Feeds

UK workers talk favourite revenge tactics

The curse of the ex-employee

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More than half of UK workers would take revenge against a former employer if they were unhappy about losing their job.

Badmouthing the company (31 per cent), taking customer leads (38 per cent), signing their ex-boss up to an X-rated mailing list (10 per cent) and sending nasty emails (10 per cent) were identified as key revenge tactics by UK workers in a survey commissioned by Novell.

Novell argues that a recent spate mismanaged redundancy announcements, including reports of workers being informed of their job loss by text message or voicemail, make the issue all the more pressing. As well damaging a company's reputation, ex-workers could cost their former employers "millions" by continuing to use company resources and benefits that have not been stopped when they leave.

The research reveals that 58 per cent of employees would continue to use company mobile phones, at a potential cost to UK industry of more than £1m per week. More than half of those questioned would carry on accessing the corporate IT network, and continue to take advantage of their season ticket, company car, laptop and gym membership if they were able to get away with it.

Research by the Department of Trade and Industry suggests that only 27 per cent of UK companies have the necessary documented security policies in place to ensure that access to company resources are stopped when an employee leaves.

According to Government Statistics Office research an average 1.67 per cent of the workforce (465,930 people) part from their employment for various reasons each month.

"Losing your job is upsetting whatever the circumstances and it is vital that employers handle the situation with professionalism and sensitivity," commented Steve Brown, UK MD of Novell. "What concerns me most about this survey is the impact that former employees could have on the remaining staff. The costs will be felt throughout an organisation and could impact on pay, bonuses and benefits. Many organisations are like leaky buckets and companies need to start plugging the holes in their organisations to ensure that they are water tight when an employee leaves."

Having being told they had lost their job, 67 per cent would take information that would help them with their next job and examples of their best work. Four in five (79 per cent) of the survey's respondents confessed that if requested, they would forward company sensitive information to a former colleague, even if they were now working for a rival firm.

Slack security procedures make it easier for ex-employees to take revenge, Novell concludes. The company is calling on firms to invest in access management technology as part of more comprehensive attempts to improve an enterprise's overall security policy.

But that only treats the disease rather than prevents it in the first place. TLC (tender loving care) of soon-to-be ex-employees rather than technology is far more important in preventing the urge for revenge, which is bound to find some outlet. Having said that, putting technology in place to revoke network credentials is a sensible step, not least because such spare credentials are frequently misused by third party crackers.

The survey, conducted by TNS in June 2003, involved quizzing a representative sample of 1174 adults in full and part time work in the UK on their attitudes towards revenge against former employers. ®

External Links

Alt-revenge FAQ

Related Stories and Links

How to automate a DoS attack using the Post Office
World's first 419 revenge killing?
Sex, Text, Revenge, Hacking and Friends Reunited
Hacker jailed for revenge sewage attacks
If you fancy a shag - turn your webcam off

Cash 'n Carrion's Sex, Text, Revenge, Hacking and Friends Reunited T-shirt - Rayond Chandler, eat your heart out!

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.