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Lay off Web at work

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We’ve warned you that your boss has the right to monitor your e-mail and Web use on company-owned computers. Now the stakes are higher. As the labor market softens, companies are cracking down on Internet junkies. About one in three companies says it has fired an employee for Internet abuse, according to a survey by Websense, a firm that manufactures Web monitoring systems. That’s a 10 percent increase from last year.

Companies no longer rely on supervisors’ watchful eyes. Instead, they’re using monitoring software to determine how workers use the Web. This often involves scanning for key words. “If I want to screen every outgoing e-mail that has the word ‘résumé,’ I can do that,” an executive told BusinessWeek.

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