Cyberslacking is the new “personal phone call” employees take during office hours. It means that employees use the office internet access for personal use such as emailing, browsing and updating personal social media pages. This can cause problems that go beyond productivity; it also compromises the company’s online safety and security.
Cyberslacking opens up the office network to spyware, viruses and other malware. There is also potential for downloading unlicensed software, offensive material and compromising network bandwidth through peer-to-peer file sharing. This behavior has become quite common that recent studies show that about 70% of porn browsing happens while in the office, not to mention employees who use the office computer for instant messaging, tweeting and other social media activities. With so much time wasting activities on the web, this behavior has become one of the prime causes of disciplinary and online safety issues in most businesses.
This online security threat can be resolved in different ways. There are also many network monitoring software that can help identify and stop cyberslacking.
- Monitor office internet use by using safety software that can generate reports to identify what sites employees go to. Monitoring software is a passive means to check on employees and does not really guard the office network against attacks. There are also internet content filtering and security software that can block potentially harmful sites while still granting access for news, online search and other work related sites. There are those that can be tweaked for specific needs, for example allow full access only during lunch breaks and so on.
- Limit administrative access to certain computers and individuals only. This way only the IT department or designated individuals can install software needed for business use.
- To counter cyberslacking, it is also important to know how employees beat the system in cases where network security measures are already in place. Employee creativity often abound, especially when it comes to beating the office firewall, just so they can update their Facebook status. When working with your IT department, be sure to include proxy and anonymous browsing sites. These are sites that offer redirects to whatever website they want to go to, some even attempt to hide browsing histories. In cases where proxy browsing is not available some also use web to email services, where employees can have content from certain sites sent to their email. A good online security system should be able to catch these right away.
- In monitoring and guarding against cyberslacking, it is important that everybody is aware of the potential dangers of cyberslacking and browsing non-office related sites. Be clear on internet policy guidelines that protect the company and employee’s privacy as well. While network integrity is very important, make sure to comply with policies concerning data protection and privacy laws that protect both the company and the people who work there.
If your small office needs assistance setting these security services up properly, it is advisable that you contact an IT support professional to ensure your system is hardened from those “determined” types.