Employees want to be paid fairly for their work and employers want employees on whom they can rely. Because of the near universal access to the internet in so many white collar jobs, employees surfing the web in company time is a growing issue, and web filtering is expanding in response.
Web Access in the Workplace:
What people should or shouldn’t be able to do on the web can be something of a sensitive issue in the workplace. For many organisations and businesses, it’s
vital that their staff have web access in order for the business as a whole to function efficiently. However, this can have a cultural impact if web access is habitually misused.
While the introduction of filters was originally more about preventing access to illegal or unsuitable material, such as pornography, there is now a financial issue to consider.
If employees are spending an unreasonable amount of time viewing web content unrelated to their work, then there is likely to be a loss of productivity. The amount of unauthorised web browsing activity can also affect network usage, reducing the speed of online transactions throughout the business.
All this will eventually be reflected in a business’s balance sheets, which is why web filtering makes financial sense.
Security and Duty of Care:
Beyond the financial implications of unauthorised web browsing, there are also vital security issues to consider. Email filtering is now a vital security tool, preventing the incursion of spam and viruses.
Web filtering also helps prevent unauthorised downloading, another source of viruses and malware.
There are also issues around reputation. If staff send inappropriate emails this can seriously impact on a business’s public image. An organisation or company also has a duty of care to its employees to ensure they are not exposed to unsuitable or distressing online material.
A sensible business approach should be two-tier. On the one hand it is about educating employees and fostering a trusting culture. On the other, it involves applying technical solutions to ensure that internet access is not misused, and that the business is protected.
San-iT provides IT support across Manchester and the North West, including business web filtering solutions.