Simplest way to protect

The simplest way to protect your small business network

The simplest way to protect your small business network

Pros & Cons of Internet Filtering in Small Businesses

Internet has become an important and a powerful tool for every individual these days. Not just individuals but companies and businesses too depend a lot on Internet. Internet Offers us a variety of communicating tools that help each one of us to stay connected with friends, family and colleagues in other corners of the world. But with advantages come the disadvantages as well. Like every coin has two sides, Internet too has some disadvantages associated with it.

Internet has become a necessity in professional workplaces. There are companies that use Internet for research, purchasing, communication, sales, and often also use Web-based solutions. With these added advantages, companies have to struggle a lot to cope up with the negative aspects of Internet. When a company provides internet access to its employees, they have to minutely think if its going to be beneficial for them or not. This is when they have to realize the positive as well as negative aspects of Internet and what and how internet filtering will affect them.

Below we have listed some of the major advantages and disadvantages of internet filtering

1. Barriers

Internet filters are not always accurate or correct. Sometimes, the websites which have nothing to do with online gaming, auctions, gambling or pornography do get blocked. Unless the list of blocked websites is specific, the internet filtering program may block other websites. Internet filters are programmed to filter out entire categories of sites such as Web-based email or music-sharing, video-sharing, file-downloading sites. The system administrator who is the in-charge, can make adjustments to accommodate such sites. For example, blocking music and video can also block a website that contain informative videos that can help your employees in a big way.

2. Trust and Culture

When an employer blocks all the leisure and non-work related websites for all his employees, it can have adverse effects. Many employees may see internet filtering as an indication of mistrust. This may demotivate some of them and bring down their moral. It may as well create tension between employee and employer relation.

It depends on an employer how he deals with the situation. There are companies who follow very strict internet filtering policies. The best thing is, before implementing internet filters, companies should discuss the decision with employees to minimize the negative reactions.

3. Personal Use

Apart from blocking content which is inappropriate to watch or read, internet filter do block website that employees browse for personal use. Websites where they check their personal emails, blogs, online magazines, personal portals, social networking websites etc. Many companies do not see it as a problem, but when employees check these stuff too often, then it is a big problem. These site do distract employees and affect productivity and efficiency. It is better if employers enforces a time slot to check personal stuff. It could be during lunch hour or coffee breaks.

4. Inappropriate Use

Internet can be used productively and wisely. But there have been many instances where it has been used inappropriately. The fact is, internet is a big market for pornographic industry and because of which many companies have face troubles dealing with lawsuits and legalities. There have been many sexual harassment cases related to employees downloading or viewing sexual material on company computers. So filtering software can be of great help in reducing risks & possibilities of legal exposure.

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