Commentary

Fifty Percent of Workers Spend Nine Days a Year on Personal Surfing at Work

Fifty Percent of Workers Spend Nine Days a Year on Personal Surfing at Work

According to a new Web usage survey conducted by Cerberian Inc., and SonicWALL, more than 75 percent of people at work have accidentally visited a pornographic Web site, and 15 percent have visited such sites more than 10 times. The survey also reported that 50 percent of respondents spent more than 10 percent of their time at work surfing the Web for personal reasons, which is roughly equal to four hours per week, or nearly nine days a year.

According to the survey, the Internet is still a relatively unmonitored medium with 60 percent of the respondents indicating their organizations did not have rules against personal Web surfing at work, and more than 50 percent of organizations have not implemented any type of Internet filtering technology.

Unmonitored Internet access raises potential liability issues for organizations especially when it comes to employees being exposed to pornography at the office and employees using corporate resources to download, store and exchange copyrighted material. Inappropriate use of the Internet at work may give rise to serious disciplinary problems in the workplace.

Matt Mosman, chief executive officer of Cerberian, said "The results of the survey are clear in that 63% of employees are concerned about the ease of access to objectionable content at work."

The survey finds that the most common ways people have accidentally reached pornographic content on the Web are:

  • Pop up windows (55%),
  • Misrepresented links (52%),
  • Misspelled URLs (48%), and
  • Auto links within emails (23%).

While the survey indicates it is common to accidentally come across pornographic web sites, the survey also reported the following:

  • 16 percent of people have knowingly surfed pornography sites at work at least once;
  • 40 percent have seen co-workers surfing porn sites;
  • 32 percent of people have seen co-workers surf gambling sites;
  • 91 percent have seen people shopping online; and
  • 85 percent have seen co-workers surfing sports-related web sites.

When asked how they felt after seeing co-workers surf pornography, gambling, shopping and sports web sites:

  • Sixty-eight percent were bothered by pornography surfing
  • 47 percent bothered enough to confront the offender or mention it to management/human resources
  • 59 percent were offended by gambling surfing
  • 35 percent by shopping online
  • 29 percent by sports surfing.

Matthew Medeiros, chief executive officer at SonicWALL, said "It is clear from the survey that there is a growing awareness among individuals as well as organizations of the problems resulting from unregulated employee Internet access. While pornography is obviously the biggest concern, other surfing habits, from shopping to sports, are absorbing an increasing amount of employee attention inside organizations."

You can find out more here.

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