Employees, Get Used to Working under Surveillance
Let's face it. Monitoring employees' e-mail, tracking their Internet use, logging everything done at keyboards has become the norm in Corporate America.
With computer monitoring software so cheap and easy-to-apply it's no wonder that workplace surveillance becomes more and more widespread.
Here are some figures from the 2005 Electronic Monitoring & Surveillance Survey made by American Management Association and the consulting firm ePolicy Institute:
76% of companies monitor websites their employees visit, and 65% use software to block connections to certain websites.
36% use software to log keystrokes and keep track of the time spent at keyboards. 50% store and review computer files.
55% store and review employees' email messages.
So, wherever you work, the odds of your company's keeping a keen technology-aided eye on you are pretty high. There is no such thing as privacy at the workplace, experts say. Let's not have any illusions about it. Even if you are allowed to use workplace computer at lunchtime or after work, the policy covering the use of computers and the Internet applies as well.
According to the same study, 84% companies surveyed do have rules covering personal use of email, 81% have established policies governing the Internet use. So, majority of organizations at least have set up rules for everybody to observe.
80% of organizations that monitor keystrokes and time spent at keyboards let employees know about that. 86% notify staff about email monitoring, and 89% alert workers that their Web activities are tracked. These figures show that for vast majority of employers the aim is to make workforce to comply with the rules rather than to catch somebody red-handed. The remaining 20%, 16% and 11% probably carry out clandestine monitoring. Too bad, but there is little employees can do in most such cases.
It seems odd, but under the law, in many states employers aren't obliged to warn employees about computer and /or email monitoring. We may grumble it's not fair, we might protest, but that's that. At least in the vast majority of organizations monitoring is not surreptitious.
If the rules are set, the only option is to conform to them. And try not to take offense, though it is not easy. Though employers sometimes are carrying it too far, in most cases they aren't doing it out of pure malice. Company owners are protecting themselves from reputation-damaging scandals, costly workplace harassment lawsuits and data leakage.
Employers are expected to protect employees from hostility at workplaces, and they monitor, say, email messages to spot those who are sending obscene or hateful emails. Software for email monitoring costs far less than a single compensation payment in case the victim sues the firm. Lots of companies can't afford litigation; those who can, don't want it.
Even logging every keystroke can be justified if the employees are dealing with trade secrets or some other highly valuable (in a direct sense of this word) information. It doesn't necessarily imply distrust -- some companies just won't survive if some confidential information is lost.
If the employer doesn't allow staff to surf a bit during lunch breaks, it doesn't at all mean the boss is a petty tyrant or just greedy. There is another reason for these restrictions.
Unrestricted Web surfing from workplace computers leads to corporate PCs swarming with malicious software. In fact, lots of these computers already are choke full of various unwanted programs, some of them extremely dangerous.
Last October, America Online and the National Cyber Security Alliance examined the computers of 329 randomly selected Internet users and found that 85 percent of them contained some form of spyware. The average "infected" computer had more than 90 spyware and adware programs.
The State of Spyware Report, made by Webroot Software released on May 3, says:
During Q1, 2005, 87% of scans made with Webroot's SpyAudit software found some form of unwanted program (Trojan, system monitor, cookie or adware) on corporate PCs.
Excluding cookies, which are not such a serious problem as key logger programs or Trojan horses, more than 55% of corporate PCs contained unwanted programs. There were an average of 7.2 non-cookie infections per PC.
Now consider the fact that no single anti-virus or anti-spyware product protects against all the crap that might land in workplace computers. You are lucky if it's just irritating adware. But in case of programs capable of stealing information, like keyloggers or keylogging-containing Trojans, a single "overlooked" program may mean lost valuable data.
Of course, no regulation is perfect. Everywhere where there are rules, policies and regulations there is always room for abuse or misunderstanding. It seems that the human factor is the weakest link here.
Ancient Romans used to say "Dura lex sed lex" (the law is harsh but it is a law). Present-day computerized workforce can paraphrase it "the policy is strict but it's a policy".
Alexandra Gamanenko currently works at Raytown Corporation, LLC -- an independent software developing company that provides various solutions for information security. Learn more -- visit the company's website http://www.softsecurity.com
What Makes Americans Hate Their Jobs? This Advice Turns That Epidemic Around
Here are the sobering facts: studies show that almost 70% of all employees dislike or downright hate their jobs. These dissatisfied, disillusioned people have no further career goals. Dreading the workday is a common heartache in millions of homes. Our job-hating crisis leads to lower productivity, adversely affects our economy, and -- worst of all -- causes strain on personal relationships.
