Study: 68% of Employees Engage In Risky E-Mail Practices
The survey shows that even if you think youâ€™re e-mailing out a harmless joke, gossip, or innocent information about your company, you could be putting yourself â€“ and your employer â€“ 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 thereâ€™s a substantial discrepancy between employeesâ€™ 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 â€“ 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 theyâ€™ve sent personal messages. And nearly half (48%) say theyâ€™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.
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. Thatâ€™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.