Half of HR Managers Report Disciplining for Internet Use

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Nearly 54% of HR professionals have had to discipline employees for wasting time on the Internet, according to recent research from content security specialist Clearswift.

In addition, more than 46% have encountered or had to discipline employees for accessing pornographic sites at work. According to a Clearswift press release, another 14% of HR professionals surveyed said they have had to discipline employees for confidential data leakage, and 7% reported having to do so for posting inappropriate content on social media sites, blogs, and wikis.

Sixty-four percent of respondents said their firms continue to block access to social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, 63% block access to wikis and blogs, and nearly 70% prevent their employees from accessing video or photo sharing sites such as YouTube and Flickr.

“While 87% of the people we surveyed reported that their organizations have a written Internet use policy, only 61% of their companies actually have a technology solution in place to enforce the policy – 20% of the respondents didn’t know if they have a solution in place,” said Stephen Millard, VP Strategy at Clearswift, in the press release.

Only 35% said their companies’ Internet usage policies covered the use of Web 2.0 sites and technologies, while 25% said they did not know.

When it comes to policy enforcement and monitoring, the survey found HR professionals are deferring to the IT department. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said monitoring is left to the IT department. In the event of a violation of the acceptable use policy, 47% of respondents said they rely on their IT department to notify them if they believe a breach has occurred.

Only 3% reported that their HR department monitors employee Internet use and determines if a breach has occurred. In 15% of the cases, the HR department is automatically notified by the IT system of a possible breach. Almost a quarter (23%) reported that employee Internet usage is not monitored, but HR will investigate if notified of a possible breach by an employee or manager.

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