Minding Your Own Business
Think you have gone as far as you can in your present job? Instead of looking around for a similar position in another company, you may want to strike out on your own as a consultant.
Offer Letter Limbo
Recently we concluded the placement of a Senior Sales Representative for a publicly traded company. The role was ripe with potential as the company products were being widely embraced by current and new customers. The recruiting process went smoothly as the candidate progressed through several rounds of face to face interviews with company executives.
Counter-Offers: Do They Merit Consideration?
You are one of the fortunate few who have not been downsized. However, your current job isn't exactly fulfilling. Perhaps it isn't what you enjoy doing. Maybe the hours are too long. Perhaps you are having some conflicts with your supervisor. Your salary may not be on par with average job salaries for the same type and level of position, or not come close to what you feel you are worth. Whatever the reason(s), you have decided to enter into a job search.
The Top 10 Ways to Achieve Balance in Your Life
1. Define Success for Yourself
When Should You Update Your Job Skills?
With the U.S. economy still slumping and unemployment numbers barely moving forward, many workers may be considering what their employment future could be like if they were to lose their job. If you're in a healthcare field, or possess computer skills, you don't have much to worry about, except explaining why you left your last job. On the other hand, if you're employed in production or manufacturing, you may be asking yourself, "when should I update my job skills?"
How To Get That Promotion
If you're looking for that promotion or pay rise then you'll need to be noticed by your employer, so here's a few tips to stand out from the crowd:
Interview Questions: How To Stump The Interviewer
In the limited time an interviewer has with you, their mission is to know you and assess your worth, especially in relationship to the other candidates interviewed. Asking you questions is the way they accomplish that mission.
Job Search Lessons From The Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is a game but, like sports in general, it offers useful life lessons that we can take with us . . . if we only look below the surface. As I watched the game, I saw a number of things. How many did you see?
Losing Your Job Without Losing Yourself
When we lose our jobs, no matter the reason, we lose a big part of our identity. Think of the last several times you met new people. After names are exchanged and polite comments made on whatever event you are attending, the question quickly arises: "What do you do?"
Job or Career
At this present time I have a job. It pays some of my bills, and again I have a job. I don't think of my job as a career because I don't have a passion for it. I dread going to work at times, so I know this isn't a career for me. I'm working at a clinic at the present time, and it's a stressful job, and not really my cup of tea.
Your resume needs to outline your skills and experience, as most know. What some may not know is that employers want to know what you'll bring to the table. They don't want to know what your daily duties were. They want to know what you did for the companies you worked for that makes you extraordinary. Did you save them money, did you make them money, how were you the best at what you did, etc. Yes, employers want to know what your experience is, so duties are good to add. Again, the name of the game is SELL YOURSELF! This does not lose its importance in a resume.
Career Development - When Its Time for a Change
There's a certain courage required to hear your gut. To really be true to how you are feeling. And that is never more important than in your career. Sometimes people feel that they are not completely happy. At other times they might have a sense of distance from the business or organisation they are in.This lack of 'alignment' makes for discomfort - and many people listen to it for the whole of their careers (and lives) and yet never truly hear it.So what are the clues that can help us realise that if change is in the air, it is a good thing, rather than something to fear? Here are 19 things to look out for:-
How To Establish Trust, Credibility and Enthusiasm To Your Interviewer
If you use your voice to get attention, you use your eyes to hold attention. People tend to believe you, trust you, and listen to what you say if you are looking at them.
Should I leave My Job?
Most of us have to work for a living. Since we spend so many hours each week at our jobs, it's very important that there is a good fit. If you have been feeling less enthusiastic about your work situation recently, maybe you have even begun to wonder if it is time to move on.
Reading the Want Ads--Not for Jobs--For Information
What? Want ads are where job announcements are, not information!
Job Search Blurts
I coined this word to draw attention to the nervous and apprehensive way of saying something in the job search that makes you feel like a buffoon. A "blurt" is a catchy way of saying: Gaffe.
Looking for Work in All the Wrong Places
The Question: After identifying a potential employer, I get contact information, do my research and send out my resume and cover letter, requesting an interview for a management or human resource position. I am listed with recruiters and staffing agencies and call them every week.
Nine Ways to Tell Youre Ready for a Promotion
So you noticed the new job board posting on your way back from lunch. They finally decided to fill the assistant manager spot in your department! Trouble is, you've only been in your current position for about eight months. There's also been some talk of hiring from outside. Should you go for it anyway? Here are some ways to tell if it's time to power up the corporate ladder.
Your Self-Image in the Workplace
When communication breaks down in your office or factory and workers lack motivation, what are the roots of the problem?
Recent Job Posts
|home | site map|