Employees unaware bosses can read their emails

British workers are mostly unaware about their privacy rights at work, a new survey suggests. Security firm Comparitech.com has polled 1,000 employees living in the UK, and according to the poll, 53 per cent don't believe bosses should be allowed to read their private communications during working hours.

What's more, 36 per cent said bosses aren't allowed, legally, to read such emails and texts, while 13 per cent said they'd quit their job if they found out their bosses were reading their private communications.

However, Comparitech.com reminds everyone of the January European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling, which said bosses can review any messages sent during working hours.

“Many staff members won't be clear what the policy is regarding bosses reading their emails unless they've read their employment contract in detail - and by then it may be too late,” said Lee Munson, researcher at Comparitech.com.

The company also said every worker should be careful when signing their contracts, and should check to see what the contract says about the use of social media and private communications in general.

“The study proves that people need to be more vigilant in knowing their rights in the workplace by thoroughly checking their contracts for reference to use of social media, personal email and chat at work, especially if they send private messages at work and are concerned about them being read.”

Comparitech.com also says if you’re in doubt, assume all emails you send and receive from a corporate email account will be read. If you really must send a private message, make sure to use an encrypted emails service. The best solution would be to use a personal device, with a personal account, through a personal network, and not the corporate Wi-Fi.

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