Employee Internet Abuse Climbs

The many problems facing employers supplying unlimited, unmonitored Internet access are making them wonder if this is the way to conduct business. Productivity losses, liability risks and security issues are just a few of the problems employers deal with.

According to esniff.com, Inc., shopping online, viewing pornography, sending inappropriate e-mail correspondence and checking personal stock performance are just a few of the issues managers face today. The Denver-based company says firing employees for abusing a company’s Internet and e-mail resources is not the answer.

With a tight labor market and the cost of replacing an employee equaling roughly one and a half times the person’s annual salary, companies simply can’t afford to fire all employees in violation of these types of rules. Good employees can develop bad Internet habits and like all bad habits, an employer can choose to help break them.

According to a 1999 survey by the American Management Association, more than 50 percent of all Internet activity within companies is non-business related.
Current models of preventing abuse such as filtering and blocking software have proven ineffective. eSniff.com believes it has the solution with content monitoring. The company’s new software places trust in employees to do the right thing while a network monitoring device ensures they stay within the company’s boundaries. The patent pending eSniff 1000 monitors all network activity, including Internet and intranet use, print jobs and emails and only reports potential problems. Normal business activity and innocuous personal activity go unnoticed.

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