Employee Privacy Report

COM/285 Employee Privacy Report People use e-mail and Internet daily at home and at the place of business but rarely thinks about the policies set forth to protect companies and employees from unethical situations and invasion of privacy. The paper will define Capital One Financial Service e-mail, Internet use, and privacy policies. The writing will define the current laws in Virginia for regulating employee e-mail and Internet privacy for the company. Companies implement e-mail and Internet use policies for employees for a reason. Employees may have assumptions about privacy at work and the reasons some policies affect employee privacy at work. Capital One runs security scans on employees computers to protect the company from viruses that could be accidentally sent by an e-mail attachment or accessing Internet websites.

According to authors Friedman and Reed (2007), ???reasons an employer monitors employees e-mails could be for productivity concerns and the responsibility to protect stockholders??? (p. 2). The company has access to e-mails that an employee sends or receives on the company??™s computer servers. Employees were sent notices about e-mail policies to avoid e-mails to internal and external contacts that could be offensive, unethical, and discriminatory to others. For example, an e-mail was sent to numerous people about different color Easter bunnies and one person took offense to the e-mail and reported the incident to the manager. The manager had a discussion with the person the e-mail policy. Employees were also told to delete e-mails from the Outlook Inbox if sent from an unknown person because the e-mail could cause a virus to spread from one computer to another computer.

Employees have no right to privacy regarding Internet access when using a company??™s computer. The company can monitor online activity at work or at anytime an employee use the company??™s network to access the Internet. The company can track all website an employee access at work. The company has the authority to block or restrict access to certain websites that could be harmful or unethical. Although the policies are set forth, the company gave permission for employees to access the Internet to handle personal business. An example is paying bills or taking care of other personal business at break time. Employees should not be able to access the Internet not unless it was during a break or for researching a project for work. The Internet should not be accessed for searching Facebook, Twitter, eHarmony, or other social websites during work hours.

An example is the company had to block access to many football sporting websites because employees have been known to play fantasy football during work hours. Fantasy football is also considered gambling doing work hours. The company??™s e-mail and Internet access monitoring policy for work can be found in the employment handbook that human resources hands out at new hire orientation or the company??™s Intranet. The company has the right to monitor employee activities to protect assets, confidential information, reputation, and other employees. According to authors De Pree and Jude (2006) article, ???Almost all circumstances, the monitoring of employee e-mail and Internet usage is legal. An employer may monitor the use of e-mail and Internet when an employee enters the workplace without any notice??? (p. 46).

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A company has better interest to regulate employee e-mail access and Internet privacy laws than the state of Virginia. The company has to right to protect the business assets, business reputation, employees, and stockholders. Some reasons a company can implements e-mail and Internet use policies are to protect the company??™s assets and reputation. An employee is paid to work certain hours each day. The company expects an employee to work instead of personally using the Internet or sending and responding to e-mails that could spread a computer virus or could be unethical. An employee accessing the Internet for personal use doing the work day is not being productive. Another employee may have to pick up the workload if the work is not complete or inaccurate. The company runs daily or weekly maintenance checks on laptop and desktop computers to scan for viruses.

The Information Technology (IT) department also runs e-mail and Internet virus protection to ensure that computers are protective with the most current virus software. Viruses could spread from one computer to another. IT department can trace what computer the virus came from and will cost money to fix the problem.

Employees should be aware that all companies have some sort of privacy policy. The privacy policies are there to protect the company against malicious or accidental damage of property and confidential information. As employees do the day-to-day task, many do not think about a manager reviewing content sent by e-mail or access by the Internet. After the deletion of files, e-mails and history from the Internet browser, the information can be found by the IT department or some spyware applications. The employee may lose confidence and trust in a company if found that a violation in privacy has come about. In conclusion, a company has a right to protect the privacy of employees as well as to protect the assets, reputations, and stockholders. Employees should be aware that when they are at work, they should not be sending or responding to unethical e-mails that could cause harm to others. The Internet should be access for research only not unless an employee has permission otherwise.

This would alleviate the unintentional spread of computer viruses and increase the production time for employees.ReferencesFriedman, B., & Reed, L.

(2007, June). Workplace privacy: Employee relations and legal implications of monitoring employee e-mail use. Employee Responsibilities & Rights Journal, 19(2), 75.

De Pree, C. M., Jr. & Jude, R.

K (2006, April). Whos reading your office e-mail Is that legal Strategic Finance, 87(10), 44. [pic][pic]