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    Posted on 15/10/2014 by | 0 comments

    Lots of companies have Internet-usage policies, some even say they monitor Internet use. I always assumed that employers claimed they monitored usage as a scare tactic — because who has the resources to watch what employees are doing?

    I was wrong. I recently heard from someone who was warned by their company that they were spending too much time visiting non-work related websites online at work. Yikes.

    So I tried to find some more information about how many companies actually monitor Internet usage. Turns out, it’s a lot. Here are some of the highlights from a comprehensive study:

    Employers are primarily concerned about inappropriate Web surfing, with 66% monitoring Internet connections. Fully 65% of companies use software to block connections to inappropriate Websites—a 27% increase since 2001 when AMA/ePolicy Institute first surveyed electronic monitoring and surveillance policies and procedures. Employers who block access to the Web are concerned about employees visiting adult sites with sexual, romantic, or pornographic content (96%); game sites (61%); social networking sites (50%); entertainment sites (40%); shopping/auction sites (27%); and sports sites (21%). In addition, companies use URL blocks to stop employees from visiting external blogs (18%).

    Computer monitoring takes many forms, with 45% of employers tracking content, keystrokes, and time spent at the keyboard. Another 43% store and review computer files. In addition, 12% monitor the blogosphere to see what is being written about the company, and another 10% monitor social networking sites.

    Of the 43% of companies that monitor e-mail, 73% use technology tools to automatically monitor e-mail and 40% assign an individual to manually read and review e-mail.

    And another article adds:

    45% of employers track content, keystrokes, and time spent at the keyboard; 43% store and review computer files.

    Wow. Sixty-six percent of the companies surveyed actually monitor employees’ Internet activity. Not only that, but 43% of companies monitor e-mail — which consists, in some instances, of people manually reading and reviewing employees’ e-mails. And, employees are getting fired for what the monitoring reveals — the study reports that a quarter of employers have fired people for e-mail misuse, and a third for Internet misuse.

    So what to do? First of all, don’t use your work e-mail as a personal account. Separate them. If you can’t do without checking your personal account throughout the day, consider getting a smartphone for that purpose. Second, limit how much time you spend browsing the Internet. I would bet that a small amount of personal Internet usage wouldn’t be a problem, but reloading Gawker every 15 minutes might raise a red flag. And of course, follow this advice for maintaining a blog without getting fired.

    And by the way — whatever companies created the software that allows employers to automatically monitor usage: Thanks for that. Really.

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    Posted on 27/09/2014 by | 0 comments

    I recently made the switch from using iPhone apps to Android apps! It’s a big change and once again, I found myself in the process of looking for new, helpful phone apps. There are way too many to choose from and it can be confusing. Although it’s interesting to experiment with the many apps, reviews and ratings speak for themselves.

    If you’re looking for a few apps to help with business productivity, these 3 are your best bet in getting started.

    1. Astrid (Free)

    Astrid is an application that can help with keeping track of your to-do list. It’s easy to use and can even sync with your Remember the Milk account. Astrid comes with helpful tags and reminders for important events. School, work, life – whatever it is that you need to accomplish, Astrid is the app to help you get it done on time!

    2. CallTrack (Free)

    CallTrack is an app that helps you manage all your calls and keep track of them on your Google Calendar. How does it work exactly? All calls (received, made, missed) are recorded in an entry with all the caller details. You can also customize your preferences and categorize the different types of calls.

    3. Documents to Go (Free and Paid Version)

    Documents to Go is a useful app that brings all your Microsoft Office documents straight to your phone. From editing Excel files to practicing with PowerPoint files, you’ll have all your essential files with you wherever you go. This app is definitely a must have for any business professional.

    Feel free to share your favourite Android apps for productivity!

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