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Internet access for users

By chrislara ·
Do most companies allowing users to access the Internet, give them free reign of the whole web? Is that a good idea? Are users able to download and is that a good idea? Also, I've seen webshots around the office. Is it ridiculous for users to have wallpaper photos?

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Internet access for users

by Trev In reply to Internet access for users

I think it's a matter of what company you are with and company opinion. I would assume most companies give their employees access to the web due to the fact it's a good research tool, but of course there are drawbacks as users should be doing work but are "surfing the web" cutting down on their productivity time. As for giving them free reign and the ability to download...once again matter of company policy. Realize if they can download of the web...they can download viruses into their computers and a company network very easily (That's where a proper Anti Virus Defence comes in.) Also if they are downloading large files they are eating network bandwidth. The webshots is a touchy point for me...I hate them, but employees come here andwork hard and if little things like that keep them happy so be it. Only problem with webshots is that it uses RAM on their CPU which can slow it down doing other tasks. So in my opinion the answers to your questions in order are: 1.) Yes, 2.) No, 3.) Depends on what they are downloading and if there are proper protections in place. 4.) Yes but if it makes them happy so be it.

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Internet access for users

by chrislara In reply to Internet access for users

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by Bill Cassada In reply to Internet access for users

Some companies do, but most I've seen attempt to limit it in some manner without seeming like "Big Brother". Giving users unhindered access is not always a good idea, but then some people need that type of access. Downloading may depend on the job they do. I have to download in mine. You have to balance the need/benefits against the risk of virus infection or some rogue user downloading kiddie porn (for example). Webshots...like the answer above says...if it makes them happy, so be it. I found that if I supply a small quantity of wallpaper and screensavers that are "cool" then my users aren't so eager to do download them from the web and will continue to work. It is not at all difficult for users to have wallpaper photos...I have them. Some users display images of their family or soothing scenes. The **** you catch by telling them they CAN'T have them will be far worse then just dealing with it. When you use a tool, a hammer for example, you'd like one with a nice grip and well-balanced, right? Well, users want their wallpaper...same as you want the nice grip on that hammer.

In the end, it pays to be nice, but there have to be limits.

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Internet access for users

by chrislara In reply to Internet access for users

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by sanehpal In reply to Internet access for users

Most due.. I think the above two really said it all. I just wanted to add that a good way to regulate the users from surfing is to tell them they are being monitored with a proxy server. It doesn't matter if you are monitoring them, Just the thought that someone might be watching is usually enough to stop them from wasteing too much time on the web.

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by chrislara In reply to Internet access for users

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by chucko76 In reply to Internet access for users

We have restricted access. Attorneys who use the web for research have full access, secretaries and non-management staff have access to the intranet. We use Proxy server and Group access to control this. We also keep track of what is accessed through the proxy logs.

We allow unlimited downloading but we have very good anti-virus systems in place.

As far as wallpaper, jokes, cartoons, and the like, we do not allow them. However, we do not stop them. Many of these items were written for DOS and occupy the same memory as one of our critical accounting packages unless the user sets up the program correctly (not likely). If the Help Desk has to go to the users desk to fix a conflict or the machine is not acting properly, unauthorized software will be removed.

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by chrislara In reply to Internet access for users

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by CheriD In reply to Internet access for users

My experience has been that larger companies that allow users to access the Internet give them free reign of the web, with the exception of obvious things like pornography, etc. which they filter out by firewall or proxy. However, they do so withinthe parameters of a published Acceptable Use policy and signed acceptance forms from all users.

My experience with smaller companies and/or public sector companies is that they give employees free reign - usually because they aren't aware of the ramifications of doing so.

I don't think free reign is a good idea. An organization should have a published Acceptable Use Policy, otherwise you open yourself up to a possible miriad of legal issues. This policy would dictate Internet use. There are legal ramifications to this policy, so before it is instituted, an experienced attorney should review it.

Tech Republic has an excellent article discussing this with samples called "A Framework for e-mail and Internet usage policies for your enterprise". Go to the IT Consultant tab at the top and search for other info on acceptable use policies there as well.

From a legal perspective, I believe the policy must be published and users must sign a document indicating they have received and reviewed a copy of the policy and agree to its terms in order to protect the company from any liability.

I don't think Webshots is that big of a problem unless you've got limited bandwidth like ISDN lines) and a bunch of people are always downloading webshots during business hours and eating up your bandwidth. If so, have them schedule their downloads of webshots for non-business hours and save to their hard drive. Once they save it on their hard drive, bandwidth is no longer an issue.

The whole desktop scheme is a personal issue for each company. Some companies, usually larger ones, are very restrictive. Others think it makes users happier with their work e

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Internet access for users

by chrislara In reply to Internet access for users

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