Games People Play – Internet use in the workplace

The Internet is the indispensable tool for all businesses in the 21st century. It’s also absolutely great for shopping, playing games, booking a holiday, social networking, whiling away an idle moment, downloading music and pornography, and that’s just in office hours!

If you observe someone sitting at their desktop computer, you will notice a stillness and air of concentration as they gaze at their screen. They’re not chatting, wandering about or wasting time away from their desk. However, what they’re actually looking at could be very costly to your business in a number of ways.

Employee productivity is an issue where there is unrestricted Internet access. Time lost through non-work related Internet activity will impact on your company’s bottom line. A recent UK-based survey suggests that employees spend more than 200 hours a year surfing non-work related websites, which represents a huge amount of working time wasted and potential revenue lost. Increasing use of Instant Messaging (IM) and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) applications can prove an irresistible distraction. Efficiency suffers when employees are not on task, and important opportunities are missed.

An astonishing 75% of all pornography, illegal software and music downloads happen during office hours. Connecting to websites that have illegal or offensive content represents a security risk. Viruses, worms, spyware, and other malware threats can arrive in your network through such sites. They may also expose other employees to unacceptable material, and represent possible legal liability to your company.

Most companies accept that employees are going to use their work computers for some non-work web activities, and it’s acceptable in their lunch hour or other down time. However this needs to be balanced with control to protect productivity and security. You need to know what is being accessed and when, and with that knowledge you can make effective decisions that protect the workforce, your network and your company’s bottom line.

The SonicWall Content Security Management (CSM) is worth considering to resolve the issues of productivity and security. CSM is a solution that integrates with your existing firewall, boosting security. In fact, it essentially upgrades security without having to upgrade your firewall.

The CSM content filtering allows you to control access to online content. It provides powerful web-based reporting, giving you insight into network usage through detailed reports. SonicWall Application Intelligence, Control and Visualization sorts out the good applications from the bad, and puts you in charge of what can and can’t be accessed.

With a solution like CSM you are helping individuals to focus, and access what they need to work effectively. You are also allowing for safe and acceptable lunch hour or downtime activity. The experts at Intraspace can help you make the solution absolutely right for your company so that everyone benefits while productivity and security are maintained.

We know that even the most well-intentioned human beings like to play, and are open to distraction. A positive attitude to controlling Internet activity, combined with software to control content means that the air of concentration at the desktop computer is to do with work, not the latest sensation on YouTube, obsessive game of World of Warcraft, or worse!

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