Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Study Explores Security Risks for Work Laptops

How secure is your information at work? Of the 26 percent of workers who reported having office laptops, 61 percent said they have critical, sensitive information stored on them.  According to CareerBuilder's latest nationwide study, a significant number of workers may be putting their company or themselves at risk by failing to secure their laptop, sharing passwords or clicking on links from unknown sources.

What type of proprietary information is stored on laptops?
In addition to office-related data and documents, a notable percentage of workers said their laptops currently house a variety of personal files. When asked to identify the type of sensitive information that can be found on their office computers, workers with laptops pointed to:
-- Company information – 48 percent

-- Client information – 27 percent

-- Personal financial information – 18 percent

-- Other personal information – 18 percent

How many workers leave their laptops unguarded?
The survey found most workers don't always leave critical information under lock and key.    
-- 57 percent of workers don't have a laptop security device.

-- 52 percent don't lock their computer when they're away from their desk.

-- 25 percent have left their laptop unsecured overnight.

Higher theft rates were reported among workers ages 18 to 24. Thirteen percent said they have had a work laptop stolen compared to 5 percent of all workers. 

What others ways do workers put their companies and themselves at risk?
As malware and other types of fraudulent activity become more pervasive, a seemingly benign interaction can have serious consequences. Some risky behaviors include: 
-- 9 percent of workers have downloaded a virus on their computer at work.

-- 18 percent of workers have opened an attachment or clicked on a link from a sender they didn't know.

-- 18 percent have looked at a website that they knew wasn't secure while at work.

How accessible are passwords?
While half of workers reported they memorize their passwords, 12 percent keep their passwords at their desk, written on their laptop or in their computer case or purse/wallet. Others have openly discussed their passwords with fellow workers. 
-- 27 percent of workers reported that a co-worker gave them their password.

-- 15 percent have shared their password with a co-worker. Those age 55+ were the most likely to share passwords, while those 18 to 24 were the least likely.

What about mobile devices?
Eighteen percent of workers access corporate email through a smart phone; 5 percent have lost their smart phone or had it stolen.
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Survey Shows Marginal Rise in Salary Increases in 2012; Spending on Performance-Based Awards Remains Strong

A new survey by Aon Hewitt, the global human resources solutions business of Aon plc, reveals that salaries for U.S. workers continue to rise incrementally as concerns remain about the stability of the global economy. However, workers have the potential to offset low base pay increases through performance-based awards.

According to Aon Hewitt's survey of more than 1,300 U.S. companies, base pay increases for salaried exempt workers were 2.8 percent in 2012, up marginally from 2.7 percent in 2011. Salaries have inched upwards year-over-year since 2009 when pay increases reached an all-time low of 1.8 percent.

Pay increases are expected to rise slightly in 2013. For executives, salaried exempt and salaried nonexempt workers, Aon Hewitt projects base pay increases of 3.0 percent in 2013.

According to Aon Hewitt's report, employers continue to offer variable pay, or performance-based awards that must be re-earned each year, as a primary way to drive performance and increase engagement while minimizing their fixed costs. In 2012, 90 percent of companies offered at least one variable pay program, in line with 2011.

Overall spending on variable pay as a percentage of payroll continues to rise steadily for salaried exempt workers. In 2012, companies spent 12.0 percent on variable pay, compared to 11.6 percent in 2011. Spending is expected to rise slightly to 12.1 percent in 2013.

According to Aon Hewitt's survey, workers in some U.S. cities can expect to see salary increases higher than the national average in 2013. These cities include Denver (3.6 percent); Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit and San Diego (3.4 percent); and Houston and Kansas City (3.3 percent). Cities that can expect lower-than-average increases in 2013 include San Francisco (2.7 percent), Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul (2.8 percent).
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