Companies in the western world have a responsibility to protect their employees from hostile working environments, both physical and digital.
The me-too movement brought attention to the issue of pornography in the workplace and how it can create a hostile environment.
As an employer, it is important to be aware of your duty of care regarding business email communications and to take steps to protect your staff and clients from threats.
While email filters can help block spam and viruses, they may not always be effective against visual threats. Failing to protect your employees from such threats can result in lawsuits and even criminal charges if illegal images are involved.
The distribution of pornography can be seen as a factor in creating a hostile working environment and can leave your company liable under the laws of your country of operation. The media is increasingly covering this issue and reporting on it.
Why you should care about email filtering?
There are two main risks that organizations need to consider: business risk and legal liability.
Sharing illegal or inappropriate images can damage your brand and company reputation, leading to negative PR that can impact how employees, clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders view your business. It can also harm your internal company culture and lead to other issues in the real world.
Legally, every employer has a duty of care to protect their employees from a hostile working environment. Failing to do so can make the employer vicariously liable for the actions of employees that contribute to the hostile environment.
To avoid liability, companies must be able to show that they took reasonable steps to protect their employees.
What are reasonable steps?
Reasonable steps are proactive measures to prevent problems. Having a written policy is not enough. Policies that are not communicated, enforced, and educated on will not be effective in discharging liability.
Communication, education, and enforcement are essential for businesses looking to improve their practices. Not only will this reduce the risk of inappropriate or illegal actions by your staff, but it can also protect your company from legal challenges if something does happen in your workplace.
Identifying inappropriate or illegal imagery in your corporate email system can often feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. Traditional email filters can protect against viruses and spam, but they are not always effective at spotting explicit content.
Image analysis allows insight into the images entering and leaving your organization, protecting both your team and those they communicate with.
AI-powered visual threat detection can quickly scan images before they are viewed and identify threats such as pornography, graphic imagery, and risqué content.
With a high detection rate and near zero false positives, organizations can block inappropriate images from being shared on the corporate email system and educate users on the company email policy through notifications.
Most importantly, image analysis allows visibility into misuse. Knowing the health of your working environment enables you to take action against those who break the rules or act inappropriately. Organizations can identify high-risk senders and receivers and implement actions accordingly.
Having written policies and software that regularly reminds staff of those policies can reduce the risk of staff sharing inappropriate or illegal content. It also protects your organization from legal challenges and helps to maintain a positive company culture. Overall, implementing image analysis can provide peace of mind and reduce the risk to your business.