by: Jane Smith The bigger your business is, the harder it can sometimes be to keep an eye on whats happening with your software. All businesses need software for their computers; the type and amount of software programs required depends largely on the type of business being run and how large it is. But regardless of these issues the problem of whether your software is authorised or unauthorised can rear its ugly head in any business, and its important to have adequate measures in place to ensure that any problems associated with unauthorised software are kept to a minimum. Many employees dont recognise the problems that can occur when unauthorised software is introduced into the system. Of course the most pressing issue is that of keeping within the law; keeping a copy of the software locked up safely in your software library is perfectly acceptable, but installing that same software on half a dozen computers in a single office is most certainly not. Unfortunately some employees are naïve when it comes to this kind of breach. It can be worth amending the staff handbook or guidebook to ensure that guidelines and advice regarding such matters are included there for them to read. Department memos and perhaps even training sessions to help raise awareness of these issues can also help to bring people in line with whats required by law, and whats required by the company as a whole. Of course some employees will assume that they are doing the company a favor by using software in inappropriate ways. Why purchase more copies than you really need when one or two copies can be used to install the program throughout an entire office? Employees that take this line of thinking assume they are doing a good thing by saving the company money not thinking ahead to the possible fines and fees associated with being caught. The other main problem associated with using unauthorised software is the risk of introducing viruses and other unwanted hangers on into the business systems. If an employee brings a copy of some software they have at home, or worse, accesses it from the internet, they are putting the safety of the whole company at risk. Its plain to see that using authorised software is the only safe and legal route to making sure you get the best from your computer system. The challenge is in making sure all staff members recognise and accept this same fact, and dont do anything to jeopardise it.