What Internet Monitoring Software Actually Does for Businesses
With every passing year, it seems like more and more businesses start to use internet monitoring software. In fact, they’ve become so popular that it is probably the reason why you’re wondering what it actually does for a business.
But before getting to that, you first need to understand what it actually is.
“What is Internet Monitoring Software?”
While internet monitoring software comes in many shapes and sizes nowadays, at its core it is really just a program (or suite of programs) designed to track the online activity of users. In most cases, it does this via a ‘client’ program that is installed on work computers, and that will keep tabs on online activity and relay it to the main software.
The main software will then let people with administrator access (normally managers) to view the data that has been gathered. As such managers can monitor the internet usage of employees, as well as past logs that were saved or reports that were generated.
“What Can the Software Track Exactly?”
As you may have realized, ‘tracking online activity’ involves a very broad scope – and this is where things start to get complicated. At the end of the day, the exact areas that internet monitoring software can monitor and the data that it gathers will vary from one software to the next.
One good example is Controlio – which is a popular internet monitoring software. Its features will let you track websites that were visited, the duration spent on each website, files downloaded or uploaded, emails sent and received, instant messaging content, and more.
Simply put, Controlio will give you a full view of practically every type of online activity – but it doesn’t stop there. It can also be set up to capture keystrokes, and apps that are opened, send alerts for particular types of user behavior (such as when a particular website is accessed), or to filter and block some types of content.
Keep in mind that not all internet monitoring software may have those same features, but many do. However, the more important question is: Why does your business need to monitor online activity so closely?
Why Businesses Need to Use Internet Monitoring Software
When all’s said and done, the reason internet monitoring software is so popular is not so much about the fact that it can monitor online activity – and more to do with what that means for your business. With the capability to track what employees are doing online, you will be able to:
- Improve productivity by tracking time being wasted online, budget deadlines and allocate tasks better with monitoring data, incentivize performance, and more. Tools like Controlio will even calculate a specific productivity score for employees to provide an easy gauge of how effectively they’re using work hours.
- Enhance security by identifying potential insider threats early due to suspicious online activity, file downloads or uploads, and certain types of communication. It can also ensure that illegal activities aren’t being carried out in the workplace which your business could be liable for.
- Ensure compliance with security and privacy regulations. Many privacy protection standards require that businesses take measures to protect the data of customers as well as employees, and internet monitoring software is an important step in that direction because of the data it provides.
Any one of these reasons is strong enough to compel businesses to use internet monitoring software. And most businesses tend to use them for all three of these reasons.
“Is there a Downside?”
As far as downsides go, the one issue that is often raised is whether or not monitoring will intrude on the privacy of employees. However if done right and according to privacy laws, that largely shouldn’t be a problem.
While the exact laws applicable vary from one jurisdiction to the next, in most cases all that is required is that you inform your employees that you’re monitoring them. It is best to assuage any concerns by providing clear and fair policy so your employees know what to expect.
The bottom line is that considering everything internet monitoring software can do for your business, taking a few simple steps to deal with its only drawback should be worth your while.
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