Mutual life and pensions company, Royal London, has installed security software to snoop on the computer activity of its 2,900 staff across the UK.
Designed by supplier 3ami, the Monitoring and Audit System software is being used to enforce “sensible rules relating to the personal use of e-mail and the internet”.
Royal London group IT security manager Nick Harwood said: “Although the system will let us, we do not sit and secretly watch what people are doing day-to-day, but we do consider it our responsibility to be able to check, if we need to, how our IT is being used.”
The system allows the firm to monitor actions undertaken by each PC and store these actions in a database which can be interrogated either on a daily basis or over a longer period of time.
The system is also being used as a deterrent against the theft of data files – including e-mailing information to a third party, copying or printing it or putting iton a CD-Rom, floppy disk or memory stick.
The system will also used to deter staff from sending or handling pornography, illegal images and racist and sexist material.
Royal London said it consulted staff before deploying the system.