The Importance of IT/Web Usage Policies
In the business world, not only is technology one of the most important factors, but its usage has also substantially grown over the years. Data can be stored and accessed much easier, people are more dependent on their mobile devices in the workplace, and Internet access has become all too common. In fact, most (if not all) businesses in this day and age wouldn’t even be able to function if it wasn’t for access to the World Wide Web. Through the usage of Internet, you can reach out to your customers easier, use social media platforms to further your company’s goals, and even collaborate with business partners. With that said, constant use of the World Wide Web can also be a cause for concern in the workplace. If you don’t set some ground rules as a business owner, you may find your employees abusing their privileges and even visiting the wrong websites. When it comes to IT/web usage policies in the workplace, what are some things to keep in mind, especially for your employees? Here is what to consider.
#1. Your Employees Need to Stay on Task
One of the most crucial things to remember, is that your employees shouldn’t be slacking off when using the Internet. With social networking sites available at a whim, it’s often easy to become sidetracked and lose focus on business objectives. For example, what if one of your employees visited Facebook or Twitter to chat with their “friends”? Social networking isn’t necessarily wrong to use, but it should be for business purposes only. If possible, set limitations and restrictions for the company’s network. In other words, limit the usage of certain websites, and only allow others access through your permission. As helpful as the Internet has become in allowing businesses to accomplish tasks faster, it’s ironic that we often limit ourselves by not focusing on the objective(s) at hand.
#2. Website Safety is Essential
It’s one thing to make sure everyone is staying on task, but also be sure they’re visiting safe websites as well. With the numerous amount of dangers lurking in cyberspace, it can often be difficult to tell which sites are safe and which aren’t. Not to mention if one of your employees ends up visiting the wrong site, it can end up having a major impact on your business. For example, let’s say someone in the workplace went to an unsuspecting website, and their computer got infected with ransomware. Unless they have all files backed up, the device is inaccessible until they pay a ransom. Not to mention the virus could also spread to others in the network. Fortunately, with the right software, problems like these are easily avoided. There are several anti-virus programs that come with a safe search feature. In the search results of any web browser, it even gives an indication of what sites to visit. Safe websites have a green check mark, sites which pose a lurking danger are marked yellow, and forbidden web pages are marked red.
#3. IT/Web Usage Policies Secure Your Business Reputation
Remember what I said earlier about how visiting the wrong website can impact your business? IT/Web usage policies also secure your business reputation. After all, carelessly falling victim to a scam or virus, may cause your customers to turn away and look for business elsewhere. Especially if you’re not able to recover their lost data. Customers want to provide their service(s) to a business they know will keep their information secure. Don’t just implement Internet policies because it’s important for keeping your employees on task, but also remember that even one careless mistake could affect your loyal customers and (no pun intended) cost the entire company.