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Should filtering software be utilised in the workplace? Australian employees' attitudes towards internet usage and surveillance of the internet in the workplace

By Monica T. Whitty

Abstract

The notion of Internet and email monitoring in the workplace is a debatable issue. Some would argue that\ud surveillance is necessary to prevent ‘cyberslacking’ which can lead to loss of productivity and be a waste of\ud a company’s resources. In contrast, others contend that cyberspace is a private space that employers do not\ud have the right to intercept. There is currently a dearth of available Australian baseline research available on\ud employees’ opinions on Internet and email activity in the workplace. This paper reports the findings from a\ud survey, which asked Australians about their attitudes on appropriate usage of the Internet and email in the\ud workplace, and their opinions on filtering software. This study considers whether gender, working for a\ud company which has implemented a company policy, and number of hours of Internet usage in the workplace\ud are useful predictors of attitudes towards Internet and email behaviour in the workplace. This study\ud concludes that individuals do condemn some Internet and email activities in the workplace, such as\ud downloading material that might offend or harasses others. However, participants did not all agree that\ud filtering software is the only solution to preventing inappropriate Internet and email behaviours. Furthermore,\ud this study found that, at least in the Australian workplace, there is a need to begin seriously questioning\ud what is appropriate Netiquette.Peer-reviewedPublisher Versio

Publisher: Surveillance Studies Network
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/10058
Journal:

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