Downloaders fall into four categories- report
- Dec 21, 2005
The research examined the behaviour of Web users as downloaded files, such as audio or video clips, from the Internet, and also at the risks they represent to their employers.
The firm added that offices across the UK are likely to be deluged with MP3 players, as employees bring in their new toys to see how they work.
“Downloading and exchanging documents or software is no longer the preserve of the IT department,” said Matt Fisher, VP marketing at Centennial. “Everyone will be doing it in January, and, thanks to the popularity of MP3 players in 2005, some distinct downloading types have emerged – with serious implications for UK business.”
The findings from the research are reprinted here in full:
What type of downloader are you?
The Digital Dinosaur
Never really wanting a computer in the first place, the Digital Dinosaur has bravely embraced technology (with the help of an ‘Internet for Dummies’ guide) by creating a website for the family to view Christmas snaps. Unfortunately, some of the images are so low in resolution that relatives mistake Auntie Beryl for the Uncle John while the others are such high resolution that it takes four days for each page to load. The Digital Dinosaur thinks the kids are borrowing their company laptop to do some homework. In reality, at night it becomes the hub of an online gaming team called ‘DEd SQUirrlZ’ and is crammed with illegally downloaded games, music and films.
RISKS: When the laptop is connected to the corporate network at work the next day, illegally downloaded media could spell serious copyright violation issues for the company. Plus, it’s unlikely the Digital Dinosaur has a personal firewall for home surfing. Who knows what viruses and trojans could have been picked up or planted by the DEd SQUirrlZ?
The City Clicker
The City Clicker is permanently glued to his or her BlackBerry, sending important-looking emails in public places while listening to funky house music on an iPod nano, with a chosen to match the colour of their luggage, shoes and car. Appearance is everything for this downloader. They would never let on that they didn’t really like funky house, or that they don’t entirely understand how to work the ’Berry and the ’Pod. The City Clicker keeps on top of technological advancements via a subscription to an underground Japanese lifestyle magazine, read while sipping Vodka Martinis in gleaming bars in fashionably run-down areas.
RISKS: The City Clicker has no idea of the damage that could be caused by devices corrupting data or introducing viruses to the business systems through their daily synchronisation. With a case full of different gadgets, some able to carry up to 60GB of data, the possibilities for information theft and exploitation are vast if they were to get tempted.
The Professional Pirate
Having missed out on a promotion last year to a young, enthusiastic trainee, the Professional Pirate is a disgruntled employee with good working knowledge of the company and its network and a worrying tendency towards paranoia. Knowing where to find confidential and potentially useful information, bosses are unaware the Professional Pirate can access his/her own expense account, employee contracts and client negotiations records online. Happily spending days installing software on to his or her PC, the Professional Pirate has been keeping an eye on company-wide email and IM conversations for years. Generally benign, the Professional Pirate could cause IT havoc if provoked.
RISKS: Lack of an IT policy framework means Professional Pirates can roam free, collecting or tampering with sensitive information. With such unbridled access to the network and a festering feeling of resentment, a few clicks and your system could be down for days, or valuable data sold to a competitor.
The Web Wizard
Typically aged between 16 and 30, The Web Wizard can be recognised by the pale complexion and moth-eaten Iron Maiden t-shirt. He or she thinks nothing of transferring gigabytes of information every day, updating blogs and delivering subversive podcasts from a bedroom HQ so wired that the neighbours’ lights dim when they boot up the PC. While at work, the Web Wizard pays little attention to the corporate IT policy, instead boasting an ‘open door policy’ to information, music and cracked software programmes. Extremely intelligent, the Web Wizard shuns company, preferring to spend free time watching Lord Of The Rings.
RISKS: Software licence violations cost manufacturers a huge amount of revenue per year, and it’s being recouped through fines and – in extreme cases – punished by imprisonment. The Web Wizard may have no ill feeling towards a company network (and can be a valuable asset), but so much data sharing needs to be controlled by a watertight policy.