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  • #2193677

    DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users


    by jodygilbert ·

    After you take a look at this download, please post your feedback, ideas for improvements, or further thoughts on this topic.

    –The TechRepublic Content Team

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    • #3259882

      Disk cleanup can also clear the cache

      by starderup ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

      Restricting access to Tools>Internet Options won’t keep users from using Disk Cleanup from deleting temporary internet files, but these are some good suggestions, including the last one.
      When I did tech support for a major pharma company, they had NT locked down to the point that there wasn’t even a Run command on the Start menu.
      We had very few problems with user installed software.

    • #3133025

      Issue raises a conflict

      by doronzehavi ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

      What if you find out that your employees are spending their times reading techrepublic security articles?

      • #2582131

        Who needs to know

        by compguy101101 ·

        In reply to Issue raises a conflict

        Well if they are employed to mitigate security threats and keeps users productive, then there should not be an issue with reading the techrepublic security articles. But if their job has nothing to do with IT then there should be no reason for them to be reading the articles other than for general knowledge, which would be on company time using up network resources that could be used for job related activity’s.

        • #2582112

          I bet you got beat up a lot as a kid.

          by thetae83 ·

          In reply to Who needs to know

          You love minding the business of others and enforcing the rules of external authority because it makes you feel powerful. I hope they give you a little orange waist and shoulder strap and badge as a display of your authority. How sad you are, little man.

        • #2582088

          Power Hungry?

          by compguy101101 ·

          In reply to I bet you got beat up a lot as a kid.

          If you believe I am hungry for power you are highly mistaken. My thought behind monitoring users is job security. It is the IT departments responsibility to have critical operations running at the times they need to be running with no interuptions in service.
          If a user is abusing bandwidth that could be better allocated to business critical applications then it should be documented and reported. After that it is out of the IT departments hands unless a higher ups decides to act on what you have told them.
          What happens when your boss comes to you because some govermental agency is knocking on the door due to and employee downloading gigs worth of copyrighted music, software and kiddie porn? Are you going to tell them that you didn’t know that the employee was using the computer for that? Your boss is going to tell you “Well what the hell am I paying you for?”
          Granted if there is no policy then technically it is not your responsibility to monitor user activity but it is still in your best interest if you want to have a job.
          It is not the IT’s departments responsibility to make rules, all IT people are suppose to do is enforce existing policy’s and play babysitter for users like you who feel they shouldn’t be watched when they are downloading something they don’t need to be.

        • #2593412

          Support the party

          by thetae83 ·

          In reply to Power Hungry?

          Its shocking how much your post read like what I would imagine the diary entry of a loyal low-level members/workers in the bureacracy of the Nazi party circa late 1930’s Germany would sound like. What happens when the Commandant comes beating on my door looking for mein heinie?

          I don’t know what happens. I am troubled about a larger issue. How easily, and without question would some allow a sense of personal morality to become the slave of the internal policy of a job. Which is more important, your ethics or your job? Which defines who you are? (On the weekend, if you are allowed such a luxury, you should try reading some philosophy, e.g. Locke, Rousseau, Kant, etc.)

          I know such talk may be out of favor in our times, b/c it is powerful private interests need to maintain the illusion of subservience and fear of punishment w/in the organization and have tremendous public influence. Hence, the demise of a liberal arts education.

          You have right, ability and responsibility to think about what ramifications your personal ethical choices have in the larger world. Work for a company that has given enough thought to IT policy that it is not necessary to spy on its employees. Or design such an IT policy yourself.

          Or just continue to spy for your employer. Just don’t try to sell me on the fact that is necessary, let alone righteous – and defend it with an argument that your job morality should supercede your human morality.

        • #2593387

          Well Said

          by compguy101101 ·

          In reply to Support the party

          I think you bring up a good point in that you have to consider by an ethical standpoint the decisions you make. I also agree that job security being the driving factor in an excuse to monitor employee activity is not the best stance that could be taken.

          I do think that employees should be monitored to a degree, but when “monitoring employee activity” is brought up, I think that it is being misconstrued as “spying.” I don’t think that you should spy on your employees by singling out each individual one and looking at everything they do. It is a waste of time and resources. Rather monitoring the network as a whole and if there are questionable activities that you notice in log files or protocol analyzers then a more in-depth “spy” session should commence and that employee participating in the questionable activity should have their resources monitored and reported to appropriate individuals.

          You state that if a company has a well thought out IT policy that there is no need to “spy” on its employees. Even the best IT policys are worthless if nobody follows them. To verify that employees are following the IT policy, you have to examine(spy) log files and protocols on the network to confirm the compliance.

          Even an ethical approach to monitoring network security can be taken as spying. So by clarifying what is being monitored and how it is being done can eliviate the misconception that IT personel are spying on its employees.

