Just under half of all employers allow staff unlimited access to personal web-based e-mail accounts at work.
Integrated e-mail and internet content security provider Marshal found 48% of people surveyed worked for companies that allowed them complete and unrestricted access to personal web-based e-mail accounts.
Only 33% of staff said their bosses banned, and enforced with technology, the outright use of webmail.
About 8% of respondents admitted their employer prohibited the use of webmail during working hours, but said their bosses had failed to put any technology in place to monitor what sites they were using.
Marshal’s chief executive Ed Macnair said there were very few business-related reasons to allow employees to access webmail at work, but a lot of business reasons to stop them.
“Webmail provides a backdoor to organisations where employees can trade private company information, download or exchange inappropriate material or simply chat with their friends on company time.
“Having 48% of companies not having any measures in place is far too high a figure.”