You know your end users are up to something. Some may stretch the company’s acceptable Internet use policy — researching their fantasy football picks for a few minutes, checking their hockey pool standings online, researching shoe purchases, that sort of thing. You know, the stuff I don’t do if our IT head honcho, Mat, is reading this.

Some, however, don’t just break the acceptable use policy, they shatter it and stomp all over the broken shards. Which is really dumb, frankly, especially if you’ve been advised your computer use is being monitored.
Employee monitoring software company SpectorSoft Corp. has collected some of the more egregious violations recorded by its customers and it makes for hilarious reading, as long is it isn’t happening to you.

Some of the most brazen violations:

* One engineer was receiving proprietary data from his firm’s competition. Turns out he was actually doing work for them on the side.

* You know there’s going to be porn on this list. One employee was not only downloading porn; he (although it’s an anonymous story, we all know it’s a guy) only put in 12 minutes of work in an eight-hour day.

* Speaking of not putting in the time, one woman was busted for playing solitaire for four hours a day. That’s the kind of slacking that would exhaust a normal person.

* A county jail guard was caught — not just by monitoring, but also on video — deleting all the icons on a shared workstation’s desktop before leaving at the end of shift. Despite the evidence, he denied it. Turned out to be his get-out-of-a-jail-job-free card.

* Then there was the woman seemed to be spending an awful lot of time on Craig’s List. The anonymous IT guy tells the story best, so we’ll let him: “To my complete surprise, it was’t furniture she was selling, but herself! She had even e-mailed illicit photos of herself to her ‘prospects.’ And all from her work computer! Needless to say, she was ‘escorted’ out that same day.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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Dave Webb
Dave Webb is a freelance editor and writer. A veteran journalist of more than 20 years' experience (15 of them in technology), he has held senior editorial positions with a number of technology publications. He was honoured with an Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Business Journalism in 2000, and several Canadian Online Publishing Awards as part of the ComputerWorld Canada team.