Content and Personal Use
Risks and Rules
When it comes to inappropriate content, offensive language, and exces- sive personal use, employers have little tolerance. Of the 30 percent of bosses who terminated employees for Internet misuse in 2007, 84 per- cent cited the viewing, downloading, or uploading of pornography and otherwise offensive or inappropriate material as the reason. That2019s a 65 percent increase over the 19 percent of employers who dismissed employees for the same reason in 2001, according to American Manage- ment Association and ePolicy Institute research.1
Similarly, of the 28 percent of managers who fired workers for e-mail violations in 2007, more than half (62 percent) cited inappropriate content or off-color language as the termination-worthy offense2014up from just 8 percent six years earlier.2
Employees who want to keep their jobs should know and adhere to company rules and policies governing electronic usage and content. Generally, that means no obscene, pornographic, sexual, harassing, dis- criminatory, defamatory, menacing, or threatening language. Don2019t transmit gossip, rumors, jokes, or disparaging remarks about execu- tives, coworkers, or outside parties. Don2019t violate confidentiality rules, expose trade secrets, or share valuable intellectual property with anyone outside the company. If you are surfing the Web, steer clear of sites2014 porn, gambling, auctions, sports2014that your employer has ruled off- limits.
If you don2019t want your online activity singled out for review, simply adhere to your employer2019s electronic content rules and usage policy.