Three Part Blog
Part 2: The Internet and Employee Liability
In the previous article, we looked at productivity concerns related to employee use of the Internet. In this article we turn our attention to liabilities managers must consider when employees use company resources to access the Internet. So what new liabilities have you brought upon yourself since your company decided to connect to the ‘Net?
The term “hostile workplace” conjures up images of screaming supervisors publicly berating employees. Now, Sally walks past Fred’s cubicle and Fred has a provocative YouTube clip running on his screen. Then Fred, who has always had a weird sense of humor, email broadcasts an off-color joke that he thinks is a riot. Most of the recipients in the office think Fred’s joke is marginally funny, if that, but Sally, who is miserable to begin with, is now sent over the edge and decides to retire by slapping a hostile workplace lawsuit on you. Sound like an exaggeration? The Internet has broadened the definition of sexual harassment. Edward Jones, one of the world’s biggest brokerage firms, issued a memo demanding its workers disclose if they sent pornography or off-color jokes over the brokerage’s e-mail system. Forty-one employees who confessed were disciplined, but 19 who failed to come forward were fired. More about this topic...
Today, most businesses rely on having fairly unrestricted access to the Internet as a tool in bottom-line productivity. Without balancing that unrestricted access with the use of web monitoring software for employee computer and network users, the bottom line benefits to open access quickly erode. Here are some of the things that can happen without web monitoring and filtering software that lead to costs that outweigh the benefits of open access.
Web monitoring software for your business is actually about safeguarding your network, assets, investment and reputation. One of the chief ways that businesses can get burned without web monitoring software is by having a compromised network where data loss will likely occur.
When employees access compromised sites or download infected files, they can compromise the network and put proprietary data at risk. Even one computer that is infected with malware, toolbars, adware, and other “add-ons” can spread throughout the network and cause system instability. Once inside a network, worms can spread fast, and that one user’s misstep on the web impacts everyone and the daily operations of the business. The cost in time and money to get things back on track is always more than any business wants to expend. More about this topic...