open manila folderOffice supply firm Fellowes has revealed that up to 65 percent of workers know what their colleagues make while 21 percent know their boss’s salary. The most common source of the confidential information were pay stubs (40 percent), staff contracts (22 percent), and bank statements (12 percent). Paper work belonged to both employees and companies.

A substantial portion of the workforce (39 percent) reported to go out of its way to discover confidential information on their coworkers and superiors with 10 percent even reducing to searching trash cans. Other confidential information, such as information on business restructuring and severance packages, were seen by 15 percent of respondents in meeting rooms. About one in seven respondents said that they are more concerned with a colleague knowing personal information than someone seeking to use their information for fraud.

But worryingly, offsite information is also a major security risk for companies and individuals as employees leave confidential information where they shouldn’t About one-quarter of office workers leave company-owned, confidential paperwork on a train or bus, while 15 percent reported leaving sensitive data behind in bars, and 12 percent in restaurants.

“Whilst we understand the consequences of failing to increase security online with accounts, paper-based information seems to be the forgotten threat, especially within the workplace. Employees are becoming far too complacent with the security of personal information. It is vitally important not to leave copies of confidential files around the office,” said Darryl Brunt, director of sales and marketing for Fellowes.



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