European Employers Cracking Down On Worker Web "Traffic"

October 28, 2002 ( - American employers aren't alone in their concerns about Internet usage at work, according to a new survey.

According to a new Datamonitor Strategic Enterprise Networking Opportunities survey, one-third of European employer respondents use written policy to restrict internet usage.   This approach can be cost effective, but employees are likely to ignore written policies, the study shows.

Two-thirds of those surveyed report monitoring employee internet usage, of those:

  • 41% do not apply restricts to employee internet usage
  • 40% monitor on a regular basis
  • 23% do so “from time to time”

Of the remaining one-third that do not monitor:

  • 59% restrict access to pornographic websites, half use a dedicated software solution for their monitoring
  • 20% manually check internet history logs
  • 12% are considering monitoring

Pornography is the most restricted web content, partly because companies are worried about litigation from sensitive employees in the presence of pornographic websites.   Additionally, recent employee firings because of the viewing and dissemination of said material have heightened sensitivity to this subject matter.

The survey looked at 200 European companies.