E-mail Use: Still Reckless after All these Years
While much of the attention these days is focused on social media, e-mail remains a pivotal source of information leakage at most workplaces. According to a recent VaporStream survey, employees routinely violate their employers' policies inadvertently and sometimes intentionally. The grim statistics of e-mail misuse include the following:
- Ten percent of professional e-mail users said they had accidently e-mailed confidential information;
- Nearly 74% of companies with more than 100 employees reported having had someone e-mail information in violation of a regulation, and 28% of them said the violation was intentional; and
- More than 45% said they had forwarded e-mail to unintended recipients.
Employees were often unaware of their employers' Internet policies. More than 46% said they didn’t know their companies monitored and archived their e-mail, and nearly 50% said they had sent or received confidential, non-work-related messages on their employers' systems. The survey also revealed practices that could lead to unnecessary exposure: printed e-mail (which might be left in a tradeshow booth or on a coffeehouse table) and lost portable devices. A vast majority (82%) reported printing e-mail occasionally or often, and more than 50% said they printed e-mails containing confidential information. Finally, nearly one-third of respondents reported having misplaced or lost a laptop, tablet or smartphone containing business information.
E-mail misuse through human error, carelessness or ignorance poses significant business, legal and security risks. Training employees on Internet policies and protecting confidential information is an essential part of managing those risks.Categories: General Business Compliance