Malware Blockers Won't Ever Work the Way You Want Them To

Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 11:04 AM


Last week I spoke at a community event, educating 200+ parents on the dangers of the Internet, the ways teens may circumvent parental controls, and what parents can do to help maximize Internet protection in the home. It was time for Q/A when one parent rose her hand to ask, “How can I know if my child is looking at pornography?” I gave my response, which related to child behavior and the signs of addiction, but another parent chimed in to offer another clue: the amount of malware or viruses found on the computer. If the computer is constantly infected by viruses or malware, he explained, it's probably because someone in the house is visiting malware-hotbeds, which often take the form of porn websites.


Your company may or may not have a strict anti-pornography policy in place; however, online porn is not the only source of malware on the Internet. If you are continually removing viruses and malware from an employee's computer, chances are s/he is spending time on sites that don't relate to his/her job function. Of course, email can be the malware interstate, delivering unwanted packages with an innocent click of the mouse, but so can Instant Messaging, chatting, and peer-to-peer file sharing.


The point is viruses and malware are simply a symptom of bigger issues: productivity losses, motivation levels, work ethics, and/or ethics in general. What company's need more than the latest malware protection are clearly stated Internet usage policies and an infrastructure to support that policy. Online activity policies should easily fall into place when reflecting on company culture and values. Using company culture and values as a guide to improve Internet etiquette will avoid major surprises, including implementing third party tools such as Internet filters and content management software. Keep in mind, however, that tools will not solve your malware-woes, people will. The tools are meant to provide real-time visibility and control to support better business operations. It's support from the top, consistent messaging to all, and policy follow-through that will make the biggest changes.

It's nothing more than a simple solution to an obvious question.

I work for ContentWatch and all opinions expressed here are my own.