Managers: How to monitor your employees' Internet usage


Keep an eye out for inappropriate computer usage by using a few simple tools.

It’s your worst nightmare: A computer crashing virus infiltrates the practice’s system. And it was reality for Donna Recupido-Bauman, CVPM, hospital administrator at Veterinary Specialty Care in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. Her aggravation was compounded by the source of the virus: An employee who accessed an adult website.

Recupido-Bauman never identified the culprit who visited the site, but she did learn an important lesson: Monitoring employees is essential for any veterinary practice with an Internet connection.

Keep your computers virus-free and your practice’s professionalism intact 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. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here, Recupido-Bauman says, just find an example and modify it to suit your practice. Click here 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 strict as you’d like. But before you go on a site-blocking frenzy, remember that sites like Facebook and Twitter can help your practice (click here for more).

3. Consider Internet-monitoring software. These programs monitor and document every website team members access. If your practice has an IT or computer guru, that person is a great resource for helping with these programs. 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. If you’re not ready for this level, you can take a simpler approach to monitoring by manually checking computers’ history and the Internet searches that have been conducted on them.

Internet monitoring isn’t always popular with team members, warns Recupido-Bauman, but it’s a necessary evil in today’s techy world. “My explanation is this: ‘I’ve never stolen anything, but when I go to the store, I have to walk through the theft-monitoring system and walk past security cameras,’” she says.

If your employees still resist, ask a computer professional to estimate the cost of cleaning a virus off your practice’s computers. Then share it with team members and let them know they’ll share in the cost. Most employees prefer the idea of being monitored over the possibility of chipping in to foot a major virus-cleaning bill.

More in this package:

Does your practice allow team members to access the Web at work?

How much time do you spend accessing veterinary information online while you're at work?

What do you use the Internet for at work?

How to ask for Internet access

Managers: How to monitor your employees' Internet usage

Related Videos
dvm360 Live! with Dr. Adam Christman
dvm360 Live! with Dr. Adam Christman
dvm360 Live! with Dr. Adam Christman
dvm360 Live! with Dr. Adam Christman
© 2023 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.