pornIt is not the first time that online pornography has stirred controversy in the UK. The recent government’s decision to automatically opt-in home users to online adult websites was quite controversial with many people saying that it is not up to the government to decide what websites people can visit at home. It’s funny how, within only a matter of few weeks, official figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show that there have been thousands of blocked attempts to access pornographic websites. The official version is that users typically end up on these websites accidentally, they come up as pop-ups from other websites and that automatically refreshing websites will generate more hits per user – a feeble attempt to wipe egg off their face.

Why does this happen?

It’s difficult to pass judgement on this issue. My view is that when someone is in their office, bored or tired after a long day, and having ‘exhausted’ their energy on Facebook, they might think that a quick peek at a ‘naughty’ website will not harm anyone? It’s also fair to say that most users probably already know that a web filtering solution is in place, and that their internet activity is monitored, so most of these are more likely than not deliberate attempts to access blocked online material. A user might come across an adult website while researching other topics, but the sheer number of attempts detailed in the statistics simply does not add up to this conclusion. When a specific website is visited, then it indicates intent to do so; however that’s up to the reader to judge.

What should you be thinking about?

Even though employees in the Houses of Parliament probably had a good idea that their online activity was monitored, it didn’t prevent them from attempting to access adult material. Moving away from the topic of porn and MPs in the UK, and looking at matters closer to home, how can you prevent something similar from happening?

What can you do to make sure that your staff spend their time more efficiently and productively? Here are a few tips:

1)      First things first, if you don’t have a web filtering and monitoring system in place, then you really should implement one – unless you want to start wondering what each employee in doing online

2)      You need a web filtering solution which will allow you to drill-down exactly into what a specific user is doing, as given by example in this short video:  Monitoring Internet activity at the office.

3)      Your web filtering should proactively advise and alert you when a user attempts to visit ‘naughty’ websites, or other illicit webpages, so that your HR department can decide whether or not to remind them of the company’s best practices on Internet usage.

4)      You should invest some time and resources discovering how much time users are spending on websites which are unrelated to their official duties.

GFI WebMonitor® is an affordable solution that allows you to address all of the above. Besides the ability to block categories of undesirable websites, it is very easy to use the Activity dashboards and reports to identify employees whose time could be better spent working for you, than searching the web for themselves. Real-time configurable alerts allow you to send emails to the appropriate people when their online behaviour merits it. Search engine query monitoring, for example, will clearly show what a user’s intentions were and the appropriate department can take the necessary actions, including education, to ensure there are no repeat offenders. GFI WebMonitor offers companies many other benefits such as added web browsing security and mitigation of bandwidth issues.

Try GFI WebMonitor for free for 30 days!