Eat Your Virtual Veggies

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farmville jason king Eat Your Virtual Veggies

Farmville

Have you ever heard of or played Farmville?  This is an online game where you build and manage a farm through Facebook.  It’s not a real farm.  It’s “virtual.”  Who knew we had so many wannabe farmers?  Too bad they’re not wannabe  (insert profession here) !  That blank represents the jobs we’re ignoring to play Farmville at work!  Too bad there are no crops.  I can just hear Mom saying, “eat your virtual veggies!”   Check out this recent study…

(Courtesy of Mashable.com)

Cisco’s 2010 Midyear Security Report found that workers in the enterprise are accessing their favorite social networking sites on company-issued equipment even when corporate policies prohibit them from doing so.

In fact, 50% of surveyed employees confessed to ignoring company social media policies at least once per week. 27% of respondents went the extra mile to reconfigure the settings on corporate devices so as to access forbidden content or applications.

The Cisco report primarily focuses on network security. On that front, it concludes, “Social networking, virtualization, cloud computing and a heavy reliance on mobile devices continue to have a dramatic impact on the ability of information technology departments to maintain effective network security.”

The social networking side of the report is especially interesting. The research sheds light on how the popularity of games like FarmVille is contributing to lost productivity during the workday and introducing new security risks.

7% of the sample who access Facebook at work, “spend an average of 68 minutes per day” playing FarmVille. Mafia Wars and Cafe World also proved to be extremely distracting; the former is played by 5% of survey participants for an average of 52 minutes per day, while the latter (4 % of the sample) spend 36 minutes each day on game play.

Social networking at work is not all fun and games. On the issue of new security risks, Cisco warns, “Social networks remain a playground for cybercriminals, with an increasing number of attacks. New threats are now emerging from a more dangerous criminal element: terrorists.”

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