All individuals taking part stated that they work or had worked in jobs where they were regularly exposed to secure and confidential information and were prohibited from using their phones due to the potential security risk. Examples of data-sensitive workplaces include call centres for national banks, insurance sales and medical helplines.
Respondents were initially asked to reveal if they had ever used their mobile phones to update social media accounts at their desk or in their workplace, in spite of rules against doing so, with 67 per cent admitted that they had done updated social media, with updating a Facebook status being the most popular.
When asked to disclose how often they accessed social media sites whilst at work, the majority of offending participants confessed they did so ‘a couple of times a week with 21 per cent admitting to doing so ‘every day’.
17 per cent of these employees revealed to researchers that they had been caught by their bosses or fellow colleagues either red-handed or as a result of posts made during work hours. Individuals were asked what their subsequent punishments had been and, whilst the majority received a warning or loss of privileges, 11 per cent admitted the act had resulted in instant dismissal from the company.
After analysing the results of the study, Versapak is calling on businesses to invest in stricter regulations to prevent the risk of important and confidential information ending up on social media sites, breaching data security regulations. Leon Edwards, Group Managing Director of Versapak.co.uk, made the following comments regarding the results of the study: “Whilst social media undoubtedly has many advantages, one drawback of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is just how easy it is to disseminate information. In a company or office where workers are dealing with confidential and highly private information on a daily basis, data shared through social media, intentional or accidental, has the potential to reach people around the world in a mere matter of seconds. This should not be a risk employers should be willing to take, and by investing in higher personal security measures for staff, they can ensure that they won’t ever have to.”