Two thirds of UK employees are addicted to email snooping, with 18 per cent admitting that they would attempt to break email security protection to access private information.
A further 87 per cent have surreptitiously read their boss's private email on at least one occasion, and two thirds say they became an addicted cyber snooper after just one hit, fuelled by easy access to confidential information.
Details of their boss's private life, in particular inter-office relationships, were of most interest to staff. All those who came across information of this nature passed it on to other members of staff.
Only seven per cent of respondents said they had used encryption technology to protect their emails.
"Email has made people much freer communicators, but it has also made us very careless about how we protect confidential information," said Paran Chandrasekaran, chief executive at internet security company Indicii Salus, which conducted the survey.
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