As the saying goes, "data is money". Sometimes it literally is — for example, when one bumps into a spreadsheet with their colleagues’ salaries in it. In a Kaspersky Lab survey, almost four-in-ten employees (37%) admitted to accidentally accessing confidential information about their colleagues – such as salary and bonus information.

To put together the results, 7,000 employed adults from various countries, including Malaysia and China, were asked a number of questions around their personal use of digital documents, including the type of information it included as well as how they manage access rights.

One of the factors that may lead to work files being accessed by unauthorised people is that less than half (43%) of employees periodically check and amend the access rights for shared documents or collaboration work services that they use.

This is especially important when someone leaves the company or transits to another department within the same firm.

According to the report, these trends are part of a bigger problem called ‘digital clutter’, which stands for the uncontrolled proliferation and sharing of working files and documents that are kept without the necessary precautions.

As such, only a third of employees (29%) know exactly what is stored in each shared document or collaboration work services they access.