        • #2593370


          by barnsey123 ·

          In reply to Well Said

          Most of my users just ASSUME that I monitor everything that goes on on “my” network. Some think I read all their emails. I don’t but it doesn’t harm to leave them with the impression that I do! When they say things like that I just raise a knowing eyebrow and act coy. This keeps them on their toes. All I do is install a URL Filter (e.g Websense) to stop them looking at porn and let them get on with it.
          I have often been asked by my “superiors” to actively spy on people but I refuse MOST of the time. It’s a matter of principle and particular circumstances.
          I DON’T read other peoples emails but I know many IT geeks who DO. It makes them feel clever and powerful. Some people can’t help themselves.

        • #2594366

          Why not just do the obvious?

          by mjgooch ·

          In reply to Well Said

          Just keep track of bandwidth use on the netrork. If it approaches a set limit,THEN go looking for the biggest offenders. This will not be construed as spying, because there is a legitimate reason for the search.
          Leave the browsing/downloading policies out ofthe IT deparment altogether.

        • #2594334

          My apologies….

          by thetae83 ·

          In reply to Well Said

          I wish to apologize for the tone of my very first message (“beat up as a kid”). I was just so taken aback at the direction of the messages that I was reading, seeming to me without any real consideration of the ethical issues involved. As I read this thread now, I now see those concerns being reflected in a serious way – and that gives me hope.

        • #2626746

          How sad this all is…

          by mhughson ·

          In reply to Who needs to know

          Employers lament the fact that employees come and go with no sense of loyalty to the companies they work for, and have the nerve to demand compensation for over-time and extra work. There’s no ‘taking one for the team’, or pitching in on a job that isn’t theirs, and if a better offer comes along, they’re gone.

          Yet employees are faced every day with the reality of being over-managed, unappreciated, every-move-you-make-is-watched drones, who regularly are forced to read “our company is a family!” propaganda that is supposed to inspire a sense of… what? Love for a company that would drop you in a heartbeat for another drone?

          This paper on how to properly scrutinize an employee’s every move is just another finger pointing at how far down the drain employer/employee relationships have gone, in my opinion. Whatever happened to ‘Hey, I’ll hire you to do this job, I’ll pay you fairly, you work responsibly, and we’ll both be happy?’

    • #3088457

      A bunch of BS!

      by admin ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

      Yes, all that was said is true. BUT, if the company doesn’t have a computer use policy (a general guideline) defined and in place, the ‘IT Guy’ is not the moralist nor monitor nor ‘lord of the computers’. Over and over I read about how to monitor and keep track of computer use. Key Loggers! Screen snapshots! Are you going to put ‘peep cameras’ in the restrooms as well. The whole mentality seems to be that everyone has to be ‘watched’. Why don’t companies spend some time and thought on what employees are really supposed to be doing at their jobs and then check the results instead of the constant “where is everyone surfing now”! Internet resources have almost become a necessity in today’s working environment. Comeon, if someone abuses a company policy (if one is established) forget about the writeups, limited accesses, just sit down and talk. What happened to talking?

      • #3088355

        A bit overboard

        by smason ·

        In reply to A bunch of BS!

        Even if a company doesn’t have an acceptable use policy, it’s in the admin’s (and organization’s) best interest to do some form of network monitoring. Keeping bandwidth from being abused, and making sure no-one is sharing gigs of movies or music. Keylogging, screen captures and mail reeading are way over the top IMHO, but less aggressive tools like Snort, will give you an idea of network abuse, without being so blatantly intrusive like some of the techniques in the article.
        My .02

      • #3088334

        No one said IT should make policy…but…

        by mr l ·

        In reply to A bunch of BS!

        Who else will enforce it except us? Policies involving acceptable use protect the company AND it’s employees.

        Reasons to filter mail can include people mailing out trade secrets, insider info, and customer info. Think it doesn’t happen? Read the papers. Surf monitoring keeps the internet use to acceptable sites (no one is saying you can’t spend your break looking at CNN, but you certainly should not be looking at porn at work).

        Look, first, try some decaf once in a while…and realize the OP did not say the IT should make policy. It IS our place to be the monitoring end of the organization, we are the only ones who can do the job. From an ethics standpoint, you absolutely do NOT have the right to expect unfiltered, unmonitored access to the internet while you are on the job.

        • #3089849

          Who Says . . .

          by admin ·

          In reply to No one said IT should make policy…but…

          Who says “From an ethics standpoint, you absolutely do NOT have the right to expect unfiltered, unmonitored access to the internet while you are on the job.”, the IT department?

        • #3087725

          Are you serious?

          by mr l ·

          In reply to Who Says . . .

