Should managers monitor employee?
Business-related use of the Internet has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years. At the same time, more and more employees must use computers in their work at least part, if not all, of the time. All in all, this increasing use of technology has helped fuel an unprecedented expansion of the state and national economies. However, along with the benefits, there are several risks for employers. This article will examine some of the basic issues and offer some solutions to business owners who are mindful of the risks involved. First, let's look at some of the risks of the electronic revolution.
1. Electronic mail, or e-mail, has become the communication medium of choice for many employees and businesses. No one doubts its time-saving qualities, but employers must consider the dangers as well:
* Employers can be liable for employees' misuse of company e-mail,
* Sexual, racial, and other forms of harassment can be done by e-mail
* Threats of violence via e-mail
* Theft or unauthorized disclosure of company information via e-mail
* E-mail spreads viruses very well
2. The Internet is like a super-network connecting countless other computer networks around the world. Literally millions of computers are connected to this vast resource. Every imaginable type of information is available on the Internet if one knows where and how to search for it. As with any kind of resource, it has its good and bad sides. Not surprisingly, employers have had some problems with employees' use of the Internet:
* Unauthorized access into for-pay sites
* Sexual harassment charges from display of pornographic or obscene materials found on some sites
* Trademark and copyright infringement problems from improper use or dissemination of materials owned by an outside party
* Too much time wasted surfing the World Wide Web
* Viruses in downloads of software and other materials from websites
3. Even with company...