Monitoring Strategies for Internet Technologies

Monitoring Strategies for Internet Technologies

Andrew Urbaczewski (University of Michigan-Dearborn, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch430
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Abstract

Most large organizations that provide Internet access to employees also employ some means to monitor and/or control that usage (Reuters, 2002). A 2005 AMA report indicates that 76% of companies monitor worker’s Web surfing, while 26% have fired workers for improper Internet usage (AMA, 2005). This chapter provides a classification and description of various control mechanisms that an organization can use to curb or control personal Internet usage. Some of these solutions are technical, while others rely instead on interpersonal skills to curb cyberslacking. After a review of goals for a monitoring program, a list of different activities to monitor and/or control will also be provided. Then a discussion of different techniques for monitoring and associated products will be explored, followed by a discussion of fit between corporate culture and monitoring.
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Background

The Worker’s Perspective

In this age of cell phones, pagers, wireless PDAs, e-mail, and home network links, many employees may feel like the employer owns them not just during the workday, but perhaps constantly. Though tiresome, the worker may accept this as an unfortunate circumstance of 21st century knowledge work. However, in the tit-for-tat that this availability demands, the employee may feel that he or she should be allowed to use the Internet at work to take care of quick business tasks such as paying bills, sending an e-mail, or checking that evening’s movie listings. So long as it isn’t excessive, the employee may wonder why the employer even cares. Employers can and do care for many reasons, some more profound than others.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Logging: Creating a record of all employee Internet usage.

Bandwidth: Colloquially, the amount of network capacity available for a connection.

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