Some years back, companies used to bar their employees from visiting certain sites while at work. A majority of the sites that were filtered included social media sites, which most employers argued were wasting a lot of time and affecting employee productivity. However, in recent years, there are arguments that employees have changed the way they use social media, going from purely personal use to using these powerful platforms to gather work-related information and forge professional relationships. A dependable IT services provider in Houston believes that selective web filtering is important due to these changes.
What Is a Web Filter?
A web filter is a piece of software that is used to restrict access to certain websites. This content control software is used to bar employees from visiting sites containing adult content, spyware, and malware. Traditionally, employees used to block social media sites, too. Some employers are now allowing their employees to access social media sites on their company machines. Selective web filtering is highly encouraged, since it is part of best practices for ensuring that IT security is maintained.
Unfiltered Surfing Can Open Doors for Hackers
As stated above, it is important for your IT team to come up with a web filtering plan that will ensure that your IT infrastructure is not exposed to hazardous sites. There are certain sites that contain malicious links, which can easily affect your entire IT system when clicked. Today, hackers have developed cunning ways through which they gain access to company servers. Some of them use intrusive malware to spy on a company’s IT system and search for other vulnerabilities. Coming up with a web filtering plan that bars employees from accessing notorious sites that are known to have malware helps prevent this.
Absolute Web Filtering Is Ill-advised
If you ever decide to institute a web filtering plan that will block employees from access to any non-job-related site, such a move might backfire. Barring your employees from accessing social media sites on their work computers will only inspire them to use their smartphones, which might lead to more wasted time and lost productivity. If you feel that social media is reducing the productivity of your employees, there are better ways to deal with this than to block access to all social media platforms.
How to Implement an Employee-friendly Web Filtering Plan
Web filtering is not all bad. Sensible web filtering is important to ensure that both your employees and your company are protected from intrusion. You can work with an IT services provider in Houston to accomplish this or implement an employee-friendly web filtering plan on your own by:
- Educating employees on responsible internet browsing
- Blocking all sites that are known to host viruses and malware
- Blocking all sites that contain materials that breach your firm’s policy, such as sites with hate speech, sites with pornography, etc.
You can take advantage of web filters as long as you use them in such a way that does not affect your employees’ the productivity. If you would like to learn more about web filtering, contact us at ICS. We are an IT services provider in Houston with expertise and experience that will guide you accordingly.