This is the second in a series on post-Thanksgiving online purchasing
This same age group is the least worried about the vulnerability of their work computers, creating an increased risk of spam, viruses and phishing attacks in the workplace, according to the recent survey “Shopping on the Job: Online Holiday Shopping and Workplace Internet Safety.” The survey was conducted on behalf of ISACA (Information Systems Audit and Control Association), a global, nonprofit association of IT professionals.
The survey examined how much time employees will spend in November and December shopping online from work, how aware they are of online security, and whether they comply with employer policies for online shopping.
Overall, 63 percent of people of all ages surveyed plan to shop online during the holiday season from their workplace computers. Older Americans are less likely to shop from work than those in the 18-to-24 group, who make up the majority of “Millennials”—a demographic typically described as being more tech-savvy, more concerned about work/life balance and less loyal to their employers than other age groups.
Millennials also were found to worry less about the vulnerability of their work computer than their personal computer. Close to half (49 percent) pay more attention to the security of their home computer, whereas almost two-thirds of workers older than 25 are equally concerned with both.
“This survey clearly shows that younger employees are more likely to engage in online activities at work that put a business’s IT infrastructure at risk,” said Kent Anderson of ISACA’s Security Management Committee. “The fact that Millennials are planning to spend the equivalent of more than half a work day doing holiday shopping from their work computer, combined with their lack of concern for how secure their computer is, points to an urgent need for employee education.”
Anderson said the key is to educate people of all ages on ‘why’ they need to care about security in addition to ‘how’ they should ensure their transactions are secure.
Providing a workplace e-mail address to an online retailer can leave a computer network open to a variety of threats and productivity wasters including spam, phishing attacks and viruses.
Yet more than two in 10 (22 percent) respondents have clicked on an e-mail link to go to a retailer’s Web site from their workplace computer and used their company e-mail address as the contact for a purchase. In addition, one in four (26 percent) respondents either does not check or is unsure how to check the security of a Web site before making a purchase.