survey of 2,625 adult Americans reveals some interesting
attitudes towards employer confidential information, including
different attitudes depending on a person's age. Over
two-thirds (68%) of 18-34 year olds responded that it is acceptable
to remove confidential information from their place of employment.
This contrasts with just half (50%) of those 55 or older believing
such behavior is acceptable.
In fact, 86% of those 55 and over believe someone should be
fired for taking confidential information, while only 74% of those
younger than 55 think the same. The survey also reveals that 40% of
adults believe it is never acceptable to take confidential company
information out of the office, but others think it is acceptable to
do so under certain circumstances, including when the boss says
it's okay (48%), to finish a late-night project from home
instead of at the office (32%), to work over the weekend or while
on vacation (30%), when the information is about themselves (16%),
when the boss won't find out (2%), and when family or friends
promise to keep it confidential (2%).
This survey indicates that the challenge employers face in
protecting their confidential information likely will not go away
on its own. In fact, with the advent of the Internet, younger
generations have grown up in a culture where the free exchange of
information and ideas is more efficient (and more valued) than ever
before. So getting younger employees to understand the importance
of protecting their employers' confidential information after
they have grown accustomed to quick and free access to videos,
music, and other Internet content will continue to be a
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