More Companies Squeezing Employee Internet Use

Businesses are becoming more and more strict when managing employee Internet use at work, a new survey shows. A national poll from Robert Half Technology revealed more than three-quarters (78 percent) of chief information officers (CIOs) polled recently said their company has either installed content-filtering or blocking software, instituted policies that detail acceptable Web browsing, or done a combination of both.

The poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.

As part of the poll, CIOs were asked, "Which of the following are reasons for your company's policies limiting employees' Web browsing?" Among those who limit employee Web access, 75 percent it was to prevent employees from accessing inappropriate content at work; 71 percent said to prevent virus attacks, installation of malware, etcetera; and 62 percent said to keep employees from wasting time at work.

"All companies should have a corporate policy in place that outlines acceptable Web use by employees," said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Communicating and explaining Web access policies, along with the risks associated with Web browsing, helps employees understand why these guidelines are in place."

Lee added that companies must inform new hires of expectations from their first day on the job. "Including Web access policies in new-hire training and restating the information on the company intranet or in internal newsletters, for example, reinforces this message."

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