Employer censorship is an ever growing trend by many companies. It is easy for them to control what you are doing with your time while they are paying you to work. It is within their rights to do so. If you are paying someone for a job, there is no reason an employer not to be allowed to choose censorship in the workplace.
The problem with censorship is that it sometimes goes way too far. There should be limits to what an employer can censor from his/her employees. Here is a look at how much an employer can control:
Work Emails- Employers do have the right to read the emails that you send while you are at work. They will be able to see everything that you discuss during work hours. Be careful of what you send in an email at work because it could cause you to lose your job. Never send emails back and forth about a job hunt you are doing. This is a definite way to get fired immediately.
Surfing the internet- Surfing the internet is a major no-no at most work places. You should be very careful about doing this while you are on the clock. If you are caught, it is grounds for immediate dismissal. It doesn't matter if you aren't really busy at the moment. If your boss has told you that it is against company policy, you should abide by that rule. The only time that you should surf the internet is if you are looking into something about the job or if you have been given permission.
Websites censorship- There are certain sites like MySpace and FaceBook that may be censored. In fact, you will probably be able to find it in your handbook which sites will be banned from being viewed. These sites make it too easy for hackers to break into computer systems. That means that it would make customer files vulnerable to theft. There isn't a company out there that will allow you to do that. If you don't want to put yourself in danger of losing your job on the spot, stay away from these websites.
Phone usage- Using the company phone for private calls is unacceptable in most places of business. You will also not be allowed to use your cell phone while working. This goes back to the beginning when we discussed being paid to work. Employers don't want you wasting their money to do personal business. Do everything in your power to stay away from personal calls during work hours.
Private Time- Your employer may try to censor what you do on the internet in your private time. The company may see what you do with your private time as a reflection on the business since you work for them. This may be unacceptable to some and acceptable to others. Your private time should not involve your employer at all, but certain jobs require a certain amount of discretion. Be careful what you post on the internet. Try to keep any references to your job private. You do not need an employer seeing things posted on the internet about how much you hate the company and why.
Employers have a certain amount of rights when it comes to censoring what you do. This is true for what you are doing while you are at work because the employer is paying you to do something for them. What you do in your private time should remain private, but it doesn't always. Things can leak into the wrong hands and you could get into big trouble for it. Just be careful of what you are doing and everything should be okay.