Long-held suspicions from office workers that their home-based colleagues are spending their time browsing questionable websites have been confirmed by a new report. The research, by web security firm ScanSafe, found employees who work from home visit porn sites two and a half times more often than their office-based co-workers. The figures also showed remote workers visit ‘extreme websites’ with ‘extremely graphic content’ five and a half times more often and websites with illegal content four times more often than office workers. The company said latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested more than six million Britons work away from the office on a regular basis. As a result, many businesses are recognising that remote workforces are posing a security risk. Spencer Parker from ScanSafe said it was no surprise workers’ web habits change away from the watchful eye of bosses and colleagues. “What is surprising is there is such a huge increase in visits to what most firms would deem highly offensive websites, and in some cases, illegal content. “If employees are using a company laptop to download illegal music files from home, their bosses may be liable. Staff assume their web habits away from the office are unsupervised – however, the problem is no matter where they are working, they could be putting their company at risk,” he said.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2008