Mellon Bank Corp. is out to cut back on cyberloafing.

The bank last weekend implemented tougher restrictions against employees using computers and the Internet for purposes not related to their jobs. The new policy, outlined in a memo to employees Friday, prohibits workers from accessing Web sites for personal use.

Sites considered off-limits include those involving entertainment, games, humor, gambling, drugs, job searches, lifestyle, sports, opinion, politics, and religion, according to the memo.

Computer experts say strict policies against Internet use are becoming more common as companies worry about declining productivity. Employers can either block access to specific Web sites, which is considered difficult, or monitor compliance using software that follows each employee's tracks through the Internet. Employees caught lurking on sites that violate company policy can then be disciplined. Mellon is apparently using both techniques.

Mellon spokesman Gregg Stein said the new policy was not prompted by hordes of employees wasting time on the Internet. "It's not a widespread problem. This is more of a proactive thing," he said. "A lot of employees use the Internet for work. We're just trying to restrict things that have no business purpose."

-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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