Surfing the ‘net on the job?

Employers are putting the brakes on the use of internet services by employees. They are stooping the use of instant messaging and downloading of files, for starters, in an attempt to protect company computers from viruses, data bottlenecks, and potential legal problems.

General Electric, for one, has stopped the use of outside instant message programs and access to online email accounts like those by Yahoo and Hotmail. Some companies are blocking access to Skype, the internet phone service owned by ebay.

Employers are saying that the banning of these services is necessary to protect company resources and keep employees on task. Any service that is not essential to an employee’s job function might not be accessed from work.

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