          The company owns the computer, the network, the pipe to the internet, and the liability if you fill their systems with kiddie porn, spyware, and viruses. That means they have not only the right, but the obligation as well, to control how you use it…

          PS, This is flame bait, right? You are not seriously asking this question…

        • #3087580

          Reply To: DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

          by admin ·

          In reply to Are you serious?

          Back to setting company policy and guideline. If the owners of the company don’t have a policy, it isn’t up to the IT department to make policy.
          Sure, the company has the right to say something, but it is the company, not the IT department that needs to fill that bill. We still have too many computer weenies who believe they are the moralists for everyone else. We still have too many computer users who are uninformed as to computer use and application. But, the owner of the company says what will and will not be acceptable. Many, many companies, particularly small one have no guidelines for computer use. IF they ask, spend the money and want what you suggest, then yes, put it in place, otherwise, you have to leave it alone.

        • #2582116

          IT Best Practices

          by compguy101101 ·

          In reply to Reply To: DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

          Well what if the owner is one of those un-informed users? It would be in your best interest to show the owner what their employees are doing on company time.
          What happens when a government agency comes knocking on your door because an employee is downloading gigs worth of copyrighted software and music, or worse yet kiddie porn? Again, knowing what your users are doing and informing the appropriate individuals (ceo, cio, etc.) will take the repercussions of abusive users off your shoulders and onto whomever you informed.
          Whether they do anything is their perogative. But you informed them, so that is about as far in my opinion as an IT department should go.

        • #2581962

          No Only, But Also ..

          by sobaldrick ·

          In reply to Reply To: DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

          “Because they?re exchanged in real time and users sometimes type before they think, instant messages are often a source of security breaches.”

          .. company telephones – an equally dangerous tool in the hands of employees. All calls should be monitored and dialed numbers screened for appropriateness. But then, how do you stop those dangerous employees from breaching security with their cellphones? Shield the building. In addition check incoming and outgoing mail for work appropriate addresses. Anything that looks suspiciously like personal mail should be opened by company security. How to stop employees looking at inappropriate pictures at work. We all know that this happens, so install cameras in the bathrooms. Leave no corner unmonitored. Then there is the threat of employees giving away company secrets outside of work hours, so keep them inside the building and allow family visitations at evenings and weekends, (but only under company supervision of course). Finally how stop them from revealing information after they no longer work for the company. A quick lobotomy during the exit interview to erase any memory of work products should do it.

          If you don’t trust your employees to follow company rules, don’t hire them. The only reason for monitoring employees is to prevent legal violations. If you are so paranoid that you need to monitor your activities while in the work place you should not be running a business.

          Preventative measures are fine, I can’t use MSN IM from where I am currently typing, but monitoring – a waste of time and an invasion of privacy.


        • #2593680

          Going to Far

          by compguy101101 ·

          In reply to No Only, But Also ..

          I agree that it is possible to go to far in monitoring employee activity. There should be a line drawn at a certain point, but where should that line be?

          Many companies have you sign policy agreement statements that clearly define that the information on the computers belong to the company and they have every right to look at what you do on their machines.

          “If you are so paranoid that you need to monitor your activities while in the work place you should not be running a business.” then you are saying that if you ran a business you wouldn’t care what your employees did while at work even if they compromised your network by allowing viruses, and hackers to steal and destroy your customer data causing your business to fail? Even if you hire your mother to work for you Money Corrupts. Everyone can be bought so taking preventive measures to not allow certain activities and to monitor networks and users to make sure that no work around has been found will mitigate these risks.

          The only time that you should monitor a user is if you have something to monitor them for (aka) you found in logs that they have gone to porn sites or you see protocols that are common with P2P applications are becoming abundant when monitoring the network. Then you would have a just reason to monitor a user but until then it would only be you or someone else wanting to know what they are doing on their computer or flat out spying.

        • #2593655

          That’s why we get paid

          by brodriguez@cityofred ·

          In reply to Reply To: DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

          I agree it is up to the company’s owner, but we definately need to excert our expertise and inform said owner of the dangers to his expensive equipment, lack of productivity (costing HIM/HER money) and the dangers abuse presents to HIS/HER business.
          The needs and responsibilities of I.T. may vary from one company/government office to the next. Our jobs are becoming more and more standardized as they become reclassified but in no way could I (and I know several others who would agree) tell my managers that it is not my job to monitor traffic or draft policy. They don’t know what all of the dangers involved with a network, and quite frankliy they don’t care. That is why they pay us; we are supposed to know, to make it work and make it happen. Although I do agree that I.T. should not have the almighty authoritah to dictate policy that can get others fired, it IS our responsibility to let our managers know, draft computer usage policies, and then leave it up to the manager’s to enforce it when people violate it.

