An employee’s internet indulgence time at work or at home is a topic rarely discussed when organizations try to evaluate potential threats in a business impact analysis exercise.  Most often the topics of efficiency, productivity and corporate privacy policy surround any discussion regarding risk management planning around an employee’s use of the internet at work.  However, at the same time, we often read about the growing integration of organizational policies and procedures involving the internet along with the attempts to mitigate any and all potential risks associated in the relationship of company employees and their use of the internet.

Has your organization attempted to address the risks and potential threats involving online indulgences by its employees?

To that point, our staff recently found an interesting approach to this topic expressed in a recent article written by Alexandra Samuel, posted on the Harvard Business Review blog website, and, entitled “The Three P’s of Online Indulgence”.

In her article, Ms. Samuel writes about and around the belief that we all have shadow selves.  In one case, Ms. Samuel points out that offline society dynamics are set up to sanction and/or repress those shadow selves each of us often have.  Examples in the article that support her position whereby social judgment can help us all to control our compulsions are as follows:  “…the raised eyebrow from a colleague who catches you checking out someone other than your spouse, or the bartender who cuts you off.”

On the contrary, she then goes on to state that the “online society” allows us to indulge, and to explore our shadow selves without the same social pressure to behave.  Ms. Samuel believes that this is done by applying a veneer of anonymity and creating a sense of distance from our actions for those individuals.

Ms. Samuel finally states that you can manage the personal and professional risks of online indulgence by remembering the 3 P’s:  Principled, Private and Planned, along with additional content regarding what each of them entails.

Now in a rebuttal fashion, our staff also recommends reading responses to Ms. Samuel’s article made by Dan Lohrmann as posted on the CSO Security and Risk website.  The title of this article speaks for itself —“Can Online Indulgence Be Managed?  Lessons from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”.

Our staff hopes that both of these articles will offer assistance to your organization if they have in fact already been faced with this potential employee online indulgence risk issue, and, if not, then perhaps, some attention and interesting perceptions may have been gained to better prepare their HR departments to discuss and evaluate this issue as it relates to their organization.

If applicable, please pass this information along to those risk management, HR privacy rights or disaster preparedness planning teams in your organization.

Click here to read the full article “The 3 P’s of Online Indulgence”  by Alexandra Samuel.

Click here to read the full article, “Can Online Indulgence Be Managed?  Lessons from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Dan Lohrmann.

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