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UK mobile workers are often "left to their own devices" when it comes to security, according to a new survey.

A survey by YouGov of 1,200 British workers who use PCs at work found that over a third (35 per cent) say responsibility for IT security is left up to the individual employee when they are outside the workplace. That's akin to leaving the lunatics in charge of the asylum, the survey suggests.

Almost a fifth (18 per cent) of British workers reveal their work passwords to at least one other person. Nearly one third of workers (32 per cent) share their work PC with at least one person in their household.

Half the PC users quizzed (51 per cent) access company information from home and 33 per cent do the same from Wi-Fi hotspots or other public places. A substantial minority (26 per cent) of the survey's respondents said they copied data onto mobile devices for work at least once per week. USB sticks are a favourite tool for data transfer.

Transfer of data to mobile devices combined with a laissez faire attitude to security create a huge security risk for businesses, according to Dimension Data, the IT services firm that sponsored the research. Beyond the usual risks involved in data loss or theft more firms face compliance concerns as a result of the issue.

Dimension Data says that improved user education, combined with the enforcement of corporate security policies, is needed to bring the situation under control. ®

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