Filetrek original study

Sharing Confidential Company Information Outside the Workplace: What American Adults Believe

Companies rely heavily on technology for communication and collaboration in today’s digital age. However, with this convenience comes the risk of sensitive information falling into the wrong hands. A recent survey conducted by FileTrek found that a staggering 90% of American adults believe that confidential company information is being shared outside the workplace.

The survey, which polled 2,625 adults aged 18 and older, also revealed a generational gap in attitudes toward handling confidential files. While 68% of millennials believe it is acceptable to remove confidential files from the office, only 50% of adults aged 55 and older hold the same belief.

According to the survey, the fear of being accused of taking confidential company files is what employees dread most in work situations, followed by the knowledge that a coworker has shared personal information outside the company and managers confronting them about it.

The study found that removing confidential information ranks as the third most significant ground for termination, behind sexually harassing a coworker and incompetence on the job. Adults found this misuse of confidential files more of a fire-able offense than managers having sex with a direct report or not following their boss’s instructions.

Dale Quayle, CEO of FileTrek, said, “Today’s workforce believes the information is an asset to be shared. While companies have benefited from this collaborative attitude with new technologies and increased productivity, there are risks too. Few cloud services provide the security necessary to track where their confidential data goes. It’s critical for today’s management teams to be more IP aware to ensure data security.”

The survey also found that 40% of adults believe it is never acceptable to remove confidential company information from the office. However, the report identified circumstances for which respondents believed it was acceptable, including when their boss says it’s okay, to finish a late-night project from home, or to work over the weekend or while on vacation. The most popular method for taking confidential data was exporting the data to a USB drive.

FileTrek provides a solution to allow secure file sharing, project collaboration, and the ability for managers to track content and data with enhanced compliance-friendly audit reporting. The software is easy to use, transparent to users and can scale across thousands of desktops and mobile devices to maximize individual and workgroup productivity.

FileTrek is a privately-held company with offices in Los Angeles, California, and Ottawa, Canada. For more information about managing your data journey, please visit Harris Interactive conducted the survey online within the United States from January 9-11, 2012, among 2,625 adults ages 18 and older.