Pornography problems at work harm companies, coworkers

Published: Thursday, Aug. 30 2012 10:00 p.m. MDT

Bill knows he is lucky. Other companies have zero-tolerance policies and might have fired him on the spot. But his company was understanding and gave him a second chance. His wife stayed by his side, and he has the support of his recovery group, where he goes often.

In those meetings, Bill cringes when he hears other men talk about how they figured out a way around their company's blocking software, penetrated the firewalls or cracked a password to access what they were originally trying to stay away from.

He gratefully acknowledges he's not technologically savvy enough to know how to do that, nor is he interested in learning how.

"For me, it's an obsession of the mind," he says. "To get sobriety and keep sobriety you have to break that cycle of that obsessive thinking. You get more control over the obsession as you're able to reduce the triggers and the temptations, but you have to have some boundaries in place."

For Bill, those boundaries started at work with Internet monitoring and sharper e-mail spam filters, but they extend to his home as well, where initially he wasn't able to get on the computer without his wife putting in a password.

The group Sex Addicts Anonymous suggests setting online boundaries ranging from installing blocking software, which is available for computers, phones, gaming systems, etc., to telling someone when you're going online, what you're looking for and checking in when you're done. They also suggest never going online when alone and making Internet usage less anonymous by avoiding screen names or extra e-mails.

"For people who are in recovery, the most important thing to have is accountability," Weiss said. "As in any addiction, (pornography addicts have) to come to a place where they say, 'Left to my own devices, even my best intellectual thinking can lead me to downloading the wrong app … or looking for porn in the workplace."

email: sisraelsen@desnews.com

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