Whether you’re running a small marketing startup or a fast-growing SME operating in the app development sector, if you have employees who access the internet on company time, it’s important to ensure they’re not abusing their privileges by engaging in forbidden or risky web activity while at work. Not only does computer misconduct expose your systems to malware and other digital threats like data breaches, it also wastes your payroll as you’re paying employees to entertain themselves at the company’s expense. Fortunately, by taking the following steps, you can easily determine if any of your employees are breaking the rules with their online behavior.
1. Hire a Digital Forensics Expert
If you’re trying to find out about something that has already been done, and you didn’t have a system in place for monitoring the employee activity when it happened, then you’ll probably need the help of a computer forensics specialist to recover temporary files, deleted history, and other usage details that could help you find the source of your suspicions. Secure Forensics is one example of a company that can help you conduct misconduct forensics for employees. If you believe that one or more of your employees has already misused a company computer or network and you need to find supporting evidence, this option would probably be your best bet.
2. Use Network Monitoring Software
If you think that the misconduct may happen again and you want to be able to catch the perpetrator in the act, installing enterprise network monitoring software is one solution that will let you keep track of all online activity that is occurring through your company’s internet connection. These programs will let you view which websites and services are being accessed on your network in real time. Alternatively, you can check the generated logs to uncover evidence of misconduct in retrospect.
3. Use Device Monitoring Software
You could also install parental control or employee monitoring software on company computers to facilitate the process of seeing what each employee is doing. This is an ideal solution when you’re providing the devices instead of taking the “bring your own device” approach. It’s best to notify every employee that their computer activity is being monitored and recorded, as doing so will probably prevent the majority of misconduct issues that might arise if they were to assume that their activity wasn’t being watched or moderated.
Actively Enforce Company Internet Usage Policies
In addition to using a corporate firewall to block the access of certain sites like Facebook or YouTube on your company network, you should also make it known that there are consequences for computer misconduct. By letting employees know that you have a zero-tolerance policy towards computer and internet abuse, you should be able to prevent most cases of misconduct. In general, it’s good to have a 1-warning policy which means that each employee will receive one citation before facing more severe punishment for their actions. Posting very clear rules and possible consequences for everyone to see is the most reliable way to minimize your chances of encountering intentional misconduct on your company devices or network.