Where you’re most likely to overhear other people’s business secrets

Coffee shops and restaurants were the most common places to eavesdrop on a private conversation

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The Independent Online

Londoners are incapable of holding their tongues in public, according to a survey. Nearly half of those asked confessed to having discussed their company’s business secrets in a public space.

Nearly 50 per cent of all Londoners have overheard at least one private business conversation in a public space, while 47 per cent have started one, according to a study by MeetingRooms.com.

Coffee shops (18 per cent), restaurants (18 per cent) and cafés (15 per cent) were the most common places to eavesdrop on such a conversation.

For the survey purpose private was defined as anything that a company wouldn’t want the general public to hear or know about.

When it comes to listening to someone else’s business people from the South West came were the noisiest after Londoners, followed by the South East and then the East of England and East Midlands.

According to Caleb Parker, CEO of MeetingRooms.com careless talk can cost any business a lot of money and embarrassment

“Whether it’s a competitor stealing your new product idea or an investor overhearing sensitive financial information, it’s clear from the study that while companies spend thousands, if not millions, every year protecting their data from hackers, their biggest data security threat is people sharing too much in a public place,” Mr Parker said.

Research carried on more than 2,000 people found that in the whole 38 per cent of those surveyed overheard at least one private business conversation in a public place and 33 per cent have had one.

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