A staggering 60 percent of UK office workers believe their IT department regularly intercepts and reads their personal emails -- and almost half believe their colleagues are in on the act in the hope of unearthing juicy gossip.
Research conducted by Yahoo! revealed mass paranoia among the UK workforce when it comes to the sanctity of their email inbox.
Forty-five percent of the 18,000 office workers polled said they suspect colleagues of taking a sneaky peak at their email when they step away from their desks. Sixty-one percent levelled the more serious accusation of snooping at their tech team.
Almost one-third of all respondents also revealed concerns about the intended recipients of their emails, expressing fears that they may share sensitive information with others, as famously happened with the notorious Claire Swire email.
More than a quarter or recipients said they live in fear of sending a personal message to the boss in error -- a mistake which cost one Dell employee his job when he sent saucy pics to the wrong address.
The obvious way of preventing such problems arising with personal emails is to not send them from work. While that suggestion would sit well with hard work purists, whole industries are thriving from people's paranoia about email snooping in the office.
Yahoo! suggests, unsurprisingly, that people should register a Webmail address with a service provider such as Hotmail (ok... or Yahoo!). Other suggestions include buying a monitor mirror -- similar to a car's rear view mirror -- so you can spot when people are reading personal emails over your shoulder.
Similarly, simple security advice applies, such as remembering to log out whenever you leave your PC.