The CIO as Big brother

If corporate employees have a sneaking suspicion they are being watched while Web browsing, their instincts would be spot on, according to survey results from Robert Half Technology. According to the firm, more than three-quarters (78 percent) of some 1,400 CIOs polled said they have either installed content-filtering or blocking software, instituted policies that detail acceptable Web browsing or have done a combination of both.

About 40 percent of CIOs polled reported combining corporate policy with software that blocks certain content from employees. Another 27 percent said they have a corporate policy in place that details acceptable Web browsing by employees. Some 14 percent have software installed that limits employee access to specified sites and content, and about 17 percent have no policies in place to limit Web browsing by employees. And 4 percent restrict Web access for employees altogether, the survey found.

The reasons behind the corporate policies and content-blocking software include preventing access to inappropriate content for 75 percent and preventing virus attacks and malware downloads for another 71 percent. More than 60 percent said they want to keep their employees from wasting time at work. Robert Half Technology advises that companies put policies and proper education in place to prevent unacceptable Web browsing by employees. “All companies should have a corporate policy in place that outlines acceptable Web use by employees, said Katherine Spencer Lee, the firm’s executive director. “Communicating and explaining Web access policies, along with the risks associated with Web browsing helps employees understand why these guidelines are in place.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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