Updated March 29 at 6:25am

More CIOs blocking shopping sites


MENLO PARK, Calif. – More chief information officers are blocking their employees’ access to online shopping sites this year than in 2010.

About 60 percent of CIOs said they were block access in 2011, compared to 48 percent in 2010, a survey by Robert Half Technology said Nov. 21.

Those who allow access, but monitor for excessive use, expect employees to browse about four hours a week on average.

“With an increasing number of firms blocking access to shopping sites, many employees may turn to mobile devices to shop at the office,” said John Reed, executive director of Robert Half Technology.

Reed advises exercising caution, however. “Spending excessive time on non-business activities while at work raises a red flag for employers.”

Robert Half also gave four tips on how to avoid getting on your employer’s blacklist:

  • Play by the rules. If your employer allows online shopping at work, know your company’s policy, including sites or hours to avoid, before searching for deals.

  • Buy rather than browse. A liberal computer use policy is no excuse to spend the day filling your shopping cart. If your company allows occasional online buying, limit your activity to quick transactions.

  • Don’t get stuck on your smartphone. Mobile devices can make it easy to get around a strict online shopping policy, but always put work first, even on Cyber Monday.

  • Exercise caution. Any offer that looks too good to be true probably is. Avoid links or sites that could infect your company’s network with phishing attacks or viruses.

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