Worried about how your employees spend their time online? Just make sure you look before you leap onto the blocking-software bandwagon. Some of the packages that restrict access to certain online material may censor more than you think.

To find out which products ban what, go to the site of those you're considering (most publish a list of criteria) or call the manufacturer and ask. While most companies won't give out a roster of banned sites, they will tell you how they decide which sites to ax. Stay away from the all-or-nothing products, that is, those that require you to disable the entire program in order to have access to anything on their verboten list. With topics as broad as "computer hacking," these lists can keep your employees from important information. One last tip, from the corporate side: To keep your own site from getting blacklisted, make sure your Internet service provider (ISP) isn't in trouble with any blocking software. In some rare instances, an entire ISP can be banned.