Porn on the PC

The vast, uncensored mass of the Internet has, in certain areas, linked itself to the lower instincts of many of us.  Pornography on the Internet is a growing concern – and not just for schools.  Internet access at work has allowed employees to bring pornography into the workplace with an ease that is frightening – especially to those who are concerned about the legal ramifications.

In the recent past, we wouldn’t have secretly toted a Playboy or Playgirl magazine to work, much less an X-rated video.  There wasn’t a place for it, and no one would even have thought of it, much less actually have done it.  Now all it takes is the click of a button, even an accidental one, and that type of material is displayed in full color on an employee’s computer screen.  What does this mean for those who are concerned about harassment?

Dear Jean,

A person I work with apparently surfs the Internet in his off time.  He thinks it’s funny to load porn onto my computer.  He even puts these pictures so that they show on my screen in the morning.  Now, I’m a normal guy who thinks that if there is a place for this type of activity, that place is not on my computer.

I have told this guy that I don’t want to see these pictures, but he just laughs.  I am afraid that my supervisor will see one before I can take it off and he will think I put it there.  How can I get this guy to stop?

Reply:

This is not a joke or some kind of male bonding technique.  This is inappropriate behavior in any office.  Try one more time to get him to stop.  Don’t tell him this in passing; have a sit-down meeting at his desk.  Be specific about why you don’t want to be part of his game.  Document the conversation and keep it in a safe place in case you need it.  If he keeps it up, go to your boss.

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