          It really isn’t an issue of being a moralist, more like a guardian of the network and equipment (including bandwidth). If an employee is on mySpace for half of their shift, or is hording your bandwidth with web radios, file sharing and downloading kiddie pr0n then it is up to us to discover it, prove it and inform our manager, who will enforce the policy. Anyone who is being overly liberal is not helping your company get the most out of its resources, and will incur problems further down the road. If your boss doesn’t want you to do this or have a way to prevent this then I suppose that is up to your boss. It is however bad I.T. and Company policy not to.

        • #2593617

          Reply to Previous Post – Going Too Far

          by sobaldrick ·

          In reply to That’s why we get paid

          then you are saying that if you ran a business you wouldn’t care what your employees did while at work even if they compromised your network by allowing viruses, and hackers to steal and destroy your customer data causing your business to fail?

          Of course you care, but you take preventative action, not monitoring action.

          If you are concerned about employees going to inappropriate sites – ‘Don’t let them’. If you don’t trust them on the Internet – ‘Take it away’. You gave them access to inapropriate software, trust them to be sensible about it or don’t give them access.

          Consider non-software related analogies:
          1. It is possible for someone to sneak into the buildng with a gun and start randomly shooting people – does this mean we should monitor everyone who comes to work for guns?
          2. It is possible for someone who went on vacation to bring a deadly disease into the workplace – should everyone who walks in the building be inoculated?
          3. It is possible for people to leave the building with confidential company information on the scrap bit of paper that they wrote their shopping list on – should everyone be searched when they leave the building?

          Ok, the Internet is more open to abuse than equivalent scenarios before it came into the workplace. So train your employees on company policies and trust them to do the right thing. Monitoring individual employees is not the right way to conduct your business.



        • #2594792

          who will guard the guards

          by bernardricky ·

          In reply to That’s why we get paid

          I agree IT are guardians of the network however we are employees also. Who will monitor what the It guys are doing on the internet, it is quite possible for the It guy to be on my Space for their entire shift, so who will guard the guards.

        • #2594180

          I Agree With You

          by megah ·

          In reply to Are you serious?

          I totally agree with your post, it’s their equipment and it’s their time; I believe surfing is necessary and bandwidth monitoring is good practice. I didn’t read everybody’s post here because it is so long; but did anybody bring up the fact that maybe IT is watching but how about other co-workers that are snooping. Installing key-stroke loggers on your puter while you went to the can a forgot to lock up your station. And then there is always the smart guy that installs back doors etc……. IT is the least of my worries because i know that they really can’t do anything with what they find…..but co-workers can do major damage with sensitive information they found on your puter.

          I know i have a ball at work logging into other people’s puters. That is what makes work fun.

        • #2582055

          Right on Brother

          by speedy gonzales ·

          In reply to No one said IT should make policy…but…

          You can tell his position is from a consultant point of view and not from an administrative one. IT should be recommending policy to Directors / CEO?s and
          then enforcing the policies. It?s the 20/80 rule. 20 percent of the people will do as they wish, surf were they want, 80 percent do their jobs, and use common since. Why do you think “security” the fastest growing field in IT?
          Think proactive not reactive. Because in the end, when it breaks ? Well
          ?Lucy, You Got a Lot of `Splainin’ to Do…?

        • #2593598

          Ethics is not a commodity, and stupidity is free

          by cameron.duffy ·

          In reply to No one said IT should make policy…but…

          I find your rationale for spying on employees to be a vague wash of blather probably stemming from some childhood trauma. You probably think all employees are guilty of bandwidth rape, cycle stealing, database intimidation and information manipulation and thus should be locked up, preferably in a windowless computer cubical
          where the keyboard any key is broken.

          Nothing gives you the moral right to spy on other people, even under the guise of company policy, let alone enforce it.

          I simply don’t trust the personal motivations of individuals who suggest that this invasive behavior should be part of the repertoire of management, and the delusional insistance of being able to enforce it (good doggy).

          As it turns out, from a security point of view, humans are the weakest part of the system, therefore, and in particluar, spying and enforcement are most definately not appropriate for megalomaniacal IT psuedonerds.

          It is best we leave this to the robots, who hopefully will take over the world and restore a sense of moral decency by spying on everyone without prejudice.

          Boing Boom Tschak

      • #2593398

        A bunch of BS!

        by 50kilroy ·

        In reply to A bunch of BS!

        I tend to agree with you, but with today’s manglement being children of the feelgood 60’s, they are afraid of _everything_. That’s why we have such a mess in our government, corporate boardrooms, I.T. depts, & etc.
        Talk???!! It won’t happen, brother. They are afraid to do that (it might offend someone).
        They would rather construct a paper trail aimed at removing the ‘bad’ employee.

      • #2593355

        Get Real

        by zoner57 ·

        In reply to A bunch of BS!

