Numerous scientific inventions have been produced today. These developments have had a significant impact on a number of industries, such as health, communications, transport, manufacturing, defense, agriculture and others. Apparently, the communications sector seems to have been most affected, especially by the growth of numerous applications such as WhatsApp, Skype, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and IMO. These apps are readily available on the Internet and allow individuals to communicate with others across the globe at a cheaper rate, including the availability of video call options. Additionally, there are numerous newly developed and portable smart Phones which are internet-enabled and affordable to many. Currently, an individual can communicate with another regardless of his or her location. In the workplace, employees can comfortably engage amongst themselves and customers. Apparently, it is necessary for organizations to regulate internet use among the employees in order to not only enhance their performance but also minimize the risk of classified information from being exposed to unintended individuals.
This paper focuses on the first scenario, where most employees in the graphic design shop where I work have been misusing the internet by download files for personal purposes as well as visiting websites of their wish, without considering the risks that may be associated with it. The paper is a short report concerning the measures that the chief executive officer of the graphic design shop can embrace in order to regulate internet use among the employees.
Risks of uncontrolled internet use among the employees
When an organization fails to regulate internet use, the employees are deemed to abuse it, as so is the case in this scenario. Moreover, allowing the employees to use the internet the way they wish does more harm to the organization than when an internet use control policy has been implemented. Subsequently, allowing employees to download and browse without control, the risk of browsing dangerous websites cannot be underestimated. There are an array of security threats that may affect an organization that does not control internet use among the employees, including spyware, Trojans, and viruses, and numerous others (Anandarajan & Claire 200). In this scenario, the possibility that most of the employees were browsing and downloading files from non-work related websites is high, and this could be the major reason why most of the computers in the graphic design shop were locking up and malfunctioning more often, to the extent that the IT experts have to spend much time trying to troubleshoot the problem.
In addition, internet connections tend to be the main artery for an organization and the main communication line between the organization, its suppliers and its customers. Apparently, when employees are using internet uncontrollably especially by downloading non-work related files, watching the news, or listening to music, the internet becomes slower, and this result in the reduction of bandwidth. Furthermore, when the internet browsing speed becomes slower, the organization is forced to upgrade it in order to restore its speed, and this result to added costs to the organization. Consecutively, in the graphic design shop, most employees are wasting a lot of time on the internet, rather than focusing on the execution of the delegated duties, which in the long run results to the poor performance of the organization. In addition, most hackers or competitors embrace the use of social engineering in order to extract sensitive information from the employees of an organization (Anandarajan & Claire 200). This may result in vital information concerning the graphic design organization such as the newly innovated graphic designs being exposed to the closest competitors, and this can be a great setback for the organization. For example, if the graphic design shop had established a market gap concerning graphics, the competitor can manage to access this information if internet use in this organization is uncontrolled.
The most appropriate internet usage regulation policy to be implemented
The graphic design shop has been fortunate that it has not yet encountered breach of vital information despite the fact that the management of this organization had not controlled internet usage to its employees. However, the need for embracing an internet usage policy ought to be embraced in order to prevent the numerous information threats and enhance the productivity of the employees. However, there are two forms of policies that the graphic design shop manager can embrace in order to regulate internet usage within the premise, and these are not limited to filtering the content accessed policy and limiting the time of internet use policy.
Filtering the content accessed policy
The owner of the graphic design shop can embrace the aspect of filtering the contents that the employees are accessing on the internet in order to ensure that the files that they download are safe and relate to their delegated duties. By so doing, he will have by far protected his business from security threats, especially competitors who might be planning to access confidential information concerning the operations of his business. Apparently, in order to achieve this, the owner of the graphic design shop needs to purchase and install Elim software on each computer in the organization (Anandarajan & Claire 200). In addition, in order to use the Elim software, the chief executive officer of the graphic shop needs to be the administrator of each personal computer in the network, in such a way that a login and password of the administrator are first installed during the booting process of the personal computer (Anandarajan & Claire 200). However, if the owner of the graphic design shop is much occupied, he can entrust this task to the network administrator.
The importance of this policy is that it enables the network administrator to regulate the access of some of the sites that he or she thinks is risky to the health of the business. For example, the network administrator may deny access to the social media sites, as these are among the major avenues that can jeopardize the confidential information of the business, either by the contribution of the hackers or by employees sharing confidential information with other external parties.
Limiting the time of internet use policy
The chief executive officer of the graphic designer shop can also embrace the aspect of regulating the time spend on the internet by the employees. This is mostly applicable when most of the tasks that the organization deals with do not require extensive use of the internet. In this scenario, the graphic design shop does not require extensive use of the internet, and this means that the network administrator can embrace this policy as well (Anandarajan & Claire 200). The network administrator can set a duration at which the internet would be accessed by all employees.
The advantage of this policy is that the employees manage to focus on the delegated tasks without being distracted by the urge of plugging into the social media sites. In most cases, the aspect of employees browsing the internet during the work time contributes to indirect costs to the organization. It is anticipated that in an organization that does not control internet usage, an average employee spends approximately 15 minutes browsing the internet during the work time, and this excludes breaks (Bidgoli 911). However, this may not be seen as much time but considering that employees are mandated to work for 8 hours in a day, which includes breaks and lunch time if the trend is maintained, the amount of work lost would be more than expected. However, according to Anesh Maniraj Sing, allowing internet use in competitive environments facilitates the empowerment, education, and good working conditions of the employees, and it would be discriminatory if employees are denied this privilege especially in this technological world that we live in (p. 3). It is also perceived that controlling internet usage impedes employees` level of innovativeness, and ideas, which can be disastrous to the competitiveness of the organization.
It is, therefore, evident that the owner of the graphic designer shop needs to embrace a policy that would control the internet usage within the organization. However, the management of this organization can embrace and implement two policies; filtering the content accessed policy and limiting the time used on the internet. The management of the graphic design shop can as well embrace the implementation of both policies. By so doing, this organization will not only protect confidential information from being exposed to unintended individuals but also stimulate employees to focus on their delegated duties.
Anandarajan, Murugan, and Claire Simmers. Personal Web Usage in the Workplace: A Guide to Effective Human Resources Management. Hershey, Pa. [u.a.: Information Science Publ, 2004. Print.
Anesh Maniraj Singh. Managing Employee Internet Abuse. South African Journal of Information Management. Vol.6(3) September 2004. Accessed from, https://www.sajim.co.za/index.php/SAJIM/article/viewFile/310/pdf_1
Bidgoli, Hossein. Handbook of Information Security Volume 3. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. Internet resource.