You may well be spending a significant amount of money each month to ensure your network connection stays strong and fast – but are some of your employees taking advantage of that for their own interests?
Let’s talk pirating. The streaming and downloading of TV shows, movies, music, games, and other content. Not only is it illegal but it also hogs precious bandwidth.
BitTorrent clients provide a platform for sharing these files, meaning your employees may be downloading (leeching), as well as uploading (seeding) files around the world.
Have you ever wondered why your connection is sometimes extremely slow? Well this could easily be one of the reasons…
It’s Not Just About Bandwidth – It’s About Liability Too
[Tweet “An employer who authorises an infringement of copyright is as liable as the actual conspirator”]
The above quote is an important one to note. If your employees are downloading illegal files, and you’re not taking the proper measures to prevent them from doing so, you could be liable for ‘authorising’ said downloads. The three things a court would take into considering when placing liability include:
- The extent of that person’s power to prevent the action from occurring
- The nature of the relationship between that person and the person who infringed the copyright
- Whether the person took reasonable steps to prevent or avoid the act from occurring
But don’t fret – The good news is that there’s an easy and effective way to protect yourself – here’s how:
Stay Safe With Employee Monitoring Software
First of all, it’s highly recommended that you have a written policy for network use by employees. HR advisory body go2HR.com suggests the following steps for company compliance rules:
- When hiring a new employee, the offer letter should contain specific requirements relating to computer use
- Create an up-to-date confidentiality policy
- Ensure there is a computer and internet use policy, including policies regarding social media and downloading
- Develop education and training programmes in respect to the policies and the identification of potential risks
Following these precautions may help with the legal ramifications of being accused of allowing illegal downloads to take place, however, what about the issues of malware and other such cyber threats? You may want to consider steps to prevent dodgy downloads from happening in the first place.
The answer? Monitor your employees’ company devices.
With employee monitoring software, you’ll be able to create customized alerts when employees are accessing website you classify as “prohibited”. Meaning that as soon as an employee inputs a certain url or keyword in a search engine, you’ll be notified immediately by email.
One such software that’s leading the way in protecting businesses from Cyber threats is KnowIT.
The latest version that launched recently provides a new network traffic monitoring feature that gives a detailed breakdown of each employee’s bandwidth use, the protocol and remote connections. A great tool that can be used to uncover unfair bandwidth usage, unusual network activity and unauthorized device connections.
This coupled with the USB device log feature (giving you information on devices that have been physically connected to company devices), can change the way in which you reduce illegal downloading, bandwidth hogging and cyber security threats.
Have your say
Has your workplace been affected by employees abusing the network? Let us know in the comments section below.