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How to limit internet access to users?

There are many reasons why it may be necessary to limit or restrict internet access in businesses, educational institutions and even at home. Internet access can be limited through software or by setting up filters that restrict the internet websites accessed. Restriction of internet access in businesses can be done by restricting the number of hours of internet usage or monitoring employees' internet access, irrespective of whether they use standalone computers or are on a network. Software such as Elim or WebAllow 1.21 can be used to restrict internet usage on individual computers by putting a limitation on the number of hours.

This document explains how to limit or control internet access to users and the requisite software or applications.
It is often important to a tab on the internet access. This article describes the harmful consequences of unrestricted access of internet in businesses, why employees' internet usage should be monitored and they ways of regulating internet access with the help of Elim software. It also lists URLs for other software that can be used for this purpose.

The internet is a common business tool, enhancing working conditions and employer performance. But the non-business use of the web can also have negative repercussions on businesses. Here we give you tips and advice for intelligently limiting access to the internet.

Why should we restrict access to the internet in companies?

By regulating (not prohibiting) access to the Internet, it is possible to improve the company's functionality on several different levels:
  • Gaining productivity
  • Using the internet principally for professional purposes (information concerning the company)
  • Reducing the risk of virus attacks
  • Faster internet connection (bandwidth)

How do I monitor employees or limit their access to the internet?

Some software allows you to bring individual actions for each internet user in the company. This radical approach is certainly not the most effective. Negotiated regulation of internet access (see below) is more appropriate. If you implement a system of individual control, you are obliged to provide the procedures (eg a record of web pages viewed by each visitor) to your employees.

Limiting internet access: Defining a code of conduct

  • Negotiation and communication with employees remains one of the most effective ways to regulate internet access. The goal is to make users responsible web surfers.
  • Briefings. Committee meetings, corporate seminars and workshops give you the opportunity to negotiate with employee representatives, or the employees themselves. You can then come to an agreement on conditions for using the web within the business.
  • Write a code of good conduct. Produce a code of conduct (maximum number of hours, type of content prohibited, rules of email use etc) and run it on the company website or send it by email.

Ways of regulating internet access

  • Regulating access to the internet can be classified into two types of actions: limiting the time of internet use and filtering the content accessed. For more efficiency, you can combine these two modes of regulation.

Note: Filtering the content requires good knowledge of the network terminal (ask the administrator of your company or, failing that, a maintenance provider).
Limit the time of internet usage in the enterprise
  • Friendly solution: Set your employees a time limit for 'outside work' use of the internet - either a daily limit (eg up to 30 minutes) or a weekly limit (two or three hours).
  • Software solutions. With simple software such as Elim (soon to be paid-for software, download here), you can restrict internet access on each PC (connection limited to internet and instant messaging).

In order to use this software, you must be the administrator of each PC in the network (a login and password of administrator are installed at first boot of a PC). If there is a network administrator in the company, you can entrust this task to them.

Here are steps you can take to limit internet access on a PC with Elim software.
  • Register on the computer as a PC
  • Install the programme on the computer
  • With the help of the software, set a time limit for each user's PC.

Filter the content accessed by users in the enterprise

Setting up filters is a more complex operation. This work may be entrusted to the administrator of your corporate network with whom you choose to put filters in place. Otherwise, call a provider.
Types of filters. You can apply filters at three levels:
  • URL: Ban certain internet addresses. Eg web videos online, sensitive sites.
  • Keywords typed: Define a list of banned keywords. The user can not access results in a search engine.
  • File types: Filter the download of certain files (eg video, music, etc.). You can thereby limit the possibility of attacks and infections in your corporate network (viruses). You also keep the bandwidth (internet connection is thus faster)

You can use OpenDNS to block sites or the router software. You may also use Microsoft SteadyState to limit access to the internet.

Useful software


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