One in ten guilty of IT misuse

Working Remotely

More than one in ten staff in small firms who work remotely admitted to accessing websites with adult content on a work laptop or mobile, according to Vodafone.

Working Remotely

Their research also highlighted that 4% of small–business staff have accessed websites displaying adult content while working on site. The survey revealed that 9% of businesses with between 10 and 250 employees had no IT policy. ITC business consultancy’s director Charlie Bass said:

“Businesses need to have an acceptable IT use policy to try to prevent this. It’s an important part of the contract for both employers and employees.

“If employees do something you find unacceptable, if it’s not written in the policy there may be nothing the company can do about it. Firms also need to make staff aware that they can monitor them.”

The research also found 24% of staff had visited music websites while working from home, compared to nine% who have done so in the office.

Bass warned that aside from wasting working time, staff who access such websites are opening businesses up to serious problems such as loss or theft of company information.

“Employers need to think about the consequences of staff accessing an inappropriate site that loads a Trojan on to their machine. This is a programme that can see everything they do. Some of those employees might be carrying out remote banking or financial transactions for the business, so that is a big risk.” said Bass

The survey also showed that employees of small businesses are more likely than those of larger businesses to access websites including gambling, music and dating websites, as well as downloading unauthorised software.

“If managers don’t trust their employees, they need to put in access and control policies. This can be easily done with the right technology. There will be expense involved, but the consequences of staff accessing unauthorised websites could be far more costly.” said Bass

For more information on the appropriate use of IT in the workplace, visit The Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform website

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