Men More Likely than Women to Engage in Personal Web Surfing at Work; Women More Likely to Infect PCs with Spyware, Call Help Desk

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Gender differences in employee computing exposed in Websense’s seventh annual Web@Work survey.

The results of the 2006 Web@Work Employee survey illuminate some of the differences between how men and women use the Internet at work

Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ:WBSN), a global leader in web security and web filtering productivity software, today announced the first installment of Employee survey results of its seventh annual Web@Work study, conducted by Harris Interactive®. From March 15 to March 24, 2006, 351 U.S. IT decision-makers who work for organizations with at least 100 employees, at least one percent of whom have Internet access, were interviewed online, and from March 16 to April 4, 2006, 500 U.S. employees ages 18 and older who have Internet access at work and who work for organizations with at least 100 employees were surveyed over the telephone on web and software application usage in their workplace.

The 2006 Web@Work Employee survey reveals that men are more likely than women to engage in personal web surfing at work. Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of men who access the Internet from work admitted to accessing non work-related websites during work hours versus 58 percent of women. Similarly, men are more likely to spend more time on the Internet at work for both work-related and non work-related tasks than women do. For example, men admit to spending 11.6 hours on average per week on work-related websites and 2.3 hours per week on non-work related websites. In comparison, women admit to surfing 9.0 hours on average on work-related and personal sites and admit to spending only 1.5 hours per week on non work-related sites only.

Men and women also vary on the types of non work-related websites they visit in the workplace. For example, men are substantially more likely than women to visit non work-related sites such as weather, sports, investment/stock, and blogs—men are 1.15 times more likely than women to visit weather sites (81 percent of men versus 70 percent of women), 2.3 times more likely than women to visit sports sites (42 percent of men versus 18 percent of women), 1.95 times more likely than women to visit investment/stock purchasing sites (39 percent of men versus 20 percent of women), and 2.5 times more likely than women to visit blogs (15 percent of men versus 6 percent of women).

More men than women view online pornography at work. Whether it was by accident or on purpose, 16 percent of men who access the Internet at work said they had visited a porn site while at work, while only 8 percent of women had done so. Of those that admitted to viewing pornography sites at work, 6 percent of the men and 5 percent of the women admitted it was intentional.

The Employee survey also reveals that men and women hold different views regarding web-based threats such as spyware and when to involve help desk to remedy the situation. Women who visit websites containing spyware are more likely than men to say that their work computer has been negatively impacted by spyware. (45 percent of women versus 35 percent of men surveyed). On that same note, women who have visited websites containing spyware are more than twice as likely as men to call their help desk or IT department if their computer was infected with spyware -- 64 percent of women have called their IT department for help whereas only 30 percent of men have done so.

“The results of the 2006 Web@Work Employee survey illuminate some of the differences between how men and women use the Internet at work,” said Michael Newman, vice president and general counsel, Websense, Inc. “However, one significant similarity shown in the survey is that both genders can easily be lured in by the Internet for its sheer entertainment value or as a resource to complete personal errands. Workplace Internet solutions should balance employees’ needs for personal use of the web at work without draining overall productivity or morale, all while keeping employees safe from new web-based security threats such as spyware and phishing attacks.”

Preview of 2006 Web@Work Employee Survey Results:

  •      PERSONAL SURFING -- 65 percent of men who access the Internet at work admitted to accessing non work-related websites during work hours versus 58 percent of women.
  •      TIME SPENT ON NON WORK-RELATED WEBSITES -- of those that access non work-related websites at work, men admitted to spending on average 2.3 hours per week on personal-related websites, and women admitted to spending 1.5 hours per week.
  •      COFFEE VERSUS THE INTERNET -- when asked if they would rather give up their morning coffee or their ability to use the Internet at work for personal reasons, 54 percent of men who access the Internet at work for personal use stated they would rather give up coffee, while only 41 percent would give up their Internet access for personal usage at work. In comparison, 47 percent of women stated they would rather give up their coffee, and 50 percent said that they would trade in their work Internet connection for coffee.
  •      WEBSITES ACCESSED -- 81 percent of male employees who access non work-related sites at work stated they look at weather websites as compared to 70 percent of women. Seventy-three percent of men stated they access government-related websites as compared to 65 percent of women. Fifty-two percent of men reported they visit personal email websites such as Gmail during the work day versus 45 percent of women. Forty-two percent of men access sports-related websites at work as compared to only 18 percent of women. Thirty-nine percent of men look at investment/stock purchasing websites during the work day versus 20 percent of women. Fifteen percent of male employees visit blogs regularly as compared to 6 percent of female employees.

