Does Your Firm Have a Written Internet Usage Policy?

by | Dec 19, 2016 | Useful Tech Tips | 0 comments

You’d be amazed how many attorneys & paralegals shop, watch porn, and look for new jobs while at work. Some users do this all-day-long. From our experience, 30%-40% of firm users utilize the firm internet inappropriately. Many of our clients pay us to morning their internet usage and report on anomalies while others request a monthly report that is audited internally. The internet is awesome but it’s filled with time wasting material and material that is inappropriate for the workplace. We recommend a rock solid internet usage policy that will increase your firm’s efficiency.

STREAMING AUDIO & VIDEO  We recommend our law firms limit or forbid the streaming of audio and video files within the office. The reason for this is twofold: first, there’s the bandwidth issue. Streaming files eats up bandwidth and can really slow down your network. That, in turn, slows down the people who are trying to get actual work done. Second, if people are watching YouTube videos, how hard are they actually working? For this reason we recommend to block all streaming sites as well as social media. If a user needs access to these sites, a request is required. Rekall’s firewall makes this very easy. When a site on the blocked list attempts to load, a screen loads up and explains why the site was blocked with a number to call in order to contact IT for more information.

FILE DOWNLOADS & APP INSTALLATIONS  Downloading files of any kind is another aspect of internet use that should probably be monitored. After all, many users are not tech savvy, many click download without thinking. The wrong download can take down your entire network and encrypt your files, Ransomware. Rekall policy restricts end users from installing applications as well. We recommend that you develop a policy around downloads and installs. Turning these features off on your network requiring the end user to contact support is the best method that will safeguard the integrity of your firm networks. In addition an office manager can be put in charge of this policy as well. User can simply contact the office manage to allow downloads and program installations as long as that office manage is tech savvy.

INTERNET CONTENT BLOCKING  As far as Rekall policies go, some sites are restricted due to content. For example, pornography and other sexually explicit sites should obviously be off limits in the workplace. Gambling sites are clearly unacceptable. We also recommend that you have a policy forbidding employees from visiting sites that promote hate on the grounds of race, sexual orientation, religion, etc. With a Rekall firewall you can also block job sites like CareerBuilder.com or Monster.com so your employees can’t look for a job on your time. Alternatively you can allow these sites and have Rekall setup monthly reports listing users who visit sites like these. These reports will give you insider information letting you know who might be looking to leave your firm.

Whatever internet rules you decide upon, make sure that you communicate them clearly and have them in writing in an employee manual or another similar document. Rules should be able to be enforced and there should be consequences for infractions.

Rekall can help you establish an internet policy that’s right for your firm. In addition to that, enforcing these policies cannot be done with standard routers that you buy at Bestbuy or Staples, your firm must invest in an enterprise firewall. A firewall will not only enforce internet usage policies, it will also protect your firm data from outside intrusion.


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