        Let’s see….the company pays for the Computers, pays for the Network, pays for the internet connection and then pays the employees to work. Yeah I can see how it is OK to do what ever you want if you are caught up….NOT! Keeping people off of U Tube and My Space is almost a full time job in itself some places. Not to mention it wastes bandwidth that people actually working could be using to complete their projects but can’t cause some moron is watch a full length video or downloading a new demo. not to say taking a break and reading a article or two is bad, it is not. But then you have the ones that think “that the company owes them” this. Let’s not even go into people going where they shouldn’t and picking up a virus or worm that cripples the operation of the network or systems.

      • #2594398

        A Bunch of BS is right on the mark.

        by lsa ·

        In reply to A bunch of BS!

        Companies don’t care about the employees, just about
        how good the managers look trying to manage the
        company. The work output seems almost secondary to the
        need to keep people in line. Very simple transgressions
        are immediately written-up and made a part of the
        person’s file. Baloney! What happened to counselling and
        just talking to see if something is wrong or there’s at least
        a perception of something wrong. It’s easier to distrust
        and spy than take the time to care about the employees
        and make sure they’re okay and enjoy working there.

        • #2594257

          Poor for employee morale

          by mjgooch ·

          In reply to A Bunch of BS is right on the mark.

          I agree. From my experience,the culture of spying on employees has a strong negative effect on the dedicated/loyal employees who are in the majority. This is NOT kindergarden folks. Don’t we interview/screen/hire candidates that have a good track record? See my comments on prev thread for the ethical fix.

      • #2594225

        Management Mentality

        by lledger ·

        In reply to A bunch of BS!

        Monitoring activity has been a management practice of incompetent managers for decades (probably centuries and millenium). Good management will measure results and award employees accordingly. Bad management will measure activity and punish those who seem to be slacking off with no way of measuring whether they are or not.

      • #2597938


        by lcave ·

        In reply to A bunch of BS!

        Enough already. Who cares where they surf as long as the job gets done.

    • #3088218

      IT is only one part…

      by dan.brooks ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

      There’s a big difference between having the ability to monitor abuse and actually enforcing policies. Policies are developed by Senior Managers and are enforced by Senior Managers. The IT Manager is only one part of the Senior Management Team. I would suggest that the IT Manager should be able to dictate to his/her staff what is “acceptable use”. I would also suggest that the IT Department not be charged with “policing and enforcing” policies throughout an organization. If any employee from any department suspects abuse then that employee has an obligation to inform his/her immediate superior. It should be left up to the manager to determine the next course of action. If an organization allows its employees to use computer resources for limited personal use then the organization must also respect any privacy that the employees might assume has been awarded to them. Monitoring can easily be mistaken as an invasion of privacy.

      • #2582042

        Well said

        by brodriguez@cityofred ·

        In reply to IT is only one part…

        I am fortuneate that the I.S. Specialist here has already compiled an employee internet and computer use/abuse policy that all employees are informed of and agree with upon hiring. Everyone is told that everything can and may be monitored, and it lisst what is allowed and what is not. It is VERY clear and detailed and has been approved by management. It is between 8 and 10 pages and employees receive thier own signed copy and it is posted on our intranet for all employees to see. Beautiful.

    • #3089846

      Tips of no use at the enterprise level

      by tundraroamer ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

      These are all things to do at home or maybe for a few users. But more than that it is too time consuming and ineffective. Better to use appliances to do all the work for you. The cost is more then saved in labor to implement all those suggestions at each PC or for each user. Set the device once to enforce your policies and they will handle the drudgery work of who does what when and how plus prevent it from happing in the first place. This leaves IT to do something more valuable with their limited time.

      • #3263240

        IT should be an enforcement of policy

        by holdupmaster ·

        In reply to Tips of no use at the enterprise level

        The IT department generally exists to :
        A) Support existing systems
        B) Enforce company IT policy / compliance
        C) make suggestions to manangement.

        They are not a law unto themselves and certainly shouldnt be monitoring anything without management approval.

        Monitoring of anyting is possible, a company has to protect its assets, and manage utilisation of those assets.

        I have seen very locked down environments where by users can only run office apps and a browser. They dont have permission to run/install any other application. This has lots of benefits not only in security but also in less possible damage from viruses etc. This was approved by mangement along with some proxy based monitoring of web traffic. In corporate environment users can’t expect the same freedom with their computer as they would have at home.

        • #2582103

          Great idea.

          by thetae83 ·

          In reply to IT should be an enforcement of policy

          I think your company should have mandated targeted frontal lobotomies as company policy, in order to reduce any impulse toward (or, colloquially, “interest in”) activities outside of their company-defined and assigned area of focus, let alone non-job related. This small measure would have further increased company productivity, at the minor cost of undesireable grey matter and difficult to manage personal will and autonomy.

