â€˜Sinful Sevenâ€™ Online Activities at Work
In a study by anti-virus firm Sophos, 79% of the IT workers polled said that in spite of their groupâ€™s instructions, many employees continue to open unsolicited e-mail messages and attachments, and to inadvertently download spyware from Web sites.
â€œIn most cases, itâ€™s not that people deliberately behave recklessly online â€” rather, they donâ€™t know how to act responsibly, and may not be fully aware of the potential consequences of unsafe internet and e-mail usage,â€ said Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos. â€œWhether staff are downloading and opening unsolicited attachments, or surfing the Web for sordid content not permissible at home, itâ€™s the responsibility of the company to ensure that employees are educated about the risks, and given the right tools to defend themselves.â€
So what are the sinful seven? Here is Sophosâ€™ list of risky online activities at work:
â€¢ Downloading music and movies.
â€¢ Opening e-mail attachments or clicking on links in unsolicited e-mails.
â€¢ Surfing pornographic or other dubious Web sites.
â€¢ Running â€œjokeâ€ programs sent by friends and colleagues.
â€¢ Installing unauthorized software and Web browser plug-ins.
â€¢ Giving information to unknown parties via phone or e-mail.
â€¢ Using the same password on different Web sites.
In another poll, Sophos found that 63% of IT professionals believe workers who fail to follow safe computing guidelines should receive official warnings, and that those warnings should escalate all the way up to potential firings. About 10% of respondents feel so strongly about risky online behavior that they think scofflaws should be dismissed on the spot.