Internet is an indispensable resource in today’s business world. No business can ignore the internet and still remain visible on the international market. Businesses rely on the internet to connect to customers, break geographical barriers and to promote and distribute products and services (Miller, 200). Moreover, internet facilitates communication and enhances the process of getting feedback from clients. All these processes are undertaken by business employees. Consequently, their internet usage and habits have an influence on the achievement of business goals. It is for this reason that businesses are implementing internet monitoring policies to control non business related use of internet among employees. Internet monitoring is good for companies because it minimizes loss of man-hours, internet abuse and bandwidth hogging. Unmonitored internet is prone to abuse by employees. They can use the resource to access pornographic sites, send threatening messages, download unnecessary materials and gain access to unauthorized information stored in databases. Besides, employees can use the internet to hack online system and introduce computer viruses to the network (Young, 2011). These practices can be discouraged by installing a network monitoring software. The software keeps the logs of the sites visited by the employee and the protocols used to communicate with other computers on the network. Consequently, the network administrator can use the software to identify the employee and take corrective action. This works well in systems that require users to log in before they can gain access to computer resources. Internet monitoring ensures that the bandwidth is dedicated to business related duties. Bandwidth is a measure of the rate of transfer of data across a circuit (Schneider & Evans, 2009). Data transfer rate depends on the amount of data sent or downloaded over the network.
Employees hog the bandwidth when they use the internet to access sites that are not promoting business goals. Some of the sites consume an enormous amount of data thus reduces the bandwidth available for performing business functions. These include sites with videos and online games that slow down the internet and affect business operations. Through internet monitoring software, employers can determine the data used for business and non business related functions. They can also determine the employees responsible for low data transfer rates within the business premises. More importantly, internet monitoring allows employers to save cost and increase efficiency by discouraging the bandwidth hogging. Employees spend a substantial amount of time using the internet for personals reasons, thus, denying the business the much needed production time. Loss of production time has great financial implications. For instance in 2006, the US businesses lost 178 billion dollars because of cyberslacking (Goggins, Jahnke & Wulf, 2013). According to Coombs (2008), cyberslacking takes one third of employee’s time online. Employees spend business hours posting comments on social networks, emailing relatives and friends, shopping, checking stock prices and sports scores. These activities do not add value to businesses. Consequently, they should be reduced through cyber monitoring. Internet monitoring software has the capacity to produce statistics on how employees use their time at workplaces. The reports can also be used as indicators of productivity.
There are some advantages of unlimited use of internet the businesses foregone when they use internet surveillance software. Unlimited internet policy allows employees to attend to their personal issues while at work. The policy holds that employees are human and are capable of working and at the same time building interpersonal relationships. In workplaces where internet is not monitored, employees take breaks to engage in personal duties. As a result, the effects of employees’ work bore down, and fatigue are minimized. In the end, their productivity is increased. Furthermore, the employees’ creativity is boosted because they can access sites with innovative ideas. Unmonitored internet allows employees to get new information from social networks and online newspapers. Some of the contents on these sites are directly related to business even though most employers hold the view that they are irrelevant to business. An employee can use a news update posted on social network to rescue the business from risks. Unlimited internet use at the workplace can be abused by employees. Internet abuse has cost, efficiency and credibility implications. It makes the company commit more resources repairing and maintaining computers stalled by viruses introduced by employees. Besides, it allows users to access sites that require high bandwidths, thus, slows the internet connection speeds and affect communication and other services delivered via the internet. In addition, the employees can exploit unlimited use to hack systems and steal critical business data. In conclusion, it is worth noting that it requires great sensitization and education for employees to comply with internet use policies at the workplace. Even after educating employees about good internet use, there is no guarantee that they will not abuse the internet. Therefore, internet monitoring the only viable method of ensuring that employees use the internet for business related duties. Internet surveillance minimizes loss of productive hours, prevent abuse and ensure that the system is secure.
Coombs, W T. (2008). Psi Handbook of Business Security. Westport, Conn: Praeger Security International.
Goggins, S. P., Jahnke, I., & Wulf, V. (2013). Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning at the Workplace: CSCL@Work. Dordrecht: Springer.
Miller, R. (2002). The online rules of successful companies: The fool-proof guide to building profits. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Schneider, G. P., & Evans, J. (2009). New perspectives on the internet: Introductory. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Young, K. S. (2011). Internet addiction: A handbook and guide to evaluation and treatment. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.