The security risks of conducting ‘life admin’ at work

Image: The security risks of conducting ‘life admin’ at work

With recent statistics revealing that more than four million UK employees now work at least 48 hours a week, it seems we are all spending more time in the office. Which, for most of us, leaves precious little time for those other essential but tedious tasks or ‘life admin’.

Here at Altodigital, we conducted research to identify the amount of people conducting personal tasks whilst using work equipment, to discover whether employees are aware of the many security risks of doing so – not including being disciplined by their superiors!

In fact, we found that 82% of UK employees conducted ‘life admin’ while on the clock. The five most common personal tasks conducted at work included:

1. Visiting the doctors (47%)
2. Organising finances (47%)
3. Booking health/beauty appointments (43%)
4. Organising utilities and other bills (40%) and shockingly, even
5. Looking for and applying for other jobs (40%)

However, four in ten of those questioned revealed that they didn’t believe there were any security risks whatsoever when it comes to inputting personal data on work computers and mobiles, or even on their own equipment whilst connected to a work network, and more than a third have sensitive and confidential details automatically saved onto their computers at work.

In reality, there are several security threats that will arise from even innocently ordering your weekly food shop online. Only a small fraction of respondents realised the following security risks were actually true:

1. Storing details in web browser or cache (37%)
2. Hacking via email (35%)
3. Other staff members having access to your device (34%)
4. Printing confidential documents to unsecure printers (28%)
5. Information saved to photocopier hard drive (22%)

Jas Sura, security team lead at Altodigital explained: “Although it may seem like simply ordering a new outfit for the weekend and quickly transferring some money to a friend is a quick and easy task, it may introduce problems further down the line. Site login and bank details may be stored automatically onto your device, meaning that if other staff members have access to it, or you leave your laptop unlocked while you are away from your desk, it could be a confidentiality disaster waiting to happen.” 

Were you aware of the security risks? Tweet us at @Altodigital

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