          If all companies adopted similar policies, it would lead to rapid and massive increases in productivity, which would of course, transform our economy, our nation and the world.

    • #3263235

      Please observe data privacy laws

      by datadefender ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

      your suggestions are in heavy conflict with European data privacy laws.
      Keyloggers and and password syping on employees ?
      Reputable US firms would not allow that – and if they do only after HE and legal teams have agreed on a case by case. I would not want to work for a company that does that. And if it becomes known it can constitute a seriuos reputational damage to a company.

    • #3199193

      Auditing restrictions

      by kiltie ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

      It’s been many months since the last post to this article, but I have only recently spotted it 😉

      The first option mentioned in the article, Auditing, only works under certain circumstances.

      The TR article says “How to audit user access of files, folders, and printers in Windows XP”

      However the KB article referred to (KB310339) specifies:

      ? Microsoft Windows XP Professional”

      Moreover, there are further qualifications specified in the section “Troubleshooting”

      “? The hard disk must be formatted with the NTFS file system for auditing to work.
      ? If your computer is a member of a domain and the administrator has set domain-level auditing policies, those policies override these local settings.”

      Which won’t work for some business networks I have seen, which are FAT32 systems with a mix of OSs, one reason being: To maintain backward compatability with software packages being used, some older suites do not (yet) support NTFS.

      Indeed, my own home network (and I dare say some businesses) have dual boot 98SE/XP Pro systems.

      My personal reason for having FAT32 throughout is so the the OSs can see each others data and programs. I am also trying various Linux distros, and only a few to date have full NTFS ability, so FAT32 works out the best file system for me, at least for the common partition areas.

      Edited: typo

    • #2582056

      Preventing is Better than Catching

      by brodriguez@cityofred ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

      This is definitely part of I.T’s job responsibilities, as network security can be threatened by a single user (Malware) not to mention it is our responsibility to make sure the resources of the company are being used to the full; instead of having your internet connection hoarded by non-work related web traffic.

      We have anti-virus of course but that is only as good as the most recent update.
      We also have used a 3rd party software in the past that does screenshot captures, key logging and reports log on/off user/times, and I.M.’s with great success. It has been able to help us determine who is abusing thier time and who just needs more to do.

      However, in reality it is better to prevent the user from abusing company resources to begin with. While this can be VERY difficult to do, it is a goal worth every effort to attain. The reason is simple: Even good employees can go bad if given the opportunity. If they do not have any way to abuse the internet however, then you have prevented them from getting themselves in trouble, and saved a good employee (not to mention bandwidth – w00t). We will be using the Barracuda Web filter very soon and would love to see how effective it is. If any of you have an experience with this, by all means please post a reply!

    • #2593631

      This is a sign the IT department is too fat…

      by ibsteve2u ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

      If you’ve got IT personnel with so much time on their hands they can spend time exploring user IE caches, the IT department is too fat and should be trimmed…and probably will be.

    • #2593401

      Hire humans, get humans.

      by gschafer ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

      If you layout exactly every possible aspect of technology your employees can access–when, where, how, etc–you are admitting that their jobs are perfectly predictable and all instances can be foreseen.

      If that’s the case, you don’t need an employee, you need a piece of software (or a robot).

      If you admit that a human can do the job better than a program because it can take into consideration unforeseen circumstances, then you have to hire a human. And that means you get a human, NOT A ROBOT. And humans sometimes need to do some hard-to-predict things to get the job done.

      Now you’re going to try to lock down what things they can do to get the job done? Sorry, that doesn’t work.

      • #2593907

        Misguided Thoughts

        by compguy101101 ·

        In reply to Hire humans, get humans.

        So you are saying that if an employees job is only to take phone calls from their customers and enter the data in a propriatary program, that they need to have Internet Explorer to do their work. “But, they need to be able to google things to answer customer questions.” No they don’t. All they need is that program specifically desgined for their job. Anything else is not applicable to what they have been hired to do.

    • #2594409

      Home Use

      by jkstill ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

      One point I have not yet seen here is work done from home.

      Fair is fair: if an employer were to try and enforce “Absolutely no personal use of computers in the office”, employees would be entirely justified in enforcing a similar policy at home – “Absolutely no work done for my employer from home”

      The fact of the matter is there is always personal business that an individual must do during working hours.

      And employees often do some work from home during ‘non-working’ hours, such as I am doing this morning, restoring a database for SOX compliance.

    • #2594372

      Thetae83 should move to Cuba…

      by mporcellana ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

      I do not intend this to be a troll or flame, but enough is enough. Let me provide Mr. Thetae83 will an easy economics lesson.

