IA Blog: Time to Protect Employees From Themselves

Reading, UK – September, 2011 After another recent series of news stories illustrating the consequences of workplace porn harassment, it is surely time to protect employees and bosses from their own behaviour. The headlines themselves highlight the issue:

1. Charges possible over sexually explicit emails

2. Border officer sues for workplace harassment

3. Fire chief suspended for computer pornography

4. Former Glasgow City Council worker faces being struck off for obscene emails

It is a fact of human nature that where no effective method of moderation exists then someone will push the boundaries of what is acceptable in the workplace. It is a fact that if email networks deploy solutions to monitor activity and enforce the prevailing acceptable use policy then illicit activity ceases and is typically moved from the workplace and business time to personal email accessed at home and leisure time.

The available technology is ensuring that employees who need to engage in accessing pornographic content do so away from the workplace where it can lead to loss of jobs and financial penalties for the employers. Human beings have always, and will always consume pornography. The purpose of technology is not to be the ‘fun police’ but rather to ensure that employees do not put themselves, their fellow workers or employers at risk.

Image Analyzer has long been advocating the more widespread usage of its technology. Whilst it will never be 100% accurate the Image Analyzer technology has been constantly evolving and is now available in a series of deployment scenarios which do not interrupt the flow of important messages but do highlight employees who are potentially putting themselves and the network at threat.

It is now possible to have early warning of potential issues similar to those illustrated in the listed news stories and deal with them a long time before they appear in the press, jobs have been lost or employers have paid out on expensive hostile working environment claims.

The time has come to take the relatively inexpensive steps to deploy an Image Analyzer powered solution in every workplace to ensure that pornographic images and videos in email attachments are flagged and effectively dealt with by management, protecting all concerned.