In January of this year the Ponemon Institute polled almost 1000 people who had lost or left a job during 2008. Of these, 59 per cent admitted to stealing confidential information, with information such as email lists, employee records and customer data most commonly taken.

While 53 per cent of respondents downloaded information onto a CD or DVD and 42 per cent onto a USB drive, and 38 per cent sent attachments to a personal email, the majority (61 per cent) took the lower-tech route of simply printing out the documents and carrying them out. A quarter of those surveyed said they still had access to their employer's computer system or network after departure from the company.

The way redundancies are handled seems to have a massive impact on the likelihood of employees taking company information. Only 13 per cent of respondents who reported that they viewed their old company favourably kept information. In contrast, more than 61 per cent of respondents with unfavourable views kept some of their former firms' information.

Sixty-nine per cent of the respondents who kept their former firms' information had found a new job and of those people 67 per cent use the information they took with them at their new employer.

Read how CIOs should secure data from redundancy revenge here.