      The employer/employee relationship is very simple. In the hiring process, the employer details what is expected of the employee in terms of productivity, whether they’re working on an assembly line making gadgets, or utilizing their brain to provide a service. Furthermore, the employer stipulates the conditions under which the employee shall perform their duties, which includes salary, benefits, lunch/break time, hours of operation, and most importantly for this discussion, company policies and procedures. The prospective employee then must weigh the pros and cons of the job AS THEY SEE IT, and decide if they wish to accept the terms that the employer has laid out. If the employee chooses to accept the position, that’s it–don’t come whining later!

      Now, if you are currently an employee, and your employer chooses to change the terms to protect THEIR business interests (which, unless it’s illegal, is NONE of YOUR business), you then must decide if you wish to continue working under those terms. The last time I checked, slavery was outlawed, so there is NOTHING keeping you from seeking another job and quitting your present job.

      I have always viewed my employment this way: As a systems admin, I provide my employer with my services for 40-odd hours out of 168 in a given week, and in exchange for my services, my employer gives me money, which I can in turn use to purchase items I really need: mortgage, insurance, car payments, food, utilities, and so on. Considering that 40 hours is less than one-quarter of a week, I feel that I at least owe them my full efforts while at work…after all, I have 128 hours left to do what I want to do.

      But apparently, Thetae83 is from Generation Y, who feel that they can do what they want, when they want, with absolutely NO respect for authority. Furthemore, this is what 40+ years of ’60s ultra-liberalism run amuck has done…to paraphrase the old cliche, “The indians are telling the chiefs what to do.” Sorry buddy, but I’m from the school that says “The boss is the boss, and if you don’t like it, quit and go work elsewhere.” But the liberals think that because you had a bad morning at home, or your personal life is screwed up, that your employer should cater to your “feelings”. Oh Puh-leeze! Having a bad day? Take a sick day and stay home…don’t come to work and play on the Internet all day and blame it on your rough day.

      As a systems admin, I have an obligation to my employer only, not my co-workers. Here’s another analogy for you: If, as the IT guy responsible for monitoring and enforcing the company’s policies, and certain employee’s productivity is very poor due to their screwing around, let’s say the company’s sales/profits decline due to this. Now, raise/bonus time comes around, and my employer says that because it’s been a bad year, he can’t give me the raise he wants to. Put yourself in MY shoes…I lose because of John Doe’s goofing off all year, not because of my performance. So, I’m not to supposed to advise my employer when Mr. Doe is playing around?

      So, Thetae83, pack your bags and head off to a Communist state, where all are equal (yeah right!)…funny though, those 60s communes that sprang up preaching free love and happiness have long disappeared…if they were so wonderful, why aren’t they around?

      Have a nice day, and get back to work!

      • #2594328


        by thetae83 ·

        In reply to Thetae83 should move to Cuba…

        ….And I don’t intend this as a rebuke of your argument…Well, no, yes I do; I’m just not as comfortable lying about my intentions as are you. I live in the Washington DC area. You are so good at the false rhetorical skills of exaggeration, overstatement, hyperbole, misdirection, mischaracterization, changing the subject, erecting straw man arguments, etc., etc., ad nauseum that you should move here. You would fit right in. Because you sound so much like the politicians (leeches) that have control of our country at the moment.

        You are so powerless in your job, yet you feel comfortable ordering me to renounce my citizenship to move to Cuba. You work for who you want – based on your description of your job (thanks for your careful explanation), you deserve each other. Maybe you should first ask your employer where I should go to (maybe he would prefer Afghanistan, e.g.); it would carry at least equal weight for me.

        On second thought, I’ll just stay here in the good ole US of A; it is just too much fun imagining you making animal noises when you write.

    • #2593964

      This has been quite a hot-button topic!

      by mporcellana ·

      In reply to DOWNLOAD: 10 ways to monitor your users

      Wow, quite a discussion on this subject. It’s been interesting reading everyone’s ideas and opinions regarding monitoring. However, allow me to put (hopefully) my last $.02 in.

      Here’s a simple math formula: 40 hours of work=40 hours of pay, not 30 hours of work + 10 hours of goofing off=40 hours of pay. For the under 35 years old crowd out there, at one time there were NO computers on people’s desks. Yeah really, honest to God, back in the Dark Ages (pre-1990s), there were the “dumb” terminals and “dum-de-dum”–THE MAINFRAME ROOM! Internet? No such thing, just some networks between university professors and the US Military’s Arpanet (you know, the thingy that lefty Al Gore invented!).

      And here’s the darndest thing: Without the distraction of such things as the Internet and computer games, employees actually did some strange thing called work! Hard to believe, I know, that people can do such a thing without a computer. And here’s the other point: People didn’t sit at their desks and read a novel or the newspaper, unless you really wanted to get fired. Nowadays, they can goof off, and when the boss is coming to ask how work is going, a quick click on the X and poof-it’s gone! Well, the boss has now asked us, the IT folks, to monitor and report this activity.

