In today’s fast-paced world, both employers and employees have turned to technology to increase efficiency and stay connected. But, as more employers have given internet access to employees and permitted personal use of company-owned equipment and communications networks, they also have opened the door to greater risks and liabilities such as leaks of confidential information, illegal downloads of copyrighted material, and use of technology to harass others.

In a June 2009 report by the Ponemon Institute, only 17 percent of employees surveyed agreed that their employers permit them to access external e-mail on company computers and networks, yet more than 50 percent access their e-mails anyway.[FOOTNOTE 1] The same report found that 60 percent of employees surveyed admitted to sending documents or spreadsheet attachments to personal e-mail addresses, posing a significant risk to their employers’ proprietary information.

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