email security

Shocking stats about email data: are you safe?

December 18, 2013

email security

Shocking email statistics

Is your data safe? Are you sure? Did you know that 144.8 billion emails are sent every single day? While you may only account for a small portion of that massive number, many of these emails have attachments and sensitive information, and many are vulnerable to security breaches. This may not sound like a big deal if you’re just emailing pictures of sloths and cats to your friends, it is relevant if you share any sensitive information, particularly customers’ data or team information.

A huge volume of documents are shared over email, as shown in a new infographic from Most workers spend about two hours each week working together on documents shared by email, and 77 percent need to send docs for group editing. People send and receive an average of 15 email attachments every day – tht’s over 5,000 attachments each year per person. That’s a lot. A whole lot.

Then it is copied, and copied, and copied

Once a document is sent, it is often copied and shared by multiple recipients, in fact, six copies of every document are created on average. Fully 73 percent of people need to update files after they’ve been sent, creating even more copies, then, 62 percent of people lose files sent to them in attachments. Most (78 percent) of employees access personal email from business computer, more than double the level of authorized use. On top of that, over half have received unencrypted, risky corporate data via email or attachment, like credit card numbers or social security numers – very vulnerable information to have floating around.

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When email is the place for collaboration, risks are created instantly, especially in light of the fact that 61 percent of employees have taken data out of the company to leverage it for a new job, contracts be damned. The average cost of a data breach for large enterprises is $429,000, and 88 percent of companies have experienced some degree of data loss. Despite all of the risks, only one in three organizations currently use an email data loss prevention solution.

The takeaway

The average email attachment is copied six times, and even possibly seen by competitors when an employee leaves. On top of that, most companies are not using any sort of data loss prevention tool, even though sensitive information is being shared by email which can cost big dollars and of course, reputation when there is any sort of breach.

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Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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