Playing Big Brother

Time is money. Accounting firm owners know this as well as anyone. But what happens when Internet access gobbles up your firm’s precious time? Employers looking to play Big Brother and keep a check on Internet activity in their companies have several options.

One solution is to completely limit access to the Internet. The problem with this idea is that it also limits your employees’ resources. Some employers are setting up Internet stations where employees can log on for specific projects. These stations are usually set up side by side and offer the employee little privacy. Chances are slim that an employee would surf an inappropriate site in that environment.

Another solution that is growing in popularity is Internet access that is connected to a monitoring system. Programs like Kansmen’s LittleBrother Pro 3.1 and Elron Software’s Internet Manager 4.7 can help you halt time thieves in their tracks.

These programs are easy to use. They are installed on a machine near your Internet entry point where they track network traffic. If you want to restrict access to certain sites, simply use the “smart filter” option. The Internet Manager allows you to customize your dictionary with keywords for sites that are inappropriate. For example, you could enter the words “sports” or “cooking” to keep any sites with these keywords from being accessed.

After installing the monitoring software, make your team aware that you have the ability to track exactly where they have been and how much time they are spending on the Internet. It may sound like you are Big Brother, but it also may save your firm’s valuable resources.

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