Ask Jack: Should We Allow Employees To Play Games On Their Laptops?

By Jack McCalmon, The McCalmon Group, Inc.

We are always looking for an idea to keep our employees happy. We know some of our employees play online games together when off work. One idea is that on breaks, we allow employees to play the games together on their laptops. They would like that better than a ping pong, pickleball, or pool. Good idea or bad idea?

Bad idea…even though I agree that some employees would probably play online games.

Unfortunately, games and the downloads associated with games are often used by third-party criminals to hide malware. The popular game Minecraft is reported to be responsible for approximately 25 percent of malware spread from game use. Other games also have been associated with malware including Roblox and Call of Duty. https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/minecraft-is-hackers-favorite-game-title-for-hiding-malware/

Allowing employees to play games on their own devices off-network is a possible solution, but not if employees intermix work data with personal data and communications.

If you are determined to make this happen, then I would set up laptops dedicated to personal use on a completely different network and prohibit any downloads without approval and screening by IT.

Or, you could scrap the idea of gaming at work and bring in free snacks and drinks with a comfortable area for employees to comingle, so they can interact face-to-face or continue to push for other types of interactions.

 

Jack McCalmon, Leslie Zieren, and Emily Brodzinski are attorneys with more than 50 years combined experience assisting employers in lowering their risk, including answering questions, like the one above, through the McCalmon Group's Best Practices Help Line. The Best Practice Help Line is a service of The McCalmon Group, Inc. Your organization may have access to The Best Practice Help Line or a similar service from another provider at no cost to you or at a discount. For questions about The Best Practice Help Line or what similar services are available to you via this Platform, call 888.712.7667.

If you have a question that you would like Jack McCalmon, Leslie Zieren, or Emily Brodzinski to consider for this column, please submit it to ask@mccalmon.com. Please note that The McCalmon Group cannot guarantee that your question will be answered. Answers are based on generally accepted risk management best practices. They are not, and should not be considered, legal advice. If you need an answer immediately or desire legal advice, please call your local legal counsel.

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