"Can you put that phone down dear, the Queen is on in a minute!"

Opinion by Dan Raywood

With just over two weeks to go until Christmas, it may be a case of winding down for some while others will fail to see the holidays as a time to take a break.

With just over two weeks to go until Christmas, it may be a case of winding down for some while others will fail to see the holidays as a time to take a break.

According to research from SecurEnvoy, 46 per cent of adults so fear losing their job that they will sneak a peek at their emails on 25 December. Only 34 per cent said they will not look at any work emails during the festivities.

The survey of 1,000 people found that while 21 per cent of people say that it isn't necessary or expected of them to be in touch with their company over Christmas, one in five people felt competitively disadvantaged if they didn't keep on top of their emails this Christmas.

The survey also found that security is far from the first thing on the mind, as 46 per cent of respondents also confessed to not using any sort of security on their phones, including a PIN, even though almost half will be looking at their business emails, which could include sensitive information and unencrypted documents.

Another survey, of 3,000 adults in the UK by online backup vendor Mozy found that Brits are becoming increasingly connected to their work as a result of technology, with the average person working an extra three hours a week and 22 per cent never straying more than ten feet away from an internet-enabled device. However, only 32 per cent save data to their corporate networks when working remotely.

Claire Galbois-Alcaix, senior manager of marketing at Mozy, said: “The results of the survey show the lines between work and personal lives increasingly blurring as more and more of us work in our personal time and space as well as carrying out personal tasks in work time and locations.

“Both employers and workers appear to benefit but, if workers are only saving data to their laptops, tablets or smartphones, this leaves businesses at significant risk should they be lost, stolen or broken. In most cases, the consumerisation of IT and workplace flexibility leads to a more ‘switched on' and connected workforce, but UK businesses need to ensure they are able to properly back up data when employees are working outside of the office to protect important information from loss.”

However, the research found that 70 per cent of respondents are more productive when given the flexibility of remote working, while three quarters stated they enjoy working at home more than being in the office.

Eoin Blacklock, managing director of online backup company KeepItSafe, said: “Businesses need to wise up to protecting their mission-critical data over the Christmas period and ensure they are not relying on outdated or insecure technologies and manual processes. It is a period when offices close for long periods of time, employees are in and out at irregular intervals and the weather can also play havoc. This often leads to data backups falling by the wayside, unforeseen downtime and the potential for data loss when a restore fails.”

So whether your unexpected issue over Christmas is one of remote workers accessing email, a data loss by well-meaning employees or simply an act of God, there is no time like the present to make sure preparations are made. Until then, pass the cranberry, not the BlackBerry.


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