WebSense Eyes Surfing at Work

Men more likely than women to engage in personal Web surfing at work; women more likely to infect PCs with spyware, call help desk

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

May 17, 2006

3 Min Read

SAN DIEGO -- Websense, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBSN - News), a global leader in web security and web filtering productivity software, today announced the first installment of Employee survey results of its seventh annual Web@Work study, conducted by Harris Interactive®. From March 15 to March 24, 2006, 351 U.S. IT decision-makers who work for organizations with at least 100 employees, at least one percent of whom have internet access, were interviewed online, and from March 16 to April 4, 2006, 500 U.S. employees ages 18 and older who have internet access at work and who work for organizations with at least 100 employees were surveyed over the telephone on web and software application usage in their workplace.

The 2006 Web@Work Employee survey reveals that men are more likely than women to engage in personal web surfing at work. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of men who access the internet from work admitted to accessing non work-related websites during work hours versus 58 percent of women. Similarly, men are more likely to spend more time on the internet at work for both work-related and non work-related tasks than women do. For example, men admit to spending 11.6 hours on average per week on work-related websites and 2.3 hours per week on non-work related websites. In comparison, women admit to surfing 9.0 hours on average on work-related and personal sites and admit to spending only 1.5 hours per week on non work-related sites only.

Men and women also vary on the types of non work-related websites they visit in the workplace. For example, men are substantially more likely than women to visit non work-related sites such as weather, sports, investment/stock, and blogs -- men are 1.15 times more likely than women to visit weather sites (81 percent of men versus 70 percent of women), 2.3 times more likely than women to visit sports sites (42 percent of men versus 18 percent of women), 1.95 times more likely than women to visit investment/stock purchasing sites (39 percent of men versus 20 percent of women), and 2.5 times more likely than women to visit blogs (15 percent of men versus 6 percent of women).

More men than women view online pornography at work. Whether it was by accident or on purpose, 16 percent of men who access the internet at work said they had visited a porn site while at work, while only 8 percent of women had done so. Of those that admitted to viewing pornography sites at work, 6 percent of the men and 5 percent of the women admitted it was intentional.

The Employee survey also reveals that men and women hold different views regarding web-based threats such as spyware and when to involve help desk to remedy the situation. Women who visit websites containing spyware are more likely than men to say that their work computer has been negatively impacted by spyware. (45 percent of women versus 35 percent of men surveyed). On that same note, women who have visited websites containing spyware are more than twice as likely as men to call their help desk or IT department if their computer was infected with spyware -- 64 percent of women have called their IT department for help whereas only 30 percent of men have done so.

"The results of the 2006 Web@Work Employee survey illuminate some of the differences between how men and women use the internet at work," said Michael Newman, vice president and general counsel, Websense, Inc. "However, one significant similarity shown in the survey is that both genders can easily be lured in by the internet for its sheer entertainment value or as a resource to complete personal errands. Workplace internet solutions should balance employees' needs for personal use of the web at work without draining overall productivity or morale, all while keeping employees safe from new web-based security threats such as spyware and phishing attacks."

Websense Inc. (Nasdaq: WBSN)

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Dark Reading Staff

Dark Reading

Dark Reading is a leading cybersecurity media site.

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