Two new trends are emerging in the cyberspace world that are
effecting both the office and the home that are opening up opportunities
for new types of investigative and security services and they
both involve cybersex. First, new surveys show that surfing for
phonography on the web is a new national pastime on office computer
systems. Secondly, infidelity of cheating spouses is definitely
going digital. Let's take a look at these new trends.
Digital Pornography New National Pastime
The overwhelming majority of businesses now have computers that are connected to the internet. Media Metrix, an Internet research company; recently released statistics that reveal an alarming trend. 28 percent of Americans surfs adult web sites.Worse than that, a bulk of them are doing it at work. Studies show that 30 percent of the American work force spends at least an hour and a half of time on the Internet every day. Webmaster Network Strategies recently revealed that the average worker wastes almost two hours per day on their computer. One software company that recently monitored such activity found that 68 percent of it's employees where stopping in at adult rated web sites on company time and on company equipment. Although these x rates sites make up only one percent of all web sites, they account for 20% of web traffic.
Recently, The New York Times, one of the nation's largest and best known newspapers; fired 23 employees for the "improper" use of e-mail. Xerox has also let 40 employees go for the same thing.
The situation is turning into more than just an ethical and civil question. It's turning into a criminal one. Some of the material on many of these X rated sites are illegal. For example, it's illegal to download dirty photos of under aged persons. But the web it full of these types of web sites. The very fact that an employee is downloading dirty photos on company computers is a problem unto itself but it's not the only one. Productivity is also effected. That is, many employees are wasting valuable company time on these activities when they are supposed to be conducting company business. The employer is being raped from a financial standpoint in that the employee is stealing company "on the clock" time. Most small companies have limited digital resources and limited bandwidth. Many small companies can not afford to give every staff member it's own internet account. Internet accounts are often shared with other employees. Thus, not only is the subject in such a situation stealing funds in the form of time, they have hijacked digital access from other employees who need to get their work done.
The problems of this current trend gets even worse than that. Many small businesses share hardware resources which means that other employees often stumble upon the dirty photos downloaded by the violator and become quite offended.
In summery of the current trend, five major problems are occurring for business:
Business and Industry is definitely turning to digital services and software to combat this trend. Smart Computing recently published in a study that 68% of all major businesses in the United States perform some type of electronic communications surveillance of workers using computers.
Infidelity Goes Digital
Divorce cases has always been a mainstay of many private investigative agencies. In the overwhelming majority of divorce cases, the focus is to catch a cheating spouse. But the focus appears to be turning now to cyberspace as the overwhelming majority of infidelity cases now start as an online romance. Many current surveys are now saying that about 50% of all households in the United States have a home computer that's connected to the Internet. People who are otherwise faithful to their spouse are meeting others online in overwhelming numbers and some of these cyber meetings are turning into sexual relationships. The typical profile of such a case starts online in chatrooms that leads to email and then in-person meetings.
Because of the this new digital trend, clients are turning to digital discovery services to check out home computers. It's no longer just enough for an investigative service to offer physical surveillance as a means to catch a cheating spouse in the company of their secret lover. Many of these secret relationships are now occurring in cyberspace. Clients are demanding that the investigator survey the ones and zeros contained on the home computer to uncover evidence of cybersex. The number of situations like this are on a step rising curve.
Signs That Digital Infidelity May Be Occurring
Tools To Combat, Discover And Recover Evidence Of Cybersex
At the office, managers are starting to get signed forms from staff people who access computers that read something like this.
Unknown to many average computer users, there are many ways
to discover such activity and do it quickly and effectively. First
and foremost is the fact that computer files that are deleted
are really not deleted at all. These deleted files have been moved
to "free memory" and the icon for them removed so they
don't show up on the users desktop. Provided the subject doesn't
have a security program to overwrite them, they can easily be
recovered with programs such as Norton Utilities. The web browser cache is
another place to look. In the cashe is stored recently visited
web sites. Many of the newer web browser versions also store URL
information of sites visited in it's history file. A More savvy
computer user could easily use cashe washers and history washers
to remove such surface evidence. They can also use electronic
paper shredders to overwrite deleted files. Moreover, it's common
for users engaged in Cyber Sex activity to keep their porn files
in locked folders that require a user name and password to access.
Some of these little programs even make the actual folder these
dirty photos are stored in invisible to anyone else who uses the
computer. For more information on digital discovery and recovery,
see the NAIS previous article:
Digital Discovery And Recovery
And here are the tools that puts you in the Discover/Recovery And Prevention Business