Mention any form of monitoring and the reaction is usually a negative one; and with good reason. There is a fine line between what is considered ‘proper’ and ‘improper’ monitoring. This is something that the media keeps on pointing out. After all, they say, governments are supposed to be setting an example yet they keep crossing that line time and again.
There is also the fear that deploying employee Internet monitoring technology might have a negative impact on morale because employees will feel that they are not trusted or their privacy is not respected.
Let’s establish what employee Internet monitoring is all about. Many believe employee Internet monitoring to be nothing more than HR or management checking up on people’s activity online, how much time they have spent browsing, how much time was wasted on social media and if they visited any inappropriate sites. Employee Internet monitoring is nothing more than a tool to spy on employees and use the findings to punish them.
Although this may be the case, employee Internet monitoring is a discovery tool that enables the IT admin to properly manage and secure the network. Part of this process is not just monitoring but taking control. It’s not about punishing bad behavior but preventing it; or discovering that it has taken place. And, if necessary, take action to stop it. This isn’t an excuse to conduct a trial but it is an exercise to make sure that employee behavior does not lead to a situation where HR needs to take action. It’s prevention. Not administering a cure.
What does it all mean?
Here are some examples to debunk some misconceptions. If an organization has an Internet usage policy that states users shouldn’t spend more than 30 minutes a day browsing the Internet, the IT admin in that organization will configure their Internet monitoring software so that if ANY employee spends more than 30 minutes browsing, access is stopped. That’s it. What will certainly NOT happen is that the HR manager or supervisor will roam the office at the end of the month with a list of those who exceeded their quota. Management has far more important things to do.
A good, well-configured solution will stop employees from breaching other policies. Visiting inappropriate websites, downloading malware and even engaging in prohibited activity online can be prevented using the software. Intentional or not, it is in the company’s interest to prevent any activity that could harm the company. If an employee is browsing a less-than-reputable site and this opens a new frame with inappropriate material for the work place and someone sees and reports it, it could well be the case that it was not the employee’s fault. However, it will still result in HR being involved and lots of stress for the employee. If the software prevented access to that site in the first place, there wouldn’t be any issue to deal with.
A good employee Internet monitoring tool that’s properly configured is not just something that works in the company’s best interests; it can definitely work in the employees’ favor. Proper employee Internet monitoring not only mitigates a lot of Internet-based risks but also helps employees adhere to company Internet usage policies. It prevents them from engaging in activities, intentional or otherwise, that might potentially result in disciplinary action or dismissal. It also protects them from phishing and malicious sites seeking confidential or personal information.
Employee Internet monitoring benefits the whole organization… and that includes employees.
Learn more on how your organization can benefit from good employee Internet monitoring software today.