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Dealing with End Users in a small office

By Nickel City Digital ·
I'm the IT department at the company I work for. That is not a misprint I am the only one in my department, so technically I am the department. It's a relatively small office, and its also very open (you can walk around, casual dress code.) The issue is that one of my duties is to run reports on employees internet usage. After reviewing these reports with the managers some emails were sent down from the top warning of personal use of the internet on company computers. I'm wondering how to deal with the backlash that this is bound to present. I realize that most people in an office are already suspicious of the "computer guy" but if everyone despises me it will be impossible to keep track of issues. These people are childish and petty (not all but most) and will purposely keep errors and issues to themselves to make it look like I'm not doing my job. Anyone in a similar situation or who has had experience with this I'd be grateful for any advice.

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1 solution

by tech4me In reply to Dealing with End Users in ...

Automate the task!

Have your auditing software output reports directly via email to the boss or to a secure location on the network.

When people ask about it, just say it's automated software on the server that runs every month and sends an email to the boss, you don't even get to see it or filter it, etc. When you're at lunch with people in the office, quietly mention they're being monitored by the boss and they'll thank you for the heads up.

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Excellent Solution!

by Nickel City Digital In reply to 1 solution

That's a fantastic idea! Thanks so much I can't believe I didn't think of that. I'm trying to convince the company of investing in a program like GFILanGuard or the SolarWinds equivalent to automate everything. Right now I'm just using IEHV to run simple txt file reports.

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On small networks I use RhinoSoft AllegroSurf

by robo_dev In reply to Excellent Solution!

it blocks the nasty stuff automatically and gives a very complete report on what each user is doing. It's sorta like the cheap-version of WebSense.

If the automated solutions fail, you can always resort to extortion.

(With Bronx accent) "So, Jimbo, it's a nice job ya got's be a shame if sumpthin were to, you know...happen to it....."

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How does it work on a mixed network?

by Nickel City Digital In reply to On small networks I use R ...

I've heard of RhinoSoft, but does it run well on a mixed network? I've got WinXP Win2k and Mac OS x. basically its a grab bag lol. I may have to just resort to the extortion.

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It's a content filtering proxy server

by robo_dev In reply to How does it work on a mix ...

So ALL Internet traffic must go thru it, no exceptions.

The only thing needed at the Workstation is to point the browser at the proxy IP address and port.

If the user tries to go to a forbidden site, it posts a (customizable) error message. It gives you pretty reports showing top sites visited, top users, attempted access to blocked sites, etc.

You can make it automatically blacklist, based on keywords or site categories, or you can make an explicit whitelist (which works very well for young kids). You can create exceptions, either way, based on user, IP address, etc.

It can also block/allow certain things like popup ads, p2p sharing, etc.

No, I'm not a salesman for them :)

Two similar products are the Linux proxy Squid using the DansGuardian filtering add-on. Another product like this would be WebSense Express.

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I've faced that situation before.

by Forum Surfer In reply to Dealing with End Users in ...

I always blamed it on corporate! It's an "automated task that corporate runs." I proceed to "warn" them about it. They think that by me "warning" them of this new usage monitoring stuff that I am on their side so to speak.

It accomplishes two goals if it works:

1. I get a few brownie points in the trust column.

2. Maybe I can keep them from hogging my bandwidth out of fear...since big brother is watching and auditing.

In short...I lied! Worked for me though. I was open about the monitoring so they watched their web surfing. Mission accomplished.

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