What's safe and what's not safe to view on the Internet at work? - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Andrew Knaus

What's safe and what's not safe to view on the Internet at work?

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC-DT) -- Recently, an employee of the City of Wabasha was reprimanded after it was discovered he had inappropriate materials on his work computer.

Most employees know that out of every thing you can surf on the Internet while at work, there is a hard and fast rule, don't look at pornography.

 "It can cause a hostile work environment for who's ever next to who views it. It could be uncomfortable for them publicly it's not socially acceptable," says Jodie Yanda

the rehabilitation area manager with D.E.E.D.

Besides pornographic material, a contract specialist at Express Employment Professionals says employees may be looking at offensive material but not even realize it.

"There are gray areas that people may not recognize when they're actually doing it but may be thinking in retrospect. If one were to walk behind them. You never know what's going to offend your neighbor," says Carrisa Gisi with Express Employment Professionals.

It may be easy for most employees to know what's offensive but there are other activities done on-line that a company may consider to be inappropriate.

 "It could be as simple as shopping online, paying your bills or checking your bank statement," says Gisi.

Gisi says employees could also be written up for theft of time by their employer. But, there are also gray areas for businesses when it comes to surfing the web, especially when it comes to social networks.

"Facebook is a huge issue. Are you using Facebook in a work position, work-related or are you doing it to socialize with your friends," says Yanda.

Yonda says an Internet etiquette at work will be an ever-evolving issue.

"I think computers, one issue. It's gonna be cell phones now. A lot of people are using their cell phones to be checking and looking and surfing the Internet," says Yanda.

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