Workers Admit They Would Pilfer Data to Ensure Job Security

November 23, 2009 ( – It seems the recession has made more workers willing to do almost anything to secure a job, as a new survey finds many in the U.K. and U.S. say they are willing to take corporate information from their current employer to make them more marketable or help them in a new job.

The survey, carried out among 600 office workers in Canary Wharf London and Wall Street New York finds 85% of respondents indicated they know it’s illegal to download corporate information from their employer, but 48% admitted that if they were fired tomorrow they would take company information with them, and 39% would download company/competitive information if they got wind that their job was at risk. In addition, a third said they would pass on company information if it proved useful in getting friends or family a job.

Forty-one percent of workers confessed they have taken company data with them to get their next job. More than half (57%) said it’s easy to take sensitive data from their companies, compared to 29% who said so last year.

Of those that would take competitive or sensitive corporate data, 64% said they would do so ‘just in case’ it were to prove useful or advantageous in the future, 27% would use it to negotiate their new position, while 20% would use it as a tool in their new job. Most would take customer and contact details (29%), followed by plans and proposals (18%) and product information (11%).

Thirteen percent of savvy pilferers would take access and password codes, saying that with this information, they can still get into the network once they’ve left the company and continue downloading information and accessing whatever they want or need.

The weapon of choice workers would use to steal information remains a USB or memory stick (41%), followed by printing it out onto paper, and e-mailing it to oneself.

Additionally, almost a third (32%) revealed that they would do their utmost to take a peek at the list of those to be laid off at their current employer to find out if their name was on it, choosing to bribe a friend in the HR department first (43%), followed by using their own IT access rights to snoop around the network (37%), and if this failed, get a friend in the IT department to try and get the inside track (30%).

A quarter of workers said the recession has them feel less loyal towards their employers.