In the digital age, employers and employees alike are more aware and cautious about their social media and non-work related online activity during work hours.
Kaspersky Lab’s latest Global Privacy Report has found that one-in-two (59%) consumers choose to hide social media activity from their boss. This secretive stance at work also extends to their colleagues, with 52% of people also preferring not to reveal online activities to their co-workers.
So even while the average employee spends an astonishing 13 years and two months at work during their lifetime, not all this time is directly related to solving work tasks. Almost two thirds (64%) of respondents admit visiting non-work-related websites every day from their desk.
Not surprisingly, nearly a third (29%) of employees are against their employer knowing which websites they visit. More interestingly, one-in-two (52%) are even against their colleagues knowing about their online activities.
On the contrary, social media activity appears to be a less private domain for many and therefore, more suitable for sharing with colleagues (but not the boss). Company policies on this topic have led to one-in-two (59%) people saying that they don’t want to reveal their social media activities to their boss and 54% even don’t want to disclose this information to their colleagues.
A further 34% are against showing the content of their messages and emails to their employer. In addition, 5% even said that their career was irrevocably damaged as a consequence of their personal information being leaked. Thus, people are worried about how to build a favourable internal reputation and how not to destroy existing workplace relationships.
Marina Titova, Head of Consumer Product Marketing at Kaspersky Lab, notes: "As going online is an integral part of our life nowadays, lines continue to blur between our digital existence at work and at home. And that’s neither good or bad. That’s how we live in the digital age."
To ensure workers don’t fall prey of the internet threats at a work, there are some core guidelines you could issue to your staff:
- Don’t post anything that could be considered defamatory, obscene, proprietary or libellous. If in doubt, don’t post.
- Be aware that system administrators may at least in theory be informed about your web browsing patterns.
- Don’t harass, threaten, discriminate or disparage against any colleague, partner, competitor or customer. Neither on social networks or in messages, emails, nor by any other means.
- Don’t post photographs of other employees, customers, vendors, suppliers or company products without prior written permission.