Category: Archive

Getting the lowdown on office downloading

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Andrew Bushe

DUBLIN — A Big Brother system that will allow companies to monitor what their staff are looking up and downloading from the Internet through office computers has been developed by the Dublin company Softech Telecom.

The new system can check if staff are playing games, surfing the Web for their own enjoyment on office time or downloading unsuitable material such as pornography.

The new Internet tracking system, called Ringmaster, follows the development of a similar gizmo that allows bosses to monitor the use of office telephones.

Softech, which employs 85, have supplied the telephone management system to more than 25,000 organizations in 65 countries and is now the market leader in Europe.

The company says that recent surveys have shown that 75 percent of Irish companies now have the Internet available. For 45 percent of people the primary point of access to the Internet is computers in their workplace.

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"The most popular uses are to conduct research, access electronic news, and to seek information on commercial products, entertainment and hobbies," Henry Woods, Softech’s managing director, said at the recent Ringmaster launch.

"With the increasing access to the Internet in the office, some employees have the potential to do their shopping, order their books and CDs, browse for their holidays and contact their friends, often resulting in a loss of productivity.

"They can even accidentally bring Internet access to a standstill by overloading the company’s bandwidth."

Woods said that employers needed to be assured that staff do not misuse the Internet at work.

"In the U.S. there is great concern among employers of employees unwittingly exposing the organization to the risk of serious legal action through, for example, the downloading of inappropriate materials and display in the workplace," Woods said.

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