Information Technology News & Information

web filteringIt’s no secret that at times staff and management alike spend a portion of company time perusing the internet for sales, checking up on social media, and even taking in the occasional cute kitten video or two. As many as half of all employees are taking part in these midday indulgences, which can wreak havoc on productivity. You may think there is little you can do about the situation, seeing as your workforce needs to access the internet to perform, but in reality, your hands are not tied.

It is absolutely necessary to implement some sort of policies regarding internet use in the workplace, however before doing so you must first look at your individual business, and how policies enforcing internet use will affect it. How much of a priority is web filtering for you, and how will productivity and creativity be impacted when web filtering is implemented.

Every business is different, so your answers may not be the same as someone else’s. While creating a web filtering plan is a critical component to your technology roadmap, there is no one size fits all solution. It is hard sometimes to find that perfect balance between shifting to a more mobile and independent workplace and maintaining strict control over the activities occurring on company time. Some sort of regulating is necessary in order to meet the compliance mandates that a lot of companies face, as well as for security reasons, to keep threats minimal.

Developing Your Web Filtering Policies

So, what is the best way to approach web filtering? On an individual, user by user basis. The goal is to use these tools to maximize productivity, but avoid negatively impacting the company by imposing creativity stifling limitations. Well, implementing web filtering policies may not be easy, but I can offer you these three simple steps to begin creating your web filtering plan.

  1. Establish a General Policy – The first step is to block malevolent websites, and establish a general policy that applies to all employees. This will make employees unable to access sites that contain content that is unacceptable for the workplace, such as violence or nudity. In addition, the general policy should block sites known to contain malware by default.
  2. Clearly Identify Roles and Categorize Them – Identify the different roles within your company and categorize them. You can them group them into common requirements, and apply filters that pertain only to those groups. For example, you can limit the access certain departments have, based on their need. This allows you to give certain people, such as designers, management, and others access to areas of the internet that those in the finance department would have no use for.
  3. Regular Review and Revisions – Once the policies have been put in place it is still necessary to regularly review them, and revise them accordingly. Upon review you may find that some applications are consuming too much bandwidth, or too much employee time is being spent on something unproductive, meaning policies need to be changed and adjusted to realign with your business goals and values.

This is a job for a strategic technology advisor, as they can help you answer those difficult questions about web filtering and internet use in the workplace, guiding you to the best decisions for the most favorable outcomes. A good technology advisor can help you align company policies with your personal and professional goals, helping you use you your technology to it’s full potential and get the maximum advantage from it.

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