Cyber Monday vs the Firewall

Most companies are blocking internet shopping from work computers, staffing firm says.

So much for online shopping at work.

Nearly two-thirds of employers block access to web merchants – even on much-touted Cyber Monday – according to a new survey.

About 60 percent of chief information officers interviewed by Menlo Park-based Robert Half Technology said they blocked access to online shopping on their computers and networks. That’s an increase over last year, when 48 percent said they denied access to the sites.

Others – about 23 percent – said they would allow employees to surf the web freely, but monitor their activity.

The company offers the following tips to employees who can’t resist shopping at work:

1. Play by the rules. If your employer allows shopping at work, know your company's policy, including sites or hours to avoid, before searching for deals online.

2. Buy rather than browse. A liberal computer use policy is no excuse to spend the day filling your shopping cart. If your company allows occasional online buying, limit your activity to quick transactions.

3. Don't get stuck on your Smartphone. Mobile devices can make it easy to get around a strict online shopping policy, but I always put work first, even on Cyber Monday.

4. Exercise caution. Any offer that looks too good to be true probably is. Avoid links or sites that could infect your company's network with phishing attacks or viruses.

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