Facebook Surpasses Google As Most Visited Site

Friday, May 7th, 2010

According to Hitwise research, Facebook recently passed Google as the top US site visited .  Traffic to both Facebook and Google make up a little over 14% of US website visits.

In your CyBlock or Cyfin product, Facebook is located in the Social Networking category, and you will find Google in the Search Engines category.  If you ever want to monitor these sites more closely, or any other sites for that matter, you can always place them in a custom category.

For more information on social networking in the workplace, read our white paper, “Social Networking or Social Not-Working?”. This white paper will help you determine if you need to block social networking at your workplace.

Blocking Unusual Facebook Site Variations

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Facebook has set up their site so that if a user types “www.www.facebook.com”, they will be able to access it through any Web filtering proxy blocking www.facebook.com.  Users can even type in variations, such as “www.www.www.facebook.com” or “hello.www.www.facebook.com” to get access to Facebook.

If users are accessing Facebook by using one of these many variations, it will not show up in reports under the category of Social Networking.  Instead, the URL is categorized as “Other” and is displayed this way in reports.

For now, to prevent users from accessing the site using these variations and to categorize these variations as Social Networking, you need to add the URL as a wildcard to the Social Networking category. To do this, follow the below instructions.

  1. Go to Advanced Settings – Category Setup and click on the Edit URLs link.
  2. Use the Select Category pulldown and select Social Networking.
  3. In the text entry area for Custom URLs, type in the wild card URL *.facebook.com.  If you want to block any time the term facebook shows up in a URL, type in the wild card *.facebook.*

The Wavecrest Development Team is currently looking into alternatives to better handle these types of site variations within the Wavecrest Control List while maintaining speed and scalability in our products.

Social Networking or Social Not-working?

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Social networking in the workplace is a major dilemma for today’s businesses. Does it help or hurt the organization? While some companies block social networking, some say it helps by enhancing collaboration among employees, partners and customers. Others say it hurts by draining productivity and bandwidth and creating legal liability and network security risks.

A survey conducted by Nucleus Research showed that 77 percent of workers who have a Facebook account use it during work hours. Of those who do use Facebook at work, 87% said they could not define a clear business reason for accessing the site and some reported using it as much as two hours per day.

So, in the face of all the countervailing views, just what is the best approach to the issue? Options include banning it altogether, using it with no restrictions, and employing it for business purposes only.

The short answer is, “It depends.”

That is, for any one organization, the answer really depends on management’s views on a number of issues. Among these are the nature and objectives of the business, organizational culture and managerial style, workforce morale factors, workforce demographics and skills, availability of technological solutions, and the need for external communications.

We are often asked about this issue.  So we developed this paper to share our knowledge and views. It explores various aspects of the issue, cites some relevant facts, and provides several recommendations. Our hope is that this information will help organizations that are struggling today with this contemporary and very important issue.

Read the full white paper: Social Networking or Social Not-working?

Don’t Forget to Update Your Web-Use Policy

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the use of social networks, i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.,  in the workplace recently.  This is a great reminder to all organizations to take a look at their current Web-use policies and update them.

Reuters covered a recent seminar put on by LeClairRyanon covering “Key Issues in Labor & Employment Law,” where the importance of a policy for social networks was discussed.  The speaker, Joseph P. Paranac, a shareholder in LeClairRyan’s Labor and Employment Group, stated, “Inappropriate and unwise use of online social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter is a growing source of liability risk for employers, including discrimination, defamation and retaliation claims.”

He went on to offer some Web-use policy suggestions for employers.

“In order to have a successful policy on the use of social networking sites, Paranac told the audience, employers should stipulate that:

  • Employees may not comment or use any confidential information about the employer or discuss internal matters.
  • Use of online social networks should be limited to non-working hours, unless the use is for legitimate business purposes.
  • Employees’ comments should not be discriminatory or harassing.
  • Similarly, they should not be disparaging or defamatory to the employer’s business.

The veteran attorney also offered the following elements of a successful Internet and e-mail policy:

  • Employees should be trained on electronic communications equipment parameters and prohibitions.
  • All business systems and company-issued electronic communication equipment and data belong to the employer.
  • Systems and equipment must be used for appropriate and lawful business purposes only.
  • Employee use is subject to review/monitoring by the employer and employees who use employer equipment have no expectation of privacy.
  • Use of systems and equipment for harassment, discrimination, or defamation is strictly prohibited.
  • Disclosure of employer confidential information is strictly prohibited.
  • Warn employees of the penalties or policy violations.
  • Obtain a signed acknowledgment of employee receipt of policy.
  • Include a procedure for reporting violations.
  • Enforce the policy!”

Read the full article: TWEET: ‘I’m About to Testify in My Defamation Case!’