1 in 10 users have leaked sensitive data via email

Despite countless warnings from IT and cautionary tales in the news, many people still aren’t careful enough with how they use their corporate email accounts.

That’s the lesson from a recent survey by communications vendor VaporStream. Among the “professional email users” survey, 1 out of every 10 admitted that they had unintentionally leaked sensitive company information through emails they had sent.

The cause of data leakage can range from accidentally sending a message to the wrong recipients, or sending a message which is later forward to the wrong people.

In addition:

  • 74% of respondents from companies with more than 100 employees say they or someone they work with had emailed information in violation of a law or regulation (28% said the violation was intentional)
  • 45% claimed an email they’d sent was later forwarded to someone they didn’t want reading the message, and
  • 20% admitted to having sent an email that came back to haunt them.

One reason for the lingering email carelessness could be the popularity of smartphones and other mobile computing tools. Those devices’ small screens can sometimes make it tough to know what you’re doing — as a result, 60% of people said they’d accidentally “replied all” to an e-mail while using a smartphone or tablet.

Sounds like it might be time for companies to update their email policies and give users a refresher on safe electronic communications.

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