Employers block staff from accessing MySpace more often than blocking Facebook, a Web security firm discovered. And the top reasons for restricting Web surfing are virus or spyware protection and maintaining employee productivity.
Digital Journal — Do businesses have a grievance against MySpace? Or is Facebook still under the radar? According to Web security company Barracuda Networks, 25.6 per cent of surveyed companies block MySpace only, while 6.3 per cent only block Facebook. Half of the businesses block both MySpace and Facebook.
Dean Drako, president and CEO of Barracuda Networks, said in a press release:
“Businesses are increasingly applying content-control mechanisms to protect their networks and maintain maximum organization productivity.”
Keeping staff focused is undoubtedly one of the key reasons behind restricting access to social networks. But the Barracuda study also found that businesses are concerned about spyware, bandwidth, and liability issues, providing further justification for website blocking.
But how do businesses explain their distrust of MySpace over Facebook? The research didn’t offer any answers, so it’s fair to guess Facebook is still unknown to many employers. As the burgeoning social network gains more traction among the general public, businesses will react accordingly, and likely increase their restrictions on accessing the site. Then again, perhaps employers simply think MySpace’s layout too distracting for their staff.
Anyone reading at the Barracuda survey may find that it leaves a bad taste in their mouth. “Why should my boss tell me what I can or can’t see on my PC?” you may ask. Workplace Web freedom will continue to be a hot-button issue as employers struggle against being known as Big Brother and staff attempt to do to their assigned work with the lure of social networks beckoning them like siren calls. Every office has to decide for itself the Net policies it will write to govern staff, but rest assured the controversy over blocking certain sites will not disappear anytime soon.