Sixty percent of women access travel-related websites at work compared to 52 percent of men. Similarly, 53 percent of women look at shopping websites during the work day versus 43 percent of men.

  •      ONLINE PORNOGRAPHY -- 16 percent of men who access the Internet at work said they had visited a porn site while at work, while only 8 percent of women had done so. Of those that admitted to viewing pornography sites at work, 6 percent of the men and 5 percent of the women admitted it was intentional.
  •      NON WORK-RELATED APPLICATION USE -- 26 percent of men and 22 percent of women use streaming media at least once a week from work. Twenty percent of men use instant messaging (IM) as compared to 14 percent of women who IM. Men are slightly more likely than women to listen to MP3s on their work PCs -- 15 percent of men versus 8 percent of women. And women are somewhat more likely than men to play games during the work day -- 11 percent of women (up from 6 percent in 2005) stated they play games on their work PC at least once a week, compared to only 7 percent of men.
  •      SPYWARE -- 45 percent of female employees who have visited websites containing spyware say their work PCs have been negatively impacted by spyware versus 35 percent of male employees. Once a computer was infected with spyware, 64 percent of women who visited websites containing spyware have called their IT department for help whereas only 30 percent of men have done so.
  •      PHISHING -- Men are more likely than women to have heard of the term “phishing” -- 56 percent of men versus 44 percent of women.

About the Web@Work Survey

Web@Work is a comprehensive annual survey of Internet and application usage in the workplace. By surveying both employees and IT management, the study reveals unique insights on employees’ surfing habits as well as IT decision-makers’ perspective on the top network problems facing today’s organizations. Web@Work is commissioned by Websense, Inc. and conducted by Harris Interactive®. This is the seventh annual Web@Work survey.

Methodology

Data for this survey was collected by Harris Interactive on behalf of Websense. Harris Interactive is solely responsible for the telephone data collected and Websense is responsible for the data analysis and reporting. Both parties collaborated on the survey questionnaire.

The employee survey was conducted by telephone within the United States between March 16 and April 4, 2006 among a nationwide cross sample of 500 employees aged 18+ who have Internet access at work and work at a company with at least 100 employees. Data were not weighted and are therefore only representative of those employees surveyed.

In theory, with probability samples of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the overall employee results have a sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points. Sampling error for the various sub-samples is higher and varies.

About Harris Interactive®

Harris Interactive Inc. (http://www.harrisinteractive.com), based in Rochester, New York, is the 13th largest and the fastest-growing market research firm in the world, most widely known for The Harris Poll® and for its pioneering leadership in the online market research industry. Long recognized by its clients for delivering insights that enable confident business decisions, the Company blends the science of innovative research with the art of strategic consulting to deliver knowledge that leads to measurable and enduring value.

Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe (http://www.harrisinteractive.com/europe) and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in Paris, France (http://www.novatris.com), and through an independent global network of affiliate market research companies. EOE M/F/D/V

About Websense, Inc.

Websense, Inc. (NASDAQ: WBSN), a global leader in web security and web filtering software, is trusted to protect 24 million employees worldwide. Websense proactively discovers and immediately protects customers against web-based threats such as spyware, phishing attacks, viruses and crimeware with maximum protection and minimal effort. With diverse partnerships and integrations, Websense enhances our customers' network and security environments. For more information, visit http://www.websense.com.

© 2006, Websense, Inc. All rights reserved. Websense and Websense Enterprise are registered trademarks of Websense, Inc. in the United States and certain international markets. Websense has numerous other unregistered trademarks in the United States and internationally. All other Trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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Jennifer Culter
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