Internet – treasure trove or Pandora’s Box?

Proper filtering system can minimize unproductive behaviour
By Richard Procter
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/05/2009

Putting a web-connected computer on workers’ desktops offers them the world — a fantastic resource for knowledge and information, but also an irresistible magnet for non-productive, potentially damaging or illegal pursuits.

To counter that magnet, employers may want to consider tracking staff Internet usage. It can help deter improper Internet use and give the employer the ability to accurately quantify activities — such as online sports, shopping, banking and gambling — that could be helpful in discipline and termination (not to mention wrongful dismissal lawsuits). It could also reduce the cost of bandwidth charges employers incur if workers are, for example, streaming live audio or video all day long.

While many employers have Internet and computer policies, enforcement can be a challenge. The Internet continues to explode and the threats to business are increasing and changing. E-mails arrive every day enticing staff to click on freshly invented links. Malware, or malicious software, is brought into an organization when unsuspecting employees click on uncategorized URLs or download freebies unrelated to work.