Study Shows How Employees Are Sharing Sensitive Information

Johnny Knox By Johnny Knox, 30th Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/5qq1k91x/
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Ethics

A new research study shows how office workers are regularly sharing sensitive information with other colleagues concerning the company that employs them.

Who Talks a Lot?

There is a popular saying; “there are two countries in this world where the secret services cannot do their job properly. The first one is Greece because everyone talks a lot about everything and everyone; and then there is the second one, which is China, where no one says a word about anything”! Having met people from both countries, I must say that this saying certainly holds some truth. The Greeks are expressive and like to share their opinions, they crave to share their personal stories and feelings. The Chinese, on the other hand, are much more reserved people and careful with what they wish to share with the others. However, I do hope that by mentioning all these I won’t inspire anyone to stop hiring Greeks in favor of the more introvert Chinese! After all, stereotypes are not always meant to be taken seriously.

Apart from this humorous exaggeration, the truth is that people in general quite often feel like sharing information about their lives and the lives of the people close to them. It’s only natural, one might argue. We live among other people and not by ourselves and, therefore, sharing means to engage and to interact. Never mind the gossip, though; it can cause big problems to you and the ones around you!

Office workers are frequently sharing sensitive information, study shows

In a more serious tone now, there seems to be a problem that is being highlighted by a recent research study conducted by the information management company Iron Mountain, which demonstrates how employees are sharing, quite often if I may add, sensitive information. Thus, companies and businesses, apart from taking care of their confidential waste (check here for more information about confidential waste www.ironmountain.co.uk/whatwedo/scheduled-confidential-waste-disposal/), which can be done by requesting the services of a company such as Iron Mountain, should also try to deal with the irresponsible behavior of a significant share of their employees.

The research was conducted in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands among 5.000 adults and is certainly a warning sign for companies that aim to protect their well being. According to the research study, over one third of European office workers share sensitive information among their colleagues regarding the company that employs them. What is more, more than a quarter are discussing secrets about other issues.

Employees in HR and Marketing are first on the list of irresponsibility

The study goes also to specifics. It seems that people working in Human Resources and Marketing are the ones more eager to share sensitive information. 64% of HR employees admitted to have shared information with their colleagues and 50% of those in marketing did the same. The percentages are 44 and 36 respectively when it comes to passing on private information that concern their colleagues. These percentages could be related with their field of work, one might assume, as in both fields communicative skills are crucial.

The study definitely highlights the problem concerning confidentiality, in a world where businesses are highly competitive and information is more precious than gold itself. It is very indicative that even if companies spend significant funds in order to guarantee their information security, there are the employees themselves who pose a threat to confidentiality.

The study also shows that 38% of the employees choose to share the confidential information first with the director or even someone above him and then at a percentage of 18% with someone from the Human Resources team. When it comes to sharing information about matters other than those that are work-related, they first turn to someone from the Human Resources department, with a percentage that reaches 29%; then, there is the director with 22%.

Obviously, what companies need is what we call information responsibility. Responsibility is the key word. I can’t imagine how you’re supposed to employ someone that takes lightly the fact that every company or organization is bound to have sensitive and confidential information. For sure, information responsibility is an essential matter for the well being of any company and needs to be taken very seriously.

You can read the whole research study conducted by Iron Mountain here: http://www.ironmountain.co.uk/news/2013/impr05232013.asp

Tags

Business, Business Study, Confidential Waste, Data Management, Data Security, Information Management, Iron Mountain, Privacy

Meet the author

author avatar Johnny Knox
I am an enthusiast of creative writing and, as an industrious and working-hard freelancer, what I am attempting to do in my work is not only to glorify the subject, but also to delight my readers.

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Comments

author avatar Phyl Campbell
1st Oct 2013 (#)

And information that is sensitive is somewhat subjective. Job-providers, for example, aren't allowed to ask about kids or how child-care will be addressed by job-seekers. However, many job-seekers are looking for jobs that they can do while being good parents for kids. But they are afraid to ask for what they want because they ultimately want the paycheck. It's hard all around. Good article.

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author avatar Johnny Knox
1st Oct 2013 (#)

That's a good point and very true Phylis.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
1st Oct 2013 (#)

nothing is secret in the world...

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author avatar Johnny Knox
1st Oct 2013 (#)

I tend to agree Carolina :)

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author avatar Terry Trainor
1st Oct 2013 (#)

Interesting post my friend.

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author avatar Johnny Knox
1st Oct 2013 (#)

Thank you Terry!

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author avatar Retired
1st Oct 2013 (#)

Very informative ........

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author avatar Johnny Knox
1st Oct 2013 (#)

Glad you liked my post!

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author avatar Mike Robbers
1st Oct 2013 (#)

Most interesting post Johnny!

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author avatar Johnny Knox
1st Oct 2013 (#)

Thank you Mike!

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author avatar Christine Crowley
2nd Oct 2013 (#)

I agree with Caroline. Nothing is secret in this world.

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author avatar Johnny Knox
2nd Oct 2013 (#)

Me too! Thanks for commenting!

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author avatar Carol
3rd Oct 2013 (#)

When I was at work, sensitive information stayed in the work place, and even after I left, I didn't broadcast it. Values , honesty and integrity seem to have changed these days.

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author avatar Johnny Knox
3rd Oct 2013 (#)

I can't argue with your points Carol as they are to a certain degree, true.

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author avatar Denise Salmon
4th Oct 2013 (#)

Thanks, I learned a lot

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author avatar Johnny Knox
4th Oct 2013 (#)

You're welcome Denise!

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