Successful leader

By Eileen O’Shanassy

All too often business owners suffer extreme losses from negative events that could have been easily prevented. Whether by regular checks of their employees’ activities or on various computer systems, your business should have a system of checks in place to be sure these negatives don’t happen. Make certain you have system checks in place in the following four areas.

Employee Access

Before you hire someone, always check people by performing a background check through national and private firms via online platforms. With existing employees, monitor their activities and productivity. For example, check that employees are not accessing your systems without permission after work hours and that they are only accessing approved systems during their shifts. Also, make certain that your systems have up-to-date high quality security encryption and monitoring tools and check that employees are following security protocols.

Internet Browsing

You can learn a lot from an employee’s internet history, such as whether they are goofing off or shirking their duties. For example, a browsing history review might reveal that an employee spends a lot of time looking at social media, playing games, or reviewing inappropriate websites. This check can also help you learn if an employee needs additional security training. For example, you might find that an employee often clicks links in obvious phishing emails.

Instant Communication

A review of email and departmental or interoffice messenger chat histories can reveal instances of employees stealing time by not performing their assigned duties during their shifts. You might also discover they are failing to log in and out of their systems when they leave their desks. Instances of in-house harassment and bullying can show up in these records as well. Additionally, a review can help you learn if someone is accidentally or purposely sharing proprietary information outside of your company.

Social Media

Although some labor experts frown on the practice of employer’s reviewing employee public social media profiles, a review can reveal whether one or more of your employees is performing illegal actions on or off the job or acting in other harmful ways. For example, you might learn that an employee has posted images of their doing recreational drugs or criticized you or your business publicly.

You do not need an army of computer gurus to protect your business. You or an employee can perform most of these checks with ease and only need to do it every few months or so. The benefit of preventing a security or other event from causing harm and the money saved from reducing theft, lawsuits, and damage to your public image more than outweigh the time and money lost to sifting through all of the data.

Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.