The study, by Mirapoint, a secure e-mail systems consultant, and Radicati Group, a consulting and market research firm, also revealed that 72% of respondents forward jokes, photos, video clips, and other non-work related messages via corporate email to co-workers. Just under three in 10 (28%) claim to “never” misuse corporate email in this manner.
Not only that, but 12% of users acknowledge sharing music files via corporate email, violating copyright laws, occupying server storage and eating large amounts of bandwidth.
“It is no secret that employees use their corporate email for personal matters, but the specific level was unknown,” said Marcel Nienhuis, market analyst at the Radicati Group, in a news release. “These results indicate that personal use of corporate email may be higher than employers expect, representing a potentially significant loss in productivity.”
With 97% of respondents indicating they have a personal email account, 25% of them admitted to regularly forwarding company email messages to personal accounts and 62% of respondents send business email from their personal email accounts.
“Most employees do not mean harm when using business email,” said Bethany Mayer, chief marketing officer at Mirapoint, in the announcement. “Despite good intentions, employees may unwittingly expose sensitive company information via working with their personal email, underscoring the need for greater outbound email filtering and policy enforcement.”
The study was conducted in September 2005 among corporate email users.