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

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

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

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  1. Case Study Chapter 8Monitoring Employees on Networks: Unethical or Good Business? By Michele Schatz March 7, 2005

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. What are employees doing during business hours? • Surfing the Internet for personal reasons and • Sending personal e-mails to their friends and family

  5. What sites are they surfing? • Sports sites • Retail outlets • Investment sites • Adult and child pornography sites

  6. Is It Really A Problem? • At least 25% of employee’s on-line time is spent on nonwork-related surfing

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Eight Ways Computer Abuse Can Hurt a Company! 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Monitoring Software • SurfWatch www.surfcontrol.com • MailSweeper www.mailsweeper.com • CommandView Internet Manager www.zixcorp.com

  13. Good Business Practice • An automatic message • Warns all employees of the written policies • Reminds employees about monitoring software • Significant decrease of abuse has occurred

  14. Conclusion • Internet and e-mail are two very important tools • Need written policies • Monitoring software

  15. 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