UAE employees strain to keep online activity private

Kaspersky Lab study finds 64% of employees hide social media activity from their boss

Almost two-thirds of consumers admit visiting non-work-related websites every day from their desk.
Almost two-thirds of consumers admit visiting non-work-related websites every day from their desk.

A new study has revealed that 64% of consumers in UAE choose to hide social media activity from their boss.

The recently published Global Privacy Report from Kaspersky Lab also reveals that this secretive stance at work also extends to colleagues, with 60% of people also preferring not to reveal online activities to their co-workers.

The average employee spends an astonishing 13 years and two months at work during their lifetime. Interestingly though, not all this time is directly related to solving work tasks or earning a promotion: almost two thirds (64%) of consumers admit visiting non-work-related websites every day from their desk.

Not surprisingly, nearly a third (28%) of employees in UAE is against their employer knowing which websites they visit. However, more interestingly, one-in-two (59%) are even against their colleagues knowing about their online activities. This probably means that colleagues constitute an even greater threat to future perspectives of an office slouch or maybe the relationships with colleagues are more informal and therefore, more valuable.

On the contrary, social media activity appears to be a less private domain for many and therefore, more suitable for sharing with colleagues but not the boss. This is probably because workers fear harming the public image of a company or interest in decreased staff productivity motivates companies to monitor employees’ social networks and make career changing decisions based on that. Such policies have led to 64% people saying that they don’t want to reveal their social media activities to their boss and 54% even don’t want to disclose this information to their colleagues.

A further 20% are against showing the content of their messages and emails to their employer. In addition, 6% even said that their career was irrevocably damaged as a consequence of their personal information being leaked. Thus, people are worried about how to build a favourable internal reputation and how not to destroy existing workplace relationships.

“As going online is an integral part of our life nowadays, lines continue to blur between our digital existence at work and at home. And that’s neither good or bad. That’s how we live in the digital age. Just keep remembering that as an employee you need to be increasingly cautious of what exactly you post on social media feeds or what websites you prefer using at work. One misconceived action on the internet could have an irrevocable long-term impact on even the most ambitious worker’s ability to climb the career ladder of their choice in the future,” comments Marina Titova, Head of consumer product marketing at Kaspersky Lab.

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