Internet Access in Your
Internet Access is has
become a basic business essential. Like a garage door
opener or a dishwasher that were once considered luxuries,
a computer with access to the internet is now a basic
appliance in every household. Still many companies are
hesitant to bring the internet into their operations because
of the potential problems it may bring. Some of the leading
concerns are viruses, employees wasting time, internet
video games and system maintenance.
That’s the downside.
How about the upside of using the internet for your business?
Some of the big benefits include e-mail between employees.
It’s like voice mail, only better because you can
send and keep a written record, send attachments, and
easily forward the item to another person without spending
20 minutes explaining the issues again. Don’t forget
the same applies to your customers.
Purchasing. Now you can
get up-to-date product prices and order parts and material
in less time and at significantly lower cost. Recently
I needed some special insulation, self-sticking with a
metallic outer covering, and the local suppliers (yes,
even Home Depot and Lowes) were out, and the staff knew
little of the details. I went to the internet and in 10
minutes had found 3 suppliers each with a lower price
including shipping, and the material was IN STOCK!
The question is how to
bring in this valuable tool. Here are some simple guidelines
Employee cannot use the internet for profit. If you get
money for what you do, it is not allowed at work. This
will stop the Ebay and self-employed web-based business
from running on your dime.
No sexually-oriented material. This means no pictures,
text, anything related to sexual, neither directly or
indirectly. This is a big issue because of cartoons, pictures,
etc. Make no exceptions. Each of us have our own sexual
preferences, at home. This subject does not belong at
Must stop viewing immediately, if any one objects
This is critical, because
you never know what someone finds objectionable. Simply
put, if some one mentions they have a problem with what
is on the screen, it must be immediately removed without
question. No justification is required. If the employee
feels strongly about the screen saver of the web site
they have visited, the issue should be brought to the
attention of the manager or owner. People come to work
with various backgrounds and personal experiences. Maybe
they have lost someone very close in an auto accident
and when they see a picture of a car crash it brings back
vivid and painful memories.
These employee rules
help with usage, but implementation is the other half.
The following guidelines help resolve some of these other
Do not download files
from the internet. This is to protect you from PC viruses.
Use internet-based email
- this is mail that you can access from any location and
the files never reach you computers unless you download
a file, which is covered under Implementation Guideline
Use a Firewall Router,
e.g., Linksys. This is plug-and-play (easy to install)
and will keep most, if not all, unauthorized people off
your computers. Cost is under $100 for the top-of-the-line
Access to the internet
has, for many companies, the same status as the phone.
It is on every desk, and you are expected to use it to
benefit to the company. Used wisely, it makes communication
easier and gives you instant access to vendors and suppliers,
as well as business-related organizations and associations.
With care, it can be safely added to your company’s
set of business tools.