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How to Prevent People from Wasting Time Online

December 10, 2010

Do you have any idea how many hours your employees and co-workers spend online checking eBay listings, cruising social networks, looking for vacation deals, Googling old flames or (even worse) ogling porn or gambling?

A survey by America Online and Salary.com concluded that employers spend nearly $760 billion a year paying employees to goof off on the Web.  And with the ever-increasing popularity of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, the urge to goof off instead of working increases daily.

Where Do You Draw The Line?

While a certain degree of personal online usage may be perfectly okay, the goal here is to stop employees who waste HOURS online and/or to prevent employees from accessing damaging online content such as pornography or gambling web sites, as well as preventing them from downloading illegal software, inviting viruses into your network or spamming out racist or off-color jokes using your company e-mail – all of which can create bigger problems legally and financially.

 Two Simple Fixes

So what’s a business owner to do? First, make sure you have a good AUP or acceptable use policy in place that outlines what employees can and cannot do online or with company e-mail and resources. If you have one, make sure it’s updated to include the use of social media sites and rules on sharing confidential company information. Next, we recommend installing good content filtering software that will “police” the network for you 24/7/365. For our ConnectCare clients, we provide both as part of our service. If you'd like to get your people back to work, feel free to ask us for the answers!

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