Firms to stamp out instant messaging by staff

Employers
are using new software to expose staff who use instant messenger systems as a
way to bypass restrictions placed on e-mails.

An
IT company is now developing new technology that would not only track instant
messaging, but interpret variations of words that staff used to fool the
censors.

Companies
using the software include multi-nationals in the banking and insurance
sectors.

An
IT expert who is developing the software, but who did not wish to be named due
to the confidential nature of the project, said: "Bizarre wording is often
used to get around monitoring systems, but new techniques will catch a lot more
people out."

A
new survey by filtering firm Surf Control showed that almost 40 per cent of
employees in UK companies are using instant messaging programs while in the
office.

More
than half of respondents said instant messaging hurt productivity as people
interrupted their work to deal with incoming messages from friends.

A
spokesman from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said that
employers should be concerned about this misuse of the internet and adapt their
security policies to include instant messaging.

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