3 tips for monitoring your veterinary team's Internet usage


Avoid computer viruses, phishing scams, and more by watching team members' Internet usage as necessary.

It's every practice manager's worst nightmare: A computer-crashing virus that infiltrates the practice's system. Donna Recupido-Bauman, CVPM, hospital administrator at Veterinary Specialty Care in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., has experienced this nightmare firsthand. The worst part? The source of the virus was an explicit website.

Bauman never identified the culprit behind the visit to the site, but she did learn an important lesson: Internet monitoring is essential for any practice with an Internet connection. Keep your computers virus-free by following these three tips:

1. Establish a computer usage policy. Your employee handbook should contain a policy that spells out proper computer usage, including what sites employees are allowed to access and how they're expected to conduct themselves online. Head to http://dvm360.com/computerpolicy to download the policy Recupido-Bauman uses at Veterinary Specialty Care.

2. Install content-control software. If employees can't access inappropriate sites, you'll never have to worry about viruses or time-wasting activities. You can set the software to be as liberal or as strict as you'd like.

3. Consider Internet-monitoring software. These programs monitor and document every website team members access on your server. Installing one would mean taking a more drastic approach to observing Internet usage, but checking the logs regularly offers you a closer look at what team members are doing online.

Internet monitoring isn't always popular with team members, Recupido-Bauman warns, but it's a necessary evil in today's world. If your employees resist, ask a computer professional to estimate the cost of cleaning a virus off of your computers. Think they'll be willing to pitch in?

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