Surfing the day away

Web mail and news sites most popular among City of Toronto staff
||Last Updated: 09/27/2007

About 200 City of Toronto employees are spending an excessive amount of time on non-work-related websites, according to an auditor's report.

Last year, Toronto auditors monitored Internet use of city employees over four days and found that two per cent of workers are excessively surfing the web for personal reasons.

The auditors defined excessive use as someone who spends more than two hours a day on the Internet, and has more than 500 page views on more than 10 websites unrelated to their work.

Among the most popular sites (the city blocks access to pornographic and gambling sites) are web mail, sports, news and investment sites.

Since 2005, the city has had an Internet policy in use that stipulates employees should only surf the net for "limited and occasional personal use" — which means only during work breaks, doing things that don't harm performance or cost the city money, and that are not for personal gain.

However, despite uncovering that 200 users are breaking the policy, the city can't identify the users because many of the computers are shared. The auditor's report recommends creating a system to identify who's online and a pilot program is already underway.

The top non-work-related sites visited by City of Toronto employees:

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