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Report: Nearly Half of All Web Traffic in the Workplace Is Non-Productive

A new study by ScanSafe has found that workers spend nearly half of their online time at work surfing for gambling sites, chatting to friends on instant messengers or answering personal e-mail

by ScanSafe
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A new study by ScanSafe has found that workers spend nearly half of their online time at work surfing for gambling sites, chatting to friends on instant messengers or answering personal e-mail.

Of the Web traffic the company scanned in February, 49 percent was non-productive, including requests for gambling, music, porn and Webmail sites. Overall, Web filtering blocks were up 8 percent compared to January. Specifically, the company reported that:

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  • 14 percent of blocks were for advertising and promotion
  • 12 percent of blocks were to online chat and Instant Messaging (IM) sites
  • 10 percent of blocks were for Webmail
  • Music, gambling and pornographic sites each accounted for 4 percent of blocks
  • Blocks to gambling sites were up 22 percent over January

"Beyond the negative impact on productivity, uncontrolled use of the Web can have serious and costly consequences for businesses of all sizes including exposure to legal liability, disclosure of confidential information, breaches of compliance requirements and unnecessary bandwidth consumption," said Dan Nadir, vice president, product strategy, ScanSafe.

Nadir added that events such as Valentine's Day and the Super Bowl tend to drive unproductive Web traffic in the work place. For example, the week prior to the Super Bowl, the company saw a 77 percent increase in U.S.-based requests for gambling and sports-related sites.

The company expects to see a jump in U.S.-based requests for gambling and sports-related sites throughout March during the annual NCAA Division 1 Basketball Championship tournament as users go online to watch live streaming game video, place a bet or just IM with friends about the tournament as part of "March Madness." Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., a Chicago-based outplacement firm, anticipates that March Madness will result in $3.8 billion in lost worker productivity this year alone.

The latest ScanSafe Global Threat Report is available online at www.scansafe.com.

Source: ScanSafe.com