A business environment can provide a stressful environment for both the management and its employees. The majority of employers are concerned about keeping their employees motivated towards attaining productivity and the major concern on keeping company data and information secured is among the manager’s responsibility as well. Employees at most times are free to use the company resources especially using the internet in doing other activities that can compromise the company’s business data. The data, privy only for the company’s use, can be disseminated online without the consent of the management to the prejudice of the company. Therefore, it is very important that the company has its efficient way of monitoring employees’ online activity.
The Importance of monitoring employee’s online activity
While the complete protection of data is considered the most important reason why the management should monitor the online activities of their employees, there are also other reasons why they need to do it. Loss of worker productivity can also impact the company’s business which makes employee monitoring important too. It is also possible that company data may likewise be sent to a third party without the authority from the management which contributes to the data loss and a worker loss of productivity during official time at work whenever employees are free to use company resources for personal use without close monitoring on their activities at work.
Moreover, every company has a trade secret that accounts to the success of the company. These secrets vary from different strategies, sources of supplies, methods of production, quality of materials and most importantly finances of the company. When these information or data leak, this leaves the company vulnerable for losses. The transfer of these data can be either deliberate or unintentional. Either way, the person doing it will be held legally liable to the company as this information is basically proprietary in nature which is something that only the company must share or provide other entities when it sees proper.
Deliberate sharing of data takes place when an employee, with full knowledge of the harm, transfers or shares data to anyone. While unintentional data transfer takes place when a data is, without the employee’s knowledge and consent, transferred or shared through the internet that can be brought about by malware and other snooping software.
Best Practices to reduce or eliminate prohibited data sharing
1. Use monitoring software
There is a lot of monitoring software available on the internet these days. While the most effective monitoring software costs a lot, it is considered to be a good company investment in order to protect valuable company assets and trade secrets. Spy software on company issued devices may be installed to monitor the exchange of communication made between the employees and other persons. The installation of CCTV technology will also help the employer to monitor all activities of the employees across the workplace including their communication activities and data access and it can also serve as a protection to employees against false accusations on data leakage or sharing. With a monitoring software (check Netspysoftware) you can also block certain online activities that employees can do at the workplace which limits their ability of compromising company secrets and data.
2. Make known to employees the restriction against data sharing
Making known to your employees the company’s stringent rule against sharing of company data and information from the beginning of their employment is a good management practice. This can be done during the orientation or having a memorandum circulated across the workplace or have it printed on the employee handbook. Employees will hesitate to share company data to third parties when they know that such is a prohibited act with a corresponding penalty from the company and will likely refrain from doing things that can cause trouble in their employment.
3. Establish a good communication process
The moment you first heard about company data leakage it is important to verify the report and learn the extent of the data loss and compromised information if there is any. Sometimes, data leakage may occur unintentionally as when an employee casually mentions something to friends or family members without knowing that the information communicated is a vital source of information. Allowing the employees to explain the root of the problem will help prevent the company from taking drastic moves against the employee.