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Personal 'Net' Use On the Job Hurts Productivity; surfCONTROL Survey Finds Threat of Company Liability Not Understood by Most Workers

MONDAY, JULY 10, 2000 12:59:00 PM EST
SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif., Jul 10, 2000 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- A recent nationwide study on ;'Internet Usage at Work' conducted by Yankelovich Partners for surfCONTROL, revealed that employers suffer untold productivity losses from the widespread personal use of the Internet by their employees on the job.

The survey further cited that half those Americans with Internet access at work mistakenly believe their employer would not be held liable for any offensive material workers distribute via the Internet from the office.

The heavy use of the Internet at work has had great benefits to companies around the country. But its popularity among workers who spend extensive amounts of their workday shopping, chatting, sending personal e-mail or viewing video files has the potential to clog a company's Internet connection. That makes it harder for fellow employees to conduct company business efficiently.

It also exposes employers to serious liability problems for the use of the company's Internet connection to send sexually explicit material, illegal software or other offensive matter. Workers engaged in those activities could place their employer at the center of a sexual harassment lawsuit or copyright infringement action.
"While the Internet is one of the most productive tools introduced into the workplace in the last 25 years, both employers and employees don't understand some of the downside to the technology," said Nik Bahram COO of surfCONTROL. "As long as employees enjoy unrestricted Internet access at work and employers fail to monitor the situation, there is significant potential for lost productivity or a damaging lawsuit or personnel problems."

The potential is widespread, the survey found. Some 62 percent of workers with Internet access use the computer network for personal reasons at least once every workday, while the average worker uses the Internet 3.1 times per workday for personal reasons. About one-fifth of Internet users surveyed use their company Internet connection ten or more times a day for personal purposes.

Workers do so despite the fact that 71 percent of them consider it at least somewhat likely that a supervisor is aware they are using the Internet for personal reasons on the job. Almost half consider it "very likely" or "extremely likely" that they're being monitored.

Workers also know that their personal use of the Internet at work consumes expensive and needed "bandwidth" on the company's Internet connection. Nearly three-quarters of workers with Internet access know their personal use is slowing the company down.
Employers can combat these problems in a number of ways, most notably by installing filtering software that can render non-work sites off limits, recapturing lost productivity. The software can also block access to or transmission of offensive material and web sites, reducing a company's liability exposure.

"Software like that provided by surfCONTROL can help a company use the Internet more effectively and productively, and automate the process," Bahram said. "It's important to use a tool, like SurfWatch or SuperScout, that can be closely tailored by a company to draw appropriate boundaries around employee Internet use."

Many workers would not object to such filtering software at work, the survey found. But more than a third say they would object even if the company offered them unlimited Internet access during lunchtime, on weekends, and after business hours.

Yankelovich Partners of Norwalk, CT conducted the survey. The company surveyed a regionally representative sample of 1,012 Americans age 18 or over by telephone using unrestricted Random Digit Dialing to reach potential respondents. The survey results have a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

About surfCONTROL
surfCONTROL is the Market Leader in Corporate Internet Access Management, offering a complete line of Internet filtering Solutions based on Expert Filtering, Pass-Through and Pat.Pending Pass-By Technologies.
The surfCONTROL family of products allows a business to effectively manage Internet Productivity, legal liability, infrastructure bandwidth, and network security for the corporate environment.

This comprehensive line of Internet monitoring and policy management solutions includes SuperScout - for the Midsize to large Enterprises; Little Brother - for Small Growing Networks; and SurfWatch - Trusted Filtering for the Home and Education Markets.
Software Development Toolkits for OEM clients deliver Filtering technologies to the Internet world via a wide range of strategic partners including Yahoo! YHOO, Disney DIS, AT&T T, Microsoft's Web TV MSFT, Alta Vista, WebTV, BigPlanet, Netscape NCSP, Tumbleweed Communications TMWD, Excite @Home ATHM, and WorldGate WGAT.

surfCONTROL plc( is the intended new business name of JSB Software Technologies plc (, the prime architect for the Windows Sockets standard and provider of innovative communications technology for the world's leading ISVs.
surfCONTROL works with a range of strategic partners, including Check Point Software CHKP, Cisco Systems CSCO, Hewlett Packard HWP, IBM IBM, ICSA, ISS, Inc. ISSX, MicrosoftMSFT, NCR Corporation NCR, and Tivoli Systems.
With offices in California, USA,; Manchester, UK; and Rotterdam, Holland, surfCONTROL is quoted on the London Stock Exchange as 'JSB' and the EASDAQ as 'JSBS.'
surfCONTROL - managing Internet Productivity
Sandy Nelson, 202/298-9055
Patrick Mitchell, 202/298-9055

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