      From a moral/ethical standpoint, here in the United States it is NOT illegal for the employer to monitor their employees for a very simple reason: the company owns the computer/network/internet pipe, so it’s THEIR property you’re abusing, and you’re on THEIR time and dime while you’re supposed to be producing for them. As an IT person, if your personal beliefs and political philosophy run far left of center, and you believe it is wrong, than it is up to YOU to seek employment elsewhere. As referenced above, if your boss asks you to monitor, and you refuse a perfectly legal request from him/her to do it, you could be shown the door.

      As stated elsewhere in this thread, I am not a voyeur. My job is to protect my systems from a variety of threats as well as maintain the Internet connection at maximum efficiency. Here’s another example: The nature of my company requires customers to upload large files to our FTP site. Now, if a few of my users are in the midst of streaming videos from YouTube, pulling MP3s via LimeWire, or downloading warez, the customer is sitting there wondering why the speed is so damn slow. THAT has a direct business impact.

      So let’s go a few months into the future. Because I’m such a wishy-washy, spineless chicken who was afraid of hurting people’s feelings, my customers, disgusted with the slow upload speeds for BUSINESS data, have left and gone elsewhere. So, with no customers left, my business shuts down, putting numerous people out of work. Yeah, that’s fair…all because I didn’t want to offend anyone.

      • #2593794

        That’s Not So!

        by sobaldrick ·

        In reply to This has been quite a hot-button topic!

        Anyone who has had a job will know that NOBODY gets 40 hours pay for 40 hours work in a regular week. Are you telling me that you log your bathroom breaks and work after hours to make up the time? You note every non-work related conversation that you had with a colleague? Bollox you do! You probably work 30 hours a week, but that’s not important – what is important is ‘Is your company making a profitable return on investing in your skills?’ Nothing else matters.

        I have had many jobs in my career, let me list some examples:
        1. My first job was a paper delivery round. Was I paid by the hour – nope, I was paid by the number of papers I delivered.
        2. My next job, I worked in a Fish and Chip shop. I got an hourly wage. Did I work every minute of every hour – nope! There were rush periods (like when the cinema or the pubs kicked out) and there were quiet periods in between. I worked to prepare the shop for the rush and then when everything was prepared I would sit down, read the paper and have a cigarette (I tried to say f.a.g, but apparently you are not allowed to use slang for cigarette – funny I can say bollocks though!) Yet I am being paid by the hour and my boss is OK with that, because I work hard sometimes and other times I work not so hard.
        3. I am currently working in IT, yes while I type this I am being paid and nobody is monitoring what I am doing (and even if they were I’d tell them to mind their own business). It’s Friday and I have several documents to deliver before I leave work tonight. That is ALL that matters – that I do what I promised I would do. If I want a bonus at the end of the year I’ll work harder than I need to, but if I just want my salary that I signed up for I will meet my schedules, nothing more.

        Your other argument, ‘because it’s their equipment means that they are allowed to monitor what I use it for – is again a simple argument to tear down, rip into little pieces, burn and bury in the ground, never to resurface.
        The toilet also belongs to the company, as does the soap, loo paper and towels. So this means it’s ok to monitor employees in the bathroom does it? Similar arguments have already been made with other company equipment, so I won’t repeat here.
        If I find out that any company I work for has been monitoring my personal conversations at work, either over the internet, over the telephone, via my US mail or personal conversations, and they take action against because of their monitoring, 1) I am out of there asap, 2) I won’t be doing any work for them while I’m on my way out, 3) I’ll be seeking legal advice about it too.

        The only time I would consider it might be ok to monitor an employee, is if they had been reported by a colleague. If you find someone is accessing inappropriate material, take that access away. Don’t witch hunt your employees – it’s very bad for morale. Remember employees talk to each other even outside of work.

        Signing off before I repeat myself any more.


      • #2595752

        Of Communism, Civil Liberties and Toads

        by cameron.duffy ·

        In reply to This has been quite a hot-button topic!

        Ethics, Morals and Legality are quite distinct in case you didnt’t know. Obviously you can’t distinguish them nor does the concept of civil liberties enter your clouded thinking. Furthermore, you old scaremonger, implying that anyone who wishes to defend those civil liberties is a Communist begs the question of whether you are actually intellectually retarded or whether you are hijacking your own thread to make superflous value judgements on the communists suposedly lurking under your internet bed.

        Besides, the World Wide Web was invented by european scientists at CERN, not by that ‘lefty’, Al Gore…

        So let’s go a few months in the future where all the outraged employees have left your company in disgust because of the political motivations of a frustrated wishy-washy IT chicken.

        And I wonder if you maintained this thread on company time…

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