Twenty five per cent of employees feel addicted to the internet, according to research conducted by employee management firm Websense.
The survey, which consisted of 305 employee interviews, revealed that the average worker spent more than one entire workday each week surfing non-work-related websites.
Among those polled, 67 per cent of respndents confessed to visiting websites for personal reasons. Most were shoppers (24 per cent), news junkies (23 per cent), pornography searchers (18 per cent), gamblers (8 per cent), and auction aficionados (6 per cent).
"The survey shows there is a huge gap between what employees are doing on the internet and what employers know," said Harold Kester, chief technology officer for Websense.
"Left unchecked, free and open internet use can lead to severe productivity and legal liability issues for organisations."
For example, said Websense, while 78 per cent of employers block employee access to pornography, only 47 per cent block access to gambling sites, 20 per cent block shopping and auction sites, and 4 percent block news sites.
Companies such as Websense, Secure Computing, Advanced Productivity Software and SurfControl are among those that provide systems for companies needing to filter personal web usage in the workplace.
Typically, the software product is installed on the server and integrates with the firewall, cache engine, or proxy server and, via a database or URLs, monitors and controls website access.
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