Viewing Adult Content at Work, Infecting Company with Malicious Spyware Cited as Top Concerns for Putting Job on the Line
Websense’s seventh annual Web@Work survey explores leading trends in employee computing for 2006
May 17, 2006
-- Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBSN), a global leader in web security and web filtering productivity software, today announced the results of its seventh annual Web@Work study, the company’s yearly survey conducted by Harris Interactive®. From March 15 to March 24, 2006, 351 U.S. IT decision-makers who work for organizations with at least 100 employees, at least 1 percent of whom have internet access, were interviewed online, and from March 16 to April 4, 2006, 500 U.S. employees ages 18 and older who have internet access at work and who work for organizations with at least 100 employees were surveyed over the telephone on web and software application usage in their workplace.
The 2006 Web@Work survey reveals that almost half (46 percent) of employees surveyed reported that they believe they are at risk of losing their job if they visited adult content using their work-owned internet connection. Almost one-third (30 percent) said they would be fired if they infected the company with malicious spyware or a virus.
Perhaps due to these concerns over possible termination, 92 percent of employees surveyed said that they believe that their company has the right to install web filtering technology to manage which types of websites they visit.
“Protecting employees from hostile work environments that can result from the availability of x-rated content in the workplace will always be an important concern for organizations who seek to limit their potential legal liability for sexual harassment,” said Michael Newman, vice president and general counsel, Websense, Inc. “However, web-based security threats such as malicious spyware and viruses are much more difficult for both employees and companies to detect, and the potential for damage can be disastrous—one accidental click of the mouse can take an entire network down for days at a time.”
On the same note, 12 percent of employees admitted that they have had a co-worker, friend, or acquaintance send a link to their work email address that they considered offensive. Similarly, 11 percent of employees admitted that a co-worker, friend, or acquaintance has sent a link to their work email address to a website that they thought might contain spyware or lead to some sort of security risk.
2006 Web@Work Survey Results:
JOB RISK—employees feel viewing adult content at work or infecting their company with malicious spyware or a virus puts them at greater risk of losing their job than sleeping at their desk. Forty-six percent said they believe they are at risk of losing their job by visiting adult content using their work internet connection, and 30 percent said they would be likely to lose their job if they infected the company with malicious spyware or a virus, while only 11 percent believe they may lose their job if they sleep at their desk.
APPROVAL OF INTERNET FILTERING—although the majority (61 percent) of employees who access the internet at work utilize the web at the office for personal reasons, 92 percent of all employees reported that they believe that their company has the right to install internet filtering technology to manage which types of websites they visit.
OFFENSIVE OR RISKY MATERIAL—12 percent of employees said that they have had a co-worker, friend, or acquaintance send a link to their work email address that they considered offensive. Eleven percent of employees said that a co-worker, friend, or acquaintance has sent a link to their work email address to a website that they thought might contain spyware or lead to some sort of security risk.
COFFEE VERSUS THE INTERNET—of those that said they use the internet at work for personal reasons, half (50 percent) of them said that they would rather give up their morning coffee than give up their ability to use the internet at work for personal use.
TIME SPENT—93 percent of respondents said they spend at least some time accessing the internet at work. (Same as last year).
PERSONAL SURFING—61 percent of employees who utilize a work-owned internet connection admitted that they spend at least some time surfing non work-related websites during the work day. Of those employees who access non-work-related websites, the average time spent accessing the internet at work is 12.81 hours per week, and the average time accessing non-work-related websites at work is 3.06 hours per week. This means that, on average, 24 percent of their time spent accessing the internet is non work-related.
TIME SPENT ON NON WORK-RELATED WEBSITES—interestingly, there is still a discrepancy between how much time IT decision-makers think employees spend accessing non work-related internet sites at work versus the time employees say they are spending—IT decision-makers estimate that their employees spend an average of 5.7 hours per week surfing non work-related websites, while employees, on average, only admit to spending 3.06 hours per week accessing non work-related sites.
WEBSITES ACCESSED—among employees who access non-work-related sites at work, the top three non-work-related sites accessed are map sites such as Mapquest (83 percent), news sites (80 percent), and weather sites (76 percent).
BLOGGING—5 percent of employees said that they have a personal blog. Of those who have a personal blog, nearly half (46 percent) indicated that they do record work-related events or interactions with their co-workers in their personal blogs at least some amount of the time. Forty-two percent of employees said that their company has regulations that prohibit employee-blogging. Eleven percent of employees reported that they have visited blog websites during work hours. Of those employees, 31 percent said they visit them occasionally or very frequently.
ONLINE PORNOGRAPHY—12 percent of employees have either by accident or on purpose, visited a pornography website while at work (versus 17 percent last year). The overwhelming majority of those who have visited pornography sites at work (95 percent) said their visit to the site was accidental.
NON WORK-RELATED APPLICATION USE—about one in four (24 percent) employees watch or listen to streaming media at least once per week from work. This is up from last year (18 percent). One in six employees (17 percent) use instant messaging (IM) at least once per week from work. Of those employees who said they use IM, 29 percent said they use it primarily for non-work-related purposes. Eighteen percent of employees have downloaded and stored non-work-related mp3s, personal photos, video clips, or movie clips on their work computer or network.
About the Web@Work Survey
Web@Work is a comprehensive annual survey of internet and application usage in the workplace. By surveying both employees and IT management, the study reveals unique insights on employees’ surfing habits as well as IT decision-makers’ perspective on the top network problems facing today’s organizations. Web@Work is commissioned by Websense, Inc. and conducted by Harris Interactive®. This is the seventh annual Web@Work survey.
Data for these surveys were collected by Harris Interactive on behalf of Websense. Harris Interactive is solely responsible for the telephone data collected and Websense is responsible for the data analysis and reporting. Both parties collaborated on the survey questionnaire.
The employee survey was conducted by telephone within the United States between March 16 and April 4, 2006 among a nationwide cross sample of 500 employees aged 18+ who have Internet access at work and work at a company with at least 100 employees. The IT decision-makers survey was conducted online within the United States between March 15 and March 24, 2006, among a nationwide cross section of 351 IT decision-makers in companies with more than 100 employees. Data were not weighted and are therefore only representative of those employees and IT decision-makers surveyed.
In theory, with probability samples of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the overall employee results have a sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points and the overall IT decision-maker results have a sampling error of plus or minus 5.2 percentage points. Sampling error for the various sub-samples is higher and varies. The online sample is not a probability sample.
About About Harris Interactive®
Harris Interactive Inc. (www.harrisinteractive.com), based in Rochester, New York, is the 13th largest and the fastest-growing market research firm in the world, most widely known for The Harris Poll® and for its pioneering leadership in the online market research industry. Long recognized by its clients for delivering insights that enable confident business decisions, the Company blends the science of innovative research with the art of strategic consulting to deliver knowledge that leads to measurable and enduring value.
Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe (www.harrisinteractive.com/europe) and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in Paris, France (www.novatris.com), and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies. EOE M/F/D/V
About Websense, Inc.
Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), a global leader in web security and web filtering software, is trusted to protect 24 million employees worldwide. Websense proactively discovers and immediately protects customers against web-based threats such as spyware, phishing attacks, viruses and crimeware with maximum protection and minimal effort. With diverse partnerships and integrations, Websense enhances our customers' network and security environments. For more information, visit www.websense.com.
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