How Can I Monitor What My Employees Are Doing on the Internet?
- Because your monitoring might give you access to your employees' nonwork-related personal information, such as credit card numbers, you might inform them of your Internet monitoring policy before you implement it. Yet according to The National Workrights Institute's legal director, Jeremy Gruber, this is only a legal requirement in Delaware and Connecticut. Still, to protect your staff from identity theft and account hacking, select only a small group of trusted staff to monitor Internet activity.
- Monitoring software exists to track every website your employees visit and even what they type on those websites. So, if the software shows that an employee has visited a blog, you can see what comments or posts he made on the blog. This allows you to find out whether an employee posts negative comments about your business on the Internet, is seeking employment elsewhere or searches for inappropriate material from company computers. Monitoring software costs from $30 to $100 as of 2011.
- Monitoring tracks what employees have already done online. Limiting their Internet activities reduces the potential disciplinary actions you must take against employees who violate your company's Internet usage policy. When shopping for monitoring software, choose a product that allows you to block and filter access to certain websites in addition to monitoring online activities. You can prevent them from accessing inappropriate and potentially harmful websites at work, such as social networking and file downloading sites. Such websites not only waste company time, they can also invite viruses into your computer network.
- If your employees' work responsibilities don't rely on access to the Internet, block Internet access to their computers altogether. Do this by deleting all browser icons from the computer desktop (and deleting them from the computer trash bin) and uninstalling all Internet programs from the control panel. Your information technology (IT) manager can help you remove Internet access from all workplace computers.