Review: NETconsent

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Review: NETconsent

Targeting policies for email and web use, NETconsent is an on-screen employee policy development environment.

Targeting policies for email and web use, NETconsent is an on-screen employee policy development environment.

The finished policy acts as a block to the LAN and internet services on employees' desktops.

When a user logs on for the first time, NETconsent interrupts by presenting a screen that forces them to view a policy statement. After reading it, the user has to confirm they have read it and accept the conditions. A similar interruption occurs when they launch their browser for web access for the first time. Access is denied if a user rejects the policy.

Although NETconsent targets IT access, it can be used to create any policy document and enforce it as mandatory or optional before work can proceed. Setting it as optional means users can ignore it a specified number of times before it becomes mandatory.

The software is very easy to install and use and connecting up to the network is simple. This makes it ideal for use even when the user has very little technical knowledge.

Policies are created within NETconsent using a simple word processor. Commonly used sections can be stored ready to be pulled out for use when another policy is being created. And these can be stored in various languages.

When a document is complete, it is activated and no further changes are allowed. Its presence is logged in an audit log and it can only be modified by creating a new version. Older policies can be recalled to update them, or when creating a new policy, but the original policy remains unchanged.

A simple log records whether the end user has not viewed or rejected a particular policy. It can be secured to give different policy managers different rights.

Unlike PolicyMatter (page 58), NETconsent is written to cover the legal requirements from the employer's viewpoint. The policy has to be scrolled through by the employee, and there is no questionnaire to show if they have actually read or understood the document. This could undermine the legal standing of NETconsent in some countries where "effective management" could be called into question.


An intrusive screen to ensure the policy is unambiguously presented to the user. Very little training required.


Only protects the company legally. A user may not read the policy, agree to it and then go on to do serious damage to the IT resources.


Good product, but ends up offering less than a signed paper policy.


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