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Data protection and email suffers from complacency

Data protection and email suffers from complacency

Over half of UK workers have sent emails to the wrong people according to a new poll by Sendmail, Inc., 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,” said Ian Emery, Vice President, Sales EMEA for Sendmail.

“If confidential information is accidentally released and goes astray, the consequences could be much further reaching.”

He added, “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.”

Other key findings show over a quarter of people don’t understand what they can and can’t send out over company email and that more than one in four people have sent bank details over email

Almost a third (27.7%) of people have sent their company’s financial details over email while 74% of workers can’t encrypt their emails, which would remove many business security concerns

Nearly half (43%) of people also don’t know if their outbound emails are scanned before leaving the building

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

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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