Got employee Cybersurfing Problems?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 4:15 PM

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In the workplace, the Internet has enabled a slew of business advances in communication, scheduling, information transfer, and e-commerce. But it is also the world’s biggest distraction. Studies show that employees admit to cybersurfing up to two hours a day while at work. Yes, TWO HOURS a day!

And they aren't just reading news or visiting sports sites either.  Your employees are watching movies and sports, are hanging out on social networking pages such as Facebook, are looking at pornography, are spending time on gambling sites, and are streaming music. All these things degrade your company’s bandwidth and cost you money.  Oh, and they also waste company time too. On top of that, cybersurfing employees expose your organization to risks. 

Two such risks are risk of lawsuit and risk of malware and viruses.  Newsweek reported two years ago that office workers view more pornography sites at their office than at home, and were doing that 23% more than the year prior. Consequently, sexual harassment lawsuits are arising from employees inadvertently becoming exposed to pornography or graphic images when passing by the cubicle of other employees who are looking at that content. 

As a business manager, you can either add this issue to your list of things to manage proactively or you deal reactively with the fallout. Sometimes the fallout can be very costly.

The second risk source associated with cybersurfing is malware, viruses and Phishing. Commtouch reported (Internet Threats Trend Report- Q1 2010) that during the first quarter of this year, Web sites most likely to be compromised with malware or phishing are pornographic and sexually explicit sites. On the list of Web categories likely to be hosting hidden phishing pages were sites related to sex education and socially-oriented sites such as games, chat, and social networking. 

Again, as a business manager, you can either add this issue to your list of things to manage proactively or you deal reactively with the fallout.  In these cases, using reliable Internet content filtering software can stop the problem in its tracks.

For parents with cybersurfing children, the risks are the same as those mentioned above but the outcome is different. Predators, cyberbullies, and pornography are the common enemy, and the medium or source is the same. 

In both cases