Let's be perfectly honest. For those of us who are tied to a Web browser all day, searching the Internet comes in handy for a wide range of work-related purposes. But who among us hasn't snuck in an on-the-job search or two to find a place to eat that night, look up trivial news stories or straight-up distract ourselves with queries like "play Tetris online" or "kitten falling asleep"?
Indeed, the Web sometimes blurs the line between our personal and professional activity, and the folks in charge have a vested interest in ensuring we're maintaining at least a bare minimum level of productivity. Some companies restrict Web access or snoop on employees' browsing, while others are more hands off.
As a recent post on The Guardian's Website pointed out, Google is now touting its SSL encrypted search option as a way to thwart nosey employers and ISPs.
Of course, this feature doesn't hide your browsing history, but rather just makes your search activity harder to monitor.
The change is designed to protect users' privacy, but it doesn't come without its drawbacks for Google itself. As The Guardian explains:
One interesting wrinkle is that if you click on a link from an encrypted page, the referrer data isn't passed on to the receiving site (unless that also uses HTTPS) - which might mean that some sites aren't going to be able to work out where traffic is coming from. This seems a bit contrary on Google's part, since it's hiding its role in directing traffic. (The expectation is almost certainly that the vast majority of people won't want or need this, so the effect on Google's visibility to "downstream" sites will be minimal.)
Does your company monitor or otherwise restrict employees' Web activity? Let us know in the comments