Risks of Use of Internet at Work

Below are some of the latest findings and observations that make an employer rethink his/her "Internet at work" policy:

1) UK Fraud Authority estimates that 1.8 million people have their details stolen via the internet each year and that the cost is more than £1.9 billion. I think most people assume this only happens from home computers, yet not only do people keep their own details on their work PC, but also they contain a wealth of information about a business.

2) While most business believe that they have comprehensive safeguards to protect data, they still run the risk that every time an employee sends an email, clicks on an unknown link, saves data to a USB stick or posts messages on Twitter, data could be handed over to competitors or worse.

3) According to a recent survey(conducted during these recession times) by "Cyber-Ark" -- 60% of workers in the City of London would be prepared to steal data from their employer if they thought their job was at risk and 40% had already downloaded data just in case.

4) Easy access to data and in particular social networking has increased threat to business data and reputation. Employees are found to be using Social networks to the detriment of the company they work for.

5) A recent survey indicated that on average, an employee aged 18 - 35, spends 1.5 hours a day using the internet for non work related reasons and up to 4 hours per week updating their Facebook page. If that's an average, just think what some people are doing.

6) A survey conducted in September 2010 by Panda Security highlighted that 55% of malware and phishing attacks on work computers came from employees using social media and YouTube.

7) Set aside, loss of business Data and reputation concerns, a not so so good Internet at Work policy, can lead to non-constructive spending too. In the UK and USA, employers have a legal obligation to protect employees against harassment. In case an employee lands in some cyber harassment emanating out of inappropriate use of internet on work, then a business has to take care of the matter as well. With more and more businesses having a presence on Social networks; a clean and clear "internet at work" policy will prove beneficial. --------

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