous Internet usage initially and after that look at the web records on their computer. Simply put, do a “Shots By Josh“. Too often we take technology for its word and fail to search the human side for insight that may validate or make us question our suspicions. This practice will help reduce the number of errors that could be made throughout the examination of internet abuse, and assist the employer preserve their credibility.


Web abuse is a fact of life in the majority of big companies today. Keeping an eye on worker web usage and using blocking innovations can be handy in decreasing employer liability and enhancing worker productivity. Establishing an appropriate usage policy to detail appropriate web habits in your company is the primary step while doing so. To execute this policy effectively, the policy should be supported by upper, mid, and line level managers. The company ought to strive, with enthusiasm, to educate the employees of the company about web abuse and share the companies prepares to keeping track of usage and block inappropriate sites.