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UK workers are continuing to abuse corporate email systems even though sending inappropriate emails is bad for their employer's reputation and potentially puts their own job at risk.

A third (34 per cent) of 2,000 UK office workers quizzed in a YouGov survey have been sent sexually explicit or racist material by colleagues. Meanwhile 140 of those quizzed (or seven per cent) admitted emailing company-confidential information outside their organisation. Security firm Clearswift, which sponsored the survey, said that the survey showed that making sure outgoing email complied with email security policies ought to be as high a priority as fending off inbound computer virus and worms.

Technical controls from the likes of Clearswift can sort the wheat from the chaff, an increasing corporate priority. After all it'd be a shame if invites mentioning the aquatic climax of Clearswift's forthcoming user conference - diving at MUF - got mislaid in the post. But we digress.

Respondents to the YouGov survey were divided on whether companies had the right to monitor their emails. Four in 10 (39 per cent) felt it was perfectly reasonable, while 29 per cent felt that they should be seen as private correspondence. Only one in ten of those quizzed said their organisation had terminated an employee's contract for sending inappropriate emails. ®

Related survey

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