Nearly half of working Brits are visiting sites or opening email attachments that could cause a virus, malware or ransomware attack, according to a new UK-wide study commissioned for strategic IT consultancy, Aura Technology.

The anonymous poll of 2,000 office workers found that 29% have already caused a virus, malware or ransomware attack at work by accident. The external poll was run to discover what the average British office worker gets up to on their work PC (other than work for their employer) during office hours.

The study also found that the majority of workers regularly spend business hours doing personal activities on their work computers, such as shopping, watching television shows or even dating. A minority of British workers also engaged in more illicit behaviour on their work computers; 9% attempted to find ‘crude’ or ‘inappropriate’ content and 8% had made an attempt to gain access to private files.

“It’s concerning that so many workers are opening email attachments or visiting sites that could cause a virus, malware or ransomware. Good firewalls and antivirus software should prevent many of these attacks, however they can’t stop every virus, ‘invisible’ malware attacks or ransomware where employees unwittingly download ‘trojan horse’ files.” said Tim Walker, Managing Director at Aura Technology.

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