Do you know what your employees are doing on the web? At a minimum, they're probably mucking about, watching YouTube videos. At worst, they could be steering your company toward financial ruin. In this quick guide, I'll show you how to keep an eye on employee internet use and monitor just about everything else they do with their PCs.
I can already hear the groans of disgruntled readers as I type these words (and if you're worried about privacy at work, you have ways to stop your boss from spying on you). But gone are the days when PC monitoring was an optional, draconian security measure practiced only by especially vigilant organisations. Today, more than three-quarters of US companies monitor employee internet use. If your company doesn't do so, you're probably overdue for a policy change.
Why you should monitor
Everything your team does on company time - and on company resources - matters. Time spent on frivolous websites can seriously hamper productivity, and visiting objectionable sites on company PCs can subject your business to serious legal risks, including costly harassment suits from staffers who may be exposed to offensive content.
Other consequences may be far worse than mere productivity loss or a little legal hot water. Either unintentionally or maliciously, employees can reveal proprietary information, jeopardising business strategy, customer confidentiality, data integrity and more.
And, of course, unchecked web activity can expose your network and systems to dangers from malware and other intrusions. Even something as simple as a worker's failure to keep up with Windows patches can be a threat to your business, so don't think of monitoring as merely snooping.
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