Monitoring Employees on Networks Unethical or Good Business

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					Case Study Chapter 8
Monitoring Employees on
Networks: Unethical or Good
Business?

      By Michele Schatz
       March 7, 2005
Case Summary
   The Internet and email are important tools

   Employees abuse the Internet and e-mail during
    work hours

   Companies must have written policies that are
    easy to understand and follow

   Employers using a variety of monitoring software

   Exhibit of Computer Usage Policy
Business is business!
   Competition is stronger than ever
    before

   Internet and e-mail use is steadily
    growing

   Internet and e-mail help businesses
    expand their territory, customer
    base and sales
What are employees doing during
business hours?


   Surfing the Internet for personal
    reasons
                 and

   Sending personal e-mails to their
    friends and family
What sites are they surfing?


   Sports sites

   Retail outlets

   Investment sites

   Adult and child pornography sites
Is It Really A Problem?


   At least 25% of employee’s on-line
    time is spent on nonwork-related
    surfing
Does Internet Abuse Cause Problems?


   Employee productivity is lost
   Employee morale is low
   Employees who witness their co-
    workers surfing the web:
       First, complain silently to themselves
       Second, complain to other co-workers
       Third, complain to supervisor
   Sexual harassment lawsuits
Does E-mail Abuse Cause Problems?
   Some e-mails are racist, sexually implicit, or
    contain other potentially offensive material

   Sexual harassment lawsuits have been filed and
    settled

   Trade secrets can be lost or stolen

   Personal e-mails can have damaging viruses

   Personal e-mails can clog the network
Eight Ways Computer Abuse Can Hurt
a Company!

1.   Loss of time and salary:
     Example:
     • 1,100 employees
     • average salary is $15 per hour
     • all employees waste one hour per day
     • costs $16,500 per day
     • costs $82,500 per week
     • costs $4,290,000 per year
Cont.
Eight Ways Computer Abuse can hurt!

2.   Loss of productivity
3.   Loss of potential revenue
4.   Slow working network bandwidth
5.   Having to update bandwidth
6.   Overcharging clients
7.   Lawsuits
8.   Bad publicity
What Can Employers Do?
   Monitor e-mail and personal use of Internet

   Policy regarding Internet usage to protect against
    employee lawsuits.

       Explicit ground rules in easily understood language
       Includes who has what rights and under what
        circumstances
       Vague terminology cannot be applied fairly
       Allow specific times for personal e-mail and Internet
        access
       Implement a zero tolerance policy and modified
        usage policy
Monitoring Software

   SurfWatch www.surfcontrol.com

   MailSweeper www.mailsweeper.com

   CommandView Internet Manager
    www.zixcorp.com
Good Business Practice

   An automatic message
       Warns all employees of the written
        policies

       Reminds employees about monitoring
        software

       Significant decrease of abuse has
        occurred
Conclusion


   Internet and e-mail are two very
    important tools

   Need written policies

   Monitoring software
Exhibit A
Internet Usage Policy
   Internet Usage Policy
   Use of the Internet will be allowed regarding the following Internet usage:
        Use of the Internet for personal business, such as personal e-mail or Internet surfing is permitted
         ONLY during the following periods: before stated company business hours, after stated company
         business hours, or an employee’s lunch hour.
        Information Services Department is allowed to monitor employees to provide weekly reports
         detailing Internet and e-mail usage during normal business hours per employee.
   Zero tolerance policy will be strictly enforced regarding the following Internet/Email
    usage:
        Use of the Internet/E-mail to discuss or distribute information related to the company’s trade
         secrets, policies or practices. Monitoring software will be employed to scan outgoing e-mail for
         company sensitive terminology and related subject matter
        Use of the Internet causing disruption to the facility’s services including reduction of bandwidth
         available for company business.
        Transmission of harassing, discriminatory or otherwise objectionable e-mail or files (as determined
         by the recipient) is strictly prohibited.
        The Internet must not be used to access, create, transmit, print or download material that is
         derogatory, insulting, obscene, or offensive, such as slurs, epithets, or anything that may be
         construed as harassment or disparagement based on race, color or religious. Monitoring software
         will be employed to block the availability of these types of sites

				
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