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Abuse of Internet Access at Work Place
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With time being a crucial element in the modern business, any time spent on unnecessary activities might turn out to be waste of company resources. In knowledge industries this is more so the case as the main cost of capital is the salaries of professionals. Decrease in productivity was a major cause of worry for the companies for some time. Studies reveal that a great share of online trading occurs from work place during the working hours, thereby adversely affecting the performance of the workforce. The dependence of the internet has brought with it many disadvantages for the business houses.

Customers expect the company to safeguard its work from the competitors. The popularity of the internet saw with it many instances where the employees of the partner company sell off its work for a price to the competitors. This has a huge impact on the business of the company as well as that of the customer. The company’s brand image and the trust in them can be lost by the action of a single employee. This can result in huge losses for the company by way of compensation and by loss of business.

Studies revealed that the major access to the pornographic sites occurred during the morning hours. This is a highly immoral practice which attacks the moral beliefs of the other employees. Such immoral acts provide greater chances for employee disputes.

Studies also showed that a huge volume of share trading happens within the walls of the offices. Negligence of work and postponement of the work can turn out to be very expensive for the company. Delay in delivering the work to the customer leads to customer dissatisfaction, amounting to loss of business.

To control the abuses of the internet the companies laid many policies like restricting the access to the websites which has no business impact. Personal mail access through Yahoo, Gmail etc were prevented by the companies to save time spent on productive purposes. Some companies provide access to the internet for a fixed time so as to please the employees, at the same time controlling them. Prevention of automatic downloads that might attack the company files was another step taken by the company. Executable files that have the ability to affect the company files are not accessible from public websites. The employees’ access is restricted to read only files like pdf etc. Company intranet has replaced the public internet as these can be controlled and regulated by the company.

However, the companies must not impose undue restrictions on the employees’ en-masse or intrude in their privacy by spying their activities. This is a sign of lack of trust and no individual will be interested in a company who restricts their freedom. The companies should keep a check on the movements of those who show signs of internet abuse. One common practice is to define a set of sites on the internet which are blocked by the company. Common sites where large files can be uploaded to be shared, entertainment sites etc. are blocked.

Prevention of the internet misuse is the responsibility of the employer as well as the employee. The employee has a moral obligation not to misuse the freedom granted by the company for unlawful or illegal activities or on those which can affect one’s productivity. Similarly the company should prevent any activity that can steer the employees to immoral activities as the company is obligated to the customer and the employees.

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