Sunday, December 6, 2009

Employee Web Use and Misuse :

Where do you draw the line? Is it okay to send the occasional personal email at work? What about a little internet shopping or spending sometime on social networking sites, playing online games, downloading pirated movies and music, gambling or downloading porn? The internet has created new opportunities for mischief and new challenges for managers.
Worldwide worriesIn today"s office enviornment, employers have a relatively new issue to deal with; employees wasting time online and putting your business at risk. A large proportion of corporate web traffic is non-work related: gambling, music downloads, personal webmail, social networking and even pornography sites.
According The ePolicy Institute, of the 30% of bosses who terminated employees for web violations in 2007, 84% cited the viewing, downloading or uploading of pornography and otherwise offensive or inappropriate material as the reason.
Web misuse can have serious implications for your business:
Reduced productivity. If employees spend their time on a social networking sites such as Facebook, they"re not spending it doing their job. Security problems. Malware hides on websites and can install itself as users browse infected pages. MessageLabs Intelligence reports that the number of new, malicious websites blocked each day by MessageLabs nearly doubled (91 percent) in just one month with 3,968 new sites intercepted daily. Legal risks. When users download inappropriate material to their computers other employees may take serious offense which in turn can create legal liabilities for managers. Wasted bandwidth. Internet connections cost money. If half your bandwidth is taken up with non-work relatd web traffic, you could potentially be paying twice as much as you need to and your business-critical communications could be running at half their speed capacity. Unlicensed software. When users download and install software from the internet, they create a legal risk. Software piracy is illegal. If an organization uses illegal copies of software, it may face a civil suit and company directors risk criminal penalties. Reputation risk. Social networking can create opportunities for employees to leak confidential information or spread damaging rumors online. Bad behavior by a single employee can reflect on the reputation of the whole organization.

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