Laptop Security Lax for Most Workers
CREDIT: Laptop Security Image via Shutterstock
Sixty percent of employees in a recent survey said they had confidential information stored on their laptops, but most didn't go to the trouble of securing it.
According to the survey, employees reported having confidential client information, personal financial information, company information and other personal information on their work laptops, yet most didn't worry about it getting stolen.
Fifty-seven percent of workers said they did not own security devices for their laptops. An additional 52 percent of workers said they did not lock their laptops when they left their offices and one-quarter of workers said they left their laptops unsecured overnight.
Those risks are heightened by workers not keeping their passwords secure. Nearly 30 percent of workers said a co-worker had shared passwords with them and 15 percent said they had shared their passwords with others. An additional 12 percent said they kept their passwords written down at their desks.
Aside from not taking simple security measures, workers had also not observed security best practices. Eighteen percent of workers admitted to clicking on links or opening attachments from senders they did not know. The same number also said they looked at websites they knew were not secure. Nine percent of workers had downloaded malware onto their computers.
"Laptops and mobile devices are quickly becoming the preferred technologies for many businesses," said Eric Presley, chief technology officer at CareerBuilder, which conducted the research. "It's important for employers and workers alike to take precautions to reduce vulnerabilities and keep company information secure."
To avoid some of the above problems caused by laptops and bring your own device (BYOD), Presley recommends workers follow these tips.
- Use hard-to-decipher passwords — Use a different password for home and work and don't share them with anyone. Make sure your mobile phone requires a password as well.
- Never click on links or attachments from unknown sources — There's a good chance there may be a virus lurking behind the scenes.
- Don't leave your laptop unattended — Invest in a laptop security cable and lock your laptop when you're away from your desk. Avoid leaving your laptop in your car.
- Keep up to date — Make sure your laptop computer's security has the latest anti-virus software to stave off thieves.
- Keep personal information separate —Store personal financial information and other files on your home computer.
The information in this research was based on the responses of 3,892 workers. The research was conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder.