A new survey from web security firm ScanSafe confirms what most of us already suspected – remote workers visit porn sites twice as often as colleagues back in the office.

"Working outside the office also leads to greater temptation to visit extreme and illegal activities sites; but reluctance to bank online," reads ScanSafe’s scandalous survey headline.

As well as porn sites, the survey claims that home workers are more likely to visit "other questionable content on the web, potentially putting themselves and their bosses at risk of legal liability and exposure to so-called malware, such as viruses".

Over six million Britons work from home or out of the office on a regular basis, with businesses coming to realise that there are serious repercussions for their online security.

Extreme porno terror

The survey was based on an analysis of eight billion web requests processed by ScanSafe last month for its customers and confirms that remote workers:

  • Visit porn sites two and half times more often than their colleagues back in the office
  • Extreme websites (sites with extremely graphic content) five and a half times more often
  • Illegal activities sites (eg sites with information on building explosives) nearly four times more often.

Spencer Parker at ScanSafe says of the findings that: "It’s no surprise that web habits change when staff are outside of the physical confines of the office and away from the watchful eye of bosses and colleagues.

At-risk behaviour

"If employees are using a company laptop to download illegal music files from home, their bosses may be liable. Staff assume their web habits away from the office are unsupervised, however, the problem is that no matter where they are working, they could be putting their company at risk," Parker adds. 

The survey is part of a PR push for ScanSafe’s Anywhere+ product, described as "the world’s first ever software-as-a-service web security providing real-time protection from malware and allowing firms to enforce acceptable web usage policies for all employees surfing the web regardless of location".