According to research conducted by the Fawcett Society, a campaigning organisation for gender equality, at least 12% of all websites are pornography sites. Their research also indicates that 20% of men admit to accessing pornography at work.
The presence of pornographic and sexually degrading images, mainly of women, creates a hostile and degrading work environment and can encourage sexist attitudes and behaviours in the workplace. With the increasing use of social media in the workplace, the possibility of increasing abuse of these new communication tools for viewing and sharing pornographic images and video becomes an ever greater risk.
If they have not already done so, organisations should constantly re-evaluate their requirement for image detection software as part of their internet security strategy to ensure that they are able to control more effectively the risk of pornographic content being viewed or distributed via email, the internet and social media.
As Oscar Wilde observed ‘I can resist everything except temptation’. Organisations need to be ever vigilant in ensuring that they have the tools in place to remove the temptation from employees and avoid any blurring of the boundaries between what an individual may do and view on their home PC and what is acceptable on their work PC and other internet-enabled devices.
Failure to restrict access to pornographic images and video on corporate networks can have serious implications for corporate reputations in terms of accusations of sexism in the workplace. Image detection technology such as Image Analyzer can minimise the risk by removing all suspect pornographic content from corporate networks before it can cause offence.