Study: 68% of Employees Engage In Risky E-Mail Practices

Study: 68% of Employees Engage In Risky E-Mail Practices
According to a Harris Interactive survey of U.S. office workers, 68% of employees have sent or received e-mails that could pose a risk to their company.

The survey shows that even if you think you’re e-mailing out a harmless joke, gossip, or innocent information about your company, you could be putting yourself – and your employer – at risk. Although the poll found that 68% of U.S. employees who use e-mail at work have sent or received risky messages, 92% fail to see that the e-mails could harm their company. That means there’s a substantial discrepancy between employees’ perceived and actual risks.

The survey examined the e-mail habits of over 1,000 individuals and uncovered a number of issues that raise concerns for businesses – both in the way employees are using and storing their corporate e-mail.

A majority of employees who use e-mail at work (61%) admit they’ve sent personal messages. And nearly half (48%) say they’ve sent or received joke e-mails, funny pictures/movies, funny stories of a questionable tone (e.g., racy/sexual content, politically incorrect), while 22% have sent or received a password or log-in information via e-mail.

When shared through e-mail, this type of content poses significant risks to businesses, either from a possible security breach or employee-driven lawsuits.

Be smart
Here are some easily remembered, simple tips to keep yourself and your employer out of e-mail hot water:

- Your e-mail does not belong to you, but rather to your company. That’s a simple fact, with many legal precedents.

- Write e-mails as if your boss will read them and evaluate them on their level of professionalism.

- Even if your employer allows personal e-mail to be sent from work computers, keep the practice to a minimum.

About the Author

Around the Network

Our website uses cookies. Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing, you agree to our use of cookies.