Software

Talking Shop: TechRepublic members report problems with inappropriate use of e-mail and Internet

Learn from the bad Internet and e-mail usage patterns of other TechRepublic members.


The majority of TechRepublic members responding to a recent survey say they’ve discovered an employee downloading, accessing, or e-mailing inappropriate content at work.

But while 71 percent of you have experienced this problem, you differed on how you dealt with it.

TechRepublic ran the survey after Dow Chemical fired 50 employees for e-mailing pornographic and violent images. We asked members whether they had a formal policy covering Internet and e-mail usage, and whether they had ever discovered someone using the company network to download or distribute inappropriate material.



The survey, which appeared in the CIO community, received 491 responses. Of those, 351, or 71 percent, said they had identified someone using company equipment to access pornographic or violent material.

The community was divided on how they responded to inappropriate Internet or e-mail use. About 27 percent responded to the incident by e-mailing a warning to all employees, while another 26 percent chose to talk to the person privately.

Only 21 percent of the respondents reported the incident to Human Resources or the person’s manager. And almost 10 percent used technology to handle the situation by limiting the person’s access rights.



Almost 20 percent of you said the abuse was discovered by your manager. In almost 31 percent of the cases, the abuse was discovered by other employees.

Monitoring software identified more than 23 percent of the abuse cases. Fortunately, these incidents fall under the customer’s radar, with less than 9 percent of you reporting that a customer complaint uncovered the abuse.
Another interesting data point from the survey: More than 75 percent of respondents have a usage policy. In fact, about 42 percent established their policies over one year ago. Around 8 percent of the respondents are working on a policy.


Do you think such policies deter inappropriate usage of e-mail and Internet resources? Let us know by e-mail or post a comment.
The results
What happens to the employee who’s caught red-handed? Often nothing, according to TechRepublic members.

More than 31 percent said no action was taken against the employee. When no action was taken, a third of those employees continued to abuse the system.

Nearly 22 percent of the respondents said the incident was discussed with the employee, while another 7 percent said the employee was placed on probation.



Some of you are drawing a line in the sand when it comes to using company resources for accessing pornographic, violent, or racist material: Nearly 17 percent replied that the employee was terminated.

The majority of TechRepublic members responding to a recent survey say they’ve discovered an employee downloading, accessing, or e-mailing inappropriate content at work.

But while 71 percent of you have experienced this problem, you differed on how you dealt with it.

TechRepublic ran the survey after Dow Chemical fired 50 employees for e-mailing pornographic and violent images. We asked members whether they had a formal policy covering Internet and e-mail usage, and whether they had ever discovered someone using the company network to download or distribute inappropriate material.



The survey, which appeared in the CIO community, received 491 responses. Of those, 351, or 71 percent, said they had identified someone using company equipment to access pornographic or violent material.

The community was divided on how they responded to inappropriate Internet or e-mail use. About 27 percent responded to the incident by e-mailing a warning to all employees, while another 26 percent chose to talk to the person privately.

Only 21 percent of the respondents reported the incident to Human Resources or the person’s manager. And almost 10 percent used technology to handle the situation by limiting the person’s access rights.



Almost 20 percent of you said the abuse was discovered by your manager. In almost 31 percent of the cases, the abuse was discovered by other employees.

Monitoring software identified more than 23 percent of the abuse cases. Fortunately, these incidents fall under the customer’s radar, with less than 9 percent of you reporting that a customer complaint uncovered the abuse.
Another interesting data point from the survey: More than 75 percent of respondents have a usage policy. In fact, about 42 percent established their policies over one year ago. Around 8 percent of the respondents are working on a policy.


Do you think such policies deter inappropriate usage of e-mail and Internet resources? Let us know by e-mail or post a comment.
The results
What happens to the employee who’s caught red-handed? Often nothing, according to TechRepublic members.

More than 31 percent said no action was taken against the employee. When no action was taken, a third of those employees continued to abuse the system.

Nearly 22 percent of the respondents said the incident was discussed with the employee, while another 7 percent said the employee was placed on probation.



Some of you are drawing a line in the sand when it comes to using company resources for accessing pornographic, violent, or racist material: Nearly 17 percent replied that the employee was terminated.

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