SAN DIEGO -- Companies should be wary of a potential loss of staff productivity and increase in network security threats as workers turn to corporate computers to file their taxes online, according to a recent survey commissioned by St. Bernard(1).
According to the survey, twenty percent of 525 poll respondents plan on filing their returns electronically in the office. In addition, 36 percent will spend up to three hours preparing taxes online. Furthermore, one in five survey participants admit they previously used the Web to research tax-related items at work.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) states that nearly 73.3 million individuals filed their taxes electronically in 2006(2).This number is expected to grow in 2007 with the availability of IRS' new and free e-filing services.
"During the tax season, employees can easily access unmanaged corporate networks to visit IRS-related Web sites whenever they want and without any time limitations," said Vince Rossi, president and CEO at St. Bernard. "This creates a number of potential issues for IT managers, including employee productivity loss, while also leaving corporations open to potential malware and spyware attacks. In order to maintain a safe and productive work environment, companies should carefully assess their workers' Internet behavior and enforce Acceptable Usage Policies."