Staff Web Misuse

Recently we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the internet in Australia. Over that time internet speeds have increased exponentially along with reliability and the ways in which we now can distribute information.

Along with these advancements comes real risks for business managers not only from external sources but from within the organization through employee misuse.

The difficult question is where to draw the line on personal internet use and what are the appropriate steps to protect your business.

Possible Solutions:

Internet Use Policy. Create an Internet Use Policy for staff so that they know what the boundaries are within your organization. Incorporate this document into your induction process ensuring all staff read the document and sign it before being given access to the internet.

Blocking. Various internet gateway software exists to prevent staff from accessing certain content. Most organizations block all access to porn sites with many also banning gambling, games, social network and online shopping sites.

Monitoring. Software that monitors the sites that have been visited and the length of time each employee has spent on them is readily available.

Employees who waste time online are a serious concern for many business managers and for good reason! Web misuse has a number of implications from reduced productivity to security risk from viruses. You may risk damage to your reputation or the leaking of confidential information on social networking sites by grieved employees. You could be assisting software piracy without knowing it. You open yourself up to legal action from staff downloading inappropriate material and you waste money on content downloads that are not work specific.

Where you draw the line is up to you, just be mindful that you may need legal advice, specialist software and various procedures in place to effectively address the problem.

Richard Kemp – Watts Price Accountants
E: richardk@wattsprice.com.au

The advice provided on this Article is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.