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Web Use Perceptions v. Reality - Page 1

Apr 28, 2004
By

CIO Update Staff






While employees indicate that surfing the Internet at work is as important as their morning coffee, the survey also revealed a "startling" discrepancy between what employees actually admit to doing versus IT managers' perception of what is actually occurring in their corporate networks.

For example, employees only admit to spending two-hours per week surfing the Web for personal reasons, but IT managers believe that number to be more than six-hours a week. Similarly, while only two-percent of employees admitted to accessing online hacking tools at work, one-third of IT managers said an employee has launched a hacking tool within their network.

The survey also found many IT managers are either unaware of, or do not fully understand the risks presented by new emerging Internet threats such as spyware, unsanctioned instant messaging, peer-to-peer file sharing and Web-based viruses such as MyDoom. Nearly 95% of IT managers said they are confident their company's current antivirus software is able to stop viruses from attacking the company's network, yet two-thirds reported their organizations were infected by a Web-based virus.


The Web@Work study, which was conducted by Harris Interactive in March, polled 500 employees and 350 IT managers of organizations with at least 100 employees. The survey looked at participant's Web and software application usage in the workplace. Additional results include:

  • Coffee Versus the Internet: when asked if they would rather give up their morning coffee or their ability to use the Internet at work for personal reasons, employees surveyed were split: 49% said they would rather give up their morning coffee, while 46% said they would give up their Internet access.
  • Personal Surfing: of those who use the Internet at work, 51% of employees said they spend one-to-five hours per week surfing the Internet at work for personal reasons, an average of two-hours per week. However, when IT managers were asked how much time they think the average employee spends accessing non-work related Web sites at work, they estimated just over six-hours per week.
  • Effectiveness of Antivirus: nearly 95% of IT managers said they are confident that their company's current antivirus software is able to stop viruses from attacking their company's network, yet two-thirds (66%) reported their companies have been infected by a Web-based virus such as Nimda or MyDoom, as compared to only 45% in 2003.
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