A new study of Web surfing behaviors at work finds that on any given day, an employee might check out porn, fall for a phishing scam or drain bandwidth while streaming a music video on company time.
Nevertheless, 50 percent of office workers would rather give up their morning coffee than their Web surfing, finds Web@Work: General Trends in Internet Surfing, a survey released by Websense, a security vendor, on May 17.
Either accidentally or intentionally, 12 percent of workers surveyed had visited a pornography Web site while at work (versus 17 percent in 2005); though the overwhelming majority (95 percent) said the visit was accidental.
Yet, it wasnt for lack of knowing the possible consequences. Almost half (46 percent) of employees surveyed reported that they believe they were at risk of losing their job if they visited adult content using their work-owned Internet connection.
Ironically, 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 Web sites they visit.
Workers spend more time than ever using non work-related applications, with 24 percent of respondents admitting to watching or listening to streaming media at least once per week, up from 18 percent in 2005.
Seventeen percent used IM at least once per week, and 18 percent had downloaded and stored non-work related MP3s, photos, video or movie clips on their work computer.
Not unlike the old cliché about men never asking for directions, women were twice as likely as men to call the help desk if they felt their computer had been infected with spyware, according to Websenses Gender Differences in Employee Computing, released on May 16.
While women were more likely to infect their computers with spyware, men were more likely to engage in personal Web surfing at work. Men spent up to 2.3 hours per week on non-work related Web sites, versus 1.5 hours among women.
Almost one in five organizations have had an employee launch a hacking tool or a keylogger within their network, up from 12 percent in 2005, found Websenses IT Security Landscape survey released May 15.
Four out of five respondents said their employees had received a phishing attack via e-mail or IM, and of those nearly half (47 percent) said their employees have clicked through. This result was up from 45 percent in 2005.