If you plan to create restrictions, here are a few tips to follow:
If you decide to restrict websites, make sure you tell your staff. You should explain what websites and categories you’re restricting and why. Your employees will appreciate the transparency and won’t waste time contacting IT if they have problems accessing a blocked website.
Ralph Labarta, chief technology officer at Engage PEO, recommended including the information in an internet use policy. “The policy should include a protocol for accessing sites that are blocked but may need legitimate access, a warning that attempting to thwart site restrictions is a violation of the policy and a warning that all site activities are monitored.”
If you’re considering blocking social media websites, create a social media policy first and step in only if a problem arises, suggested Jonathan Prichard, founder and CEO of MattressInsider.
“Instead of restricting access, create a companywide social media policy,” he said. “This document should include guidelines for what you expect in terms of time spent on social media sites during office hours. Give them the structure, [and] allow them to make decisions for themselves.”
The easiest way to block a website or category of websites on Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox is with BlockSite. With this browser add-on, you can block specific websites, such as Facebook, adult websites or URLs that contain specific words.
BlockSite also works on Chrome’s incognito mode. If you’re worried that your employees will access BlockSite to manage blocked websites, you can set up a password to limit access.
For a more extreme solution, consider purchasing employee monitoring software, which can track almost every move your employees take, such as how many minutes they are inactive and even their keystrokes. If you are concerned about data breaches and network security consider reading our Teramind review, our best pick for protecting your business and employees against security threats.
Some of the best employee monitoring software also offers content-filtering features that allow you to regulate websites and certain topics, such as weapons, drugs and nudity. You can also block individual websites by manually adding them to the list of prohibited websites. In addition, you can create notifications and alerts that are triggered when an employee browses restricted content.
If you have many employees or your employees regularly use multiple devices, it may be best to block websites from being accessed via your company’s Wi-Fi network. This way, these settings apply to all people on the network, and you don’t have to keep updating individual devices.
There are multiple ways to block employees from accessing inappropriate websites during company time.
Blocking websites in Chrome is not part of the regular installation process, but it is possible. Computer Hope gives these step-by-step instructions on how to block a website in Chrome:
There are also ways to block websites in Firefox, even though it does not come with the default installation. Computer Hope provides these step-by-step instructions on how to block a website on Firefox:
Macs with parental control features can block websites on the Safari browser, which comes preinstalled on Apple devices. Here’s how to access this menu:
You can also use a firewall or antivirus system, or block websites at the Wi-Fi network level instead of the individual device level, depending on the computer’s location and the browser you’re using.
The Microsoft Edge browser is preinstalled on many Windows computers, and you can adjust these browser settings to block or restrict certain websites. Notably, these settings are geared toward parental controls, so the navigation refers to “adult” and “child” accounts. To block sites on Microsoft Edge, follow these steps:
In addition to using these settings, you can install an antivirus system, block sites at the Wi-Fi network level or use a firewall. The best setting for your needs depends on the control you need and the browser being used. These options may be better for establishing settings across multiple devices or accounts. You can also modify each computer to block websites through administrator settings, but this may be too complicated or advanced for some users.
You can configure an iPhone or iPad to block websites that fit your criteria. For example, you can block all adult websites or only specific keywords.
Here’s how to block websites:
Here’s how to block searches:
Don’t forget to set a password to ensure that the settings cannot be undone without your permission.
There are tools and settings that allow you to block websites on whatever devices and browsers your employees are using. Be sure your company policy around internet use covers all devices that will be connected to the business’s network.
Android devices can block undesirable websites and searches in several ways. Some of these methods are more technologically advanced than others. Because Android devices utilize the Chrome browser, you can adjust those settings on each device. There are also apps that enforce these restrictions on the device. Here are your options: