Seven of ten (69%) U.S. adult office workers access the Internet at work for non-work purposes – and sixty-eight percent are as or more likely to send or receive personal emails on their work accounts than they were two years ago. More than one-half (55%) send and receive personal messages on their work email accounts, and 73% are as, or more likely to send or receive personal emails on their work accounts as they were two years ago.
“It’s not a mystery to most employees that their bosses may be reading their work emails or checking out the Web sites they visit on work computers, yet employees apparently are more willing than ever to ignore that potential scrutiny and engage in risky work behavior,” said attorney Alan Kopit, legal editor of lawyers.com, in a press release.
Seventy-one percent of workers age 18 to 34 maintain some type of personal Web site, the most common of which are personal blogs or networking accounts such as those on MySpace or Facebook maintained by 52% of young workers. Thirteen percent currently have an online dating account. Kopit notes that “Young people tend to live lives very openly online, which may have unintended repercussions when it comes to their employment.”
Young workers are also the most likely to use their employers’ technology for personal reasons. Nearly three-in-four (72%) check their personal email accounts during work (compared to 61% of the general population), and 77% use their work Internet personally (compared to 69% of office workers overall).