The Hows and Whys of Monitoring Employees' Internet Usage

The Hows and Whys of Monitoring Employees' Internet Usage

Why you should monitor employees' Internet usage

According to a study by American Management Association, 80% of employers monitor their employees in one way or another, from tracking corporate phones to logging emails. Monitoring the employee's Internet usage is one of the most valuable and graphic sources of information about their workday. It will show if the person visits work-related websites or use the time and company-owned device for entertainment, shopping or dating.

According to the statistics provided by, 64% of workers acknowledge they visit non-work-related sites at work every day. 45% of workers also name social media among the main distractions, and 44% of workers admit to texting while they are at work. An average employee spends almost 3 out of 8 work hours on non-work activities, which may cost a business $ 1.7 million per year for every 100 employees in their staff. Considering the statistics above, the necessity of monitoring employees' Internet usage raises no doubts.

Advantages of monitoring

Monitoring how your employees use the Internet can bring more benefits than simply learning if your employees work or not.

  • Productivity improvements. Revealing and limiting distractions in the workplace will improve the employees' efficiency. On the one hand, workers will be restricted from accessing the sources of distractions. On the other hand, monitoring works as a psychological lever. If employees know about monitoring, they will spend less time on unproductive activities.

  • Reduction of data leakage risks. As in the case of productivity improvements, this works both ways. Logging every action or message can make many potential moles change their mind. Besides, monitoring Internet usage will warn employees from visiting unsafe or illegal sites that could compromise the company's security. If a security breach happens, monitoring reports will help to find the disruptor.

  • Reveal of bottlenecks. Even when employees do not visit unproductive or dangerous websites, they may not use their work time efficiently. While analyzing the employee's Internet history, you may sometimes discover problems they face at work. For example, extensive searches of work-related "how to" guides may signal the employee's lack of experience or training in this field. Visiting thematic health websites may tell you about the employee's health problems or impending burnout. Working with these problems, for example, offering additional training or extra days off will help keep employees and improve your image as an employer.

  • Reduction of staff turnover. Job sites in the employee's Internet history are an alarming sign that they may leave the company. A good way to deal with such a situation is to discuss it with the employee. Working out problems the employee faces may help you keep the valuable asset in the company.

Methods of monitoring Internet usage

Internet monitoring usage is carried out with special software and usually implies tracking of the following:

  • Visited sites;

  • Social networks and messengers monitoring;

  • Search queries;

  • Time spent on the website;

  • Categorizing visited websites by type and productivity;

  • Blocking unwanted websites.

CleverControl covers all of the above and offers complete employee Internet usage monitoring.

  • CleverControl covers all of the above and offers complete employee Internet usage monitoring. captures all visited websites in the most popular browsers. Besides, it retrieves the employee's browsing history two weeks before the installation. CleverControl also lists the most used websites and the time spent on them.

  • All visited sites are marked by the system as productive or unproductive. The software then calculates the productive/unproductive site ratio and provides each employee's productivity assessment on its basis.

  • Websites are also classified by category: file sharing, entertainment, shopping, career and education. You can track what website categories the employee uses the most on the user's activity page. This feature also allows spotting any unwanted types of sites immediately.

  • CleverControl tracks employee activity in the most popular messengers and social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Line, etc. The program key logs typed messages and takes screenshots of the chat. Additionally, it records how much time the employee spends on social media and chats and includes this information in the statistics reports.

  • The software logs not only visited websites but also search queries. The query phrase and a link to the search results are available on the monitoring dashboard.

  • In addition to monitoring, CleverControl provides site-blocking features. You can block unwanted sources by category, keywords or URLs or restrict access to all websites except allowed ones.

In summary, CleverControl encompasses all aspects of Internet usage that are important for assessing workers' productivity.

How to implement Internet usage monitoring

The paramount rule about implementing any monitoring type is compliance with local and state laws and regulations. These regulations may be very different depending on your location. However, to avoid legal problems, we recommend informing your staff about the monitoring system and receive their consent for monitoring.

You may encounter some other pitfalls while implementing a monitoring system in your company. We can recommend this article will be a great source of help for you during the process.

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