Business Casual: Gen Z Workers Use Company Emails To Shop, Log In To Social

Email marketers are facing enough stresses as they approach the holiday season. Here’s another one: The increasing numbers of people using their company emails for personal activities. 

A staggering 93% of Gen Z employees are guilty of this practice, and 59% of workers overall, according to the Trust Issues Survey from SailPoint Technologies, conducted by Dynata. 

Moreover, 77% of Gen Z and 55% of millennials are using corporate emails for their social media logins, complicating the profiling process. Only 15% of Gen X and 7% of boomers are guilty of this. 

And, 29% overall are utilizing their work email for online shopping as we head toward the holidays. Again, Boomers are the least likely to offend —  only 3% do.

Some of this behavior can be explained by the number of people working at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But it poses a couple of risks. For one, if you do have the person’s email address and they change or quit their job, it may not be easy to ID them again. 



Most likely, they would have to order again to give you a new email. But what if they don’t — how do you get promotional email to them? 

More critically, these habits pose security risks. For instance, 39% have received a phishing message impersonating a retailer, and 22% have received a message impersonating a marketing email in the lead-in to the holidays. 

“By using corporate email for personal use, employees are inadvertently expanding the threshold for malicious actors to enter into a corporate network, completely unnoticed,” states Heather Gantt-Evans, CISO at SailPoint.

How so? Well, while 94% of Gen Zers are smugly sure that they know how to detect a phishing email, only 29% really know what to do when they get one — i.e., forward to IT. 

Worse, those trusting souls, are most likely to open a suspicious-looking email with a link or attachment — 46% would do so, versus 29% of millennials, 4$ of Gen X and 1% of Boomers. 

Let’s not beat up Gen Z — they may not have the training they need. 

“As demonstrated by the data, most don’t know what to do if they see suspicious activity, but with proper education and training, we can deter these types of events to ensure business remains operating as usual,” Gantt-Evans concludes.

Dynata surveyed 2,000 global workers employed by companies with 2,500+ employees (ages 18-65+) on behalf of SailPoint.




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