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Personal Online Security is Top Concern for Employees

Online users are more concerned about their personal security than the internet security of their companies, according to a recent survey. The study, featuring 1600 workers in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan, illustrated how employees across the globe are often careless about protecting company data; approximately 50 percent of those surveyed admitted to sending sensitive corporate data over an unsecured webmail account.

Participants of the study consistently ranked personal online security above company safety. For instance, while 36 percent of U.S. participants considered the loss of personal data a top risk regarding computer viruses, only 29 percent were concerned about losing company information due to the same threat. One out of three U.S. workers also admitted that they were more likely to open a suspicious link at work since the equipment was not theirs. Additionally, the survey respondents’ top concerns regarding online threats, such as phishing scams and malware, included personal privacy breeches, identity theft, and loss of individual data – added indications that the fear of individual losses outweighed concerns about corporate ones.

Aside from concerns about careless behavior, businesses also have to worry about the measures workers will take in order to exert their online independence. Even though most companies have policies in place to protect corporate data, some employees choose to actively circumvent such systems. Approximately one out of ten survey participants admitted to overriding their company’s security system in order to access restricted websites.

David Perry, global director of education for Trend Micro, the company that conducted the survey, offered some advice for companies striving to maintain online security in the face of employee-related obstacles: “The key thing to remember is that there is still potential for redress through the right security technology designed specifically for your company’s needs, as well as supportive, consistent employee education that drives awareness.”

Unfortunately, in addition to a growing number of cyberattacks aimed at businesses, companies have one more thing to worry about – the damage that can be done from within their own networks by their own employees.

For tips on defending PCs, servers, and networks, click here.

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