The Department of Trade and Industry reports that misuse of office Internet access has been on the rise across the UK. This was a finding by the Department’s Information Security Breaches Survey, which is conducted every other year. The survey indicated that misuse of the Internet was actually the second highest in frequency among incidence of security breaches in the workplace, coming only after virus attacks.
About 17 percent of surveyed workers admit to accessing inappropriate websites—such as pornographic sites—from their office computers. 11 percent admit to misusing email facilities. While the average cost of such misuse is miniscule, the companies are at risk of tainting their reputation in case inappropriate access is traced back to them. For instance, a company may lose face if it was discovered that an employee is publishing child pornography using the office Internet connection.
It pays to have an acceptable use policy, by which the company can state whether an employee is using office-owned resources appropriately. This is perhaps one of the first things a new company‘s human resource team should take care of.