Not Monitoring Internet Usage Could Be Risky Business

A Big Part of Your Business Can Cause Big Problems

The internet and email are tools we use in business so fluently we can't imagine the world without them. However, more and more businesses are discovering that these tools are being used by employees for activities that aren't business related. Employers are quickly discovering that unmonitored internet use by employees is severely hampering productivity and can even result in serious legal consequences.

In order to reduce or even eliminate these risks, there are two key approaches every business must take. The first is to establish a detailed Internet Acceptable Use Policy or IAUP to set clear guidelines for employees on what is and is not appropriate use of email and the internet. The second step is the installation of a monitoring system for your business network that ensures employees are operating under the IAUP guidelines.

When establishing your IAUP, you want to be sure you specifically outline prohibited uses, rules for online behavior, access privileges and penalties for violations of the company policy that include consequences for security violations and vandalism of the system.

Common Flaws Found in IAUPs

  • Instant Messaging - While instant messaging services are a quick and easy way to communicate within the office, you must be cautious about what you're sending. A majority of IM services don't provide adequate security measures for confidential data and information.
  • Social Media - As the popularity of social media continues to grow, so does the risk of confidential company and client information being leaked to it. You don't want to see the latest company gossip or scandal spreading across Facebook like wildfire.
  • Websites - Strictly prohibit employees visiting websites that contain pornography, racism, sexism, gambling or emailing any of this content. Even if the intention is innocent, the consequences won't be.
  • Downloading - Put a strict halt to all downloading when it comes to music, video, programs and apps. These downloads could easily contain viruses that will quickly put your data at risk and result in a costly cleanup.

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