How to Track an Employee's Internet History

By Carol Adams

There are ways to check what your employees are doing on the Internet.
i computer image by blaine stiger from

One of the drawbacks of the modern workplace is that there are too many opportunities for workers who should be doing the job you hire them for to be doing something else. The Internet is the prime example of this. Many employers lose valuable man-hours to employees, whether playing online games, watching videos or just chatting. However, you need your employees to have access to the Internet so they can do their job, thus creating a conundrum. One thing you can do to address this problem is to institute random computer checks to see just what your employees have been doing when you're not looking.

Open Internet Explorer on the employee's computer. Click on "View" in the menu and choose "Explorer Bars." From the options choose "Favorites." This will show all the sites that your employee has saved so he can more easily visit them. If you see a number of sites unrelated to work, such as YouTube or MySpace, you will know your employee has been visiting these sites.

Navigate to the "Address Bar" at the top and click on the drop-down arrow next to it. This will show you all the site addresses your employee has typed or pasted into the address bar to visit.

Click on "View" in the menu and choose "Explorer Bars." From the options, choose "History." This will open a dialog box on the left where you can examine the sites your employee has visited. You can view the ones visited that day, on a particular date or most often. If you don't see any, you can safely assume your employee has attempted to delete his search history to deceive you. In this case, move on to Step 4.

Select "Tools" from the menu and choose "Internet Options." Under the "General" tab, go to "Browsing History" and click on "Settings." In the next dialog box that appears, click on "View Files." This will open the "Temporary Internet" folder. Scroll through this to inspect the "Cookies" files. These are placed on a computer by many websites your employee has visited. You can inspect the file names to determine what sites he has browsed.