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Disadvantages of Employee Internet Filtering

Internet has changed a lot of things in our lives. It has changed the way we live, changed the way we communicate, changed the way we look at things and changed the way we do business. Intranet and internet has become one of the most integral part or companies and organizations around the world. Be it America, Australia, Canada or any other country having an employee online is usual these days. However, the effective and efficient use of internet by employees is not guaranteed.

A shocking stats came in 2008 from Snapshot Spy website where they said that as much as

  • 40% of Internet use in the workplace isn't business-related
  • 64% of employees say they use the Internet at work for personal tasks

Result?

Most of the employers treated this abuse with filtering. They thought that filtering employee internet is the only way out. Although there are positive as well as negative aspects of employee internet filtering. In our previous post we discussed about advantages of employee internet filtering, let us now look at the disadvantages of employee internet filtering. Below we have listed about five of the major disadvantages of employee internet filtering.

Tension

In case employer filters the internet for employees who have violated company's internet policy it is fine. But, usually the content filters are applied to all employees in the organization and not just to the defaulters. This is because of the technical issues related to filtering. And because the company has to provide similar and equal benefits to each employee, they have to apply filtering policy universally. Employees who haven't violated any policy may be irritated by this. It can increase tension between employee and employer.
   

Non-Banned Sites

Internet filters does not always work perfectly. They may sometime block a website that is not a problem in the workplace. In this case employees and system administrators have to tweak in the filtering system every time an needs to view or access that particular website for work purpose.

Number of Websites

As per the Security Systems Software website approximately 3 to 5 million new websites are created (or renamed) every week. So, the system administrator's find it difficult to apply a filtering system to keep up with the new websites that are created. It becomes very hard to track and store information to filter content. For example the content filtering may recognize abc.com as a banned website today, but tomorrow when it will be renamed to cba.com, the content filters may just not recognize it.

Employee Alternatives

When a particular website is banned by the employer, employees of the organization think of other ways to access banned websites. Most of the time, employees do find alternative ways to access those banned websites. These methods of accessing banned websites sometimes impose greater security risks for the business.

Accidental Access

There are some internet filtering software and program that are capable of taking a screen shot when an employee is found violating internet filters. These screen shots are then used as evidence that the employee violated an internet policy. However, the negative aspect is that it doesn't consider accidental access of websites through mistyping URLs or clicking an encrypted link that redirects employee to a banned website.

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