Washington D.C.: Almost half of the employees working from home during the coronavirus pandemic watch adult content on the devices that they use for work, suggests a new study by Kaspersky.
As social distancing measures become common and workers adjust to their new professional environments, even from their own living rooms, there is potential for private and working life to blur into one.
In fact, half (51 per cent) of those working from home who started to watch more adult content admit that they did so on the same devices they use for work-related purposes.
This is just one of the key findings from Kaspersky's new report - 'How COVID-19 changed the way people work report.' The 'new normal' that workers are now facing is starting to have an impact on their work-life balance. Nearly a third (31 per cent) of workers said that they are spending more of their time working than they did before.
However, 46 per cent said they have increased the amount of time they spend on the personal activity. This particular change may have come about because workers are now not having to commute or travel as much than they were before.
The report also revealed that it has become harder for workers to separate working and personal activity, especially when it comes to IT. Worryingly for businesses, 51 per cent of workers, who admit they have started watching more adult content since working from home, say they have done so on devices they use for work-related purposes.
Nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of workers even do this on devices provided to them by their employers, with 33 per cent admitting to watching adult content on their personal devices that they also use to do their work.
Additionally, 55 per cent of workers say they are reading more news now than they were before they started working from home. While this is understandable because people will want to stay updated with the latest coronavirus developments, 60 per cent of this activity is done on devices that are used for work.
This can though potentially lead to malware infections if employees do not pay attention to the resources and websites they visit. Workers are also developing a habit of using their personal services for working purposes - increasing the potential risks from shadow IT, including the disclosure of sensitive information.
For instance, 42 per cent of employees use personal email accounts for work-related matters, and 49 per cent admit their usage has increased when working from home. 38 per cent use personal messengers that have not been approved by their IT departments, with 60 per cent of them doing it more often in their new circumstances.
"Organisations cannot just fulfill all user requests, such as allowing staff to use any services as they want to. It is necessary to find a balance between user convenience, business necessity, and security," said Chief Information Security Officer at Kaspersky, Andrey Evdokimov.
"To achieve this, a company should provide access to services based on the principle of only supplying minimal, necessary privileges, implement a VPN and use secure and approved corporate systems. These types of software may have certain restrictions that slightly reduce usability, but offer greater assurances in providing security measures," said Evdokimov.
To ensure businesses do all they can to keep their employees and corporate data safe, Kaspersky recommends some of the measures that employers can use.
One such measure could be scheduling basic security awareness training for the employees. This can be done online and cover essential practices, such as account and password management, email security, endpoint security.
Another measure can be ensuring that devices, software, applications, and service are kept updated with the latest patches. Installing proven protection software, on all endpoints, including mobile devices, and switch on firewalls is also helpful. Any solution used should include protection from web threats and email phishing Besides all the measures by the employers, there are certain measures that employees working from home can also follow like using a reliable security solution, for comprehensive protection from a wide range of threats.
Another important thing to follow is only downloading educational and entertaining content strictly from trusted sources.