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E-mail survey demonstrates workplace complacency.

SendMail : 24 April, 2008  (Technical Article)
British workers don't meet corporate data protection standards when it comes to e-mail usage according to survey conducted by Sendmail.
Over half of UK workers have sent emails to the wrong people according to a new poll by Sendmail, the leading message-processing security company, with one in five office workers sending up to three emails to the wrong people everyday. Worryingly, the most common types of information sent out of the company via email were internal company information, contract information and people's personal details.

"We all know and expect the odd email to accidentally be sent to the wrong person. But what is crucial to recognise today is the power that is placed in employee's hands when it comes to communications. If confidential information is accidentally released and goes astray, the consequences could be much further reaching," said Ian Emery, Vice President, Sales EMEA for Sendmail. "Email, IM and web mail are tools we often use without thinking - they have revolutionised the way we do business. However, it they aren't treated with care, they are just as capable of working against us as for us."

Examples of findings include:.

* Over 50 percent (54.2%) use email to conduct non-work related business (eg Personal banking)

* Over three quarters (77%) of workers use company email to organise their social life.

* More than 70% of respondents use email for laughs, sending jokes and funny emails to people they know.

* Almost half (49.6%) have discussed internal company information over email.

* Over third of people (36.6%) use company emails to discuss their love life or other personal issues.

Emery continued, "Familiarity has bred complacency. The next step is about education, while people understand how to send email, the ease of this has encouraged more to be sent, which in itself has helped create a more dangerous email environment. As the email environment becomes more developed so do the risks. To minimise these risks, companies need to provide employees with the knowledge on how to use their email to protect themselves and confidential company information. No one wants a HM Revenue & Customs style data breach via email!"

Sendmail's top 5 tips for email best practice are:.

1 Read the email before you send it.
2 Beware sensitive data - do you know how sensitive data is meant to leave the company? Does your e-mail system encrypt it?
3 Understand what you are allowed to use your work email for.
4 Make sure you don't click 'Reply All' rather than 'Reply'.
5 Check who is in the 'To' box.
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