By Daniel Hunter
One in five British businesses use ‘password’ as their password, despite over 70% ranking IT security as vital for their work, according to new research.
A survey by network support company Lifeline IT revealed that over a third admitted using their date of birth as part of their password and a further 15% use a family member’s or friend’s name, with 13% a family or friend’s birthday.
The research also found 30% of workers make hacking into computers and sensitive information such as bank details even easier, by leaving their password on a post it note by their desk.
“It really is quite shocking to see how lax many businesses are when it comes to simple things like password security, especially when information can be so sensitive. Cyber crime is becoming increasingly sophisticated and even strong passwords can be easy to hack. Inadequate protection now could lead to millions of pounds of lost revenue for companies," said Lifeline IT founder and director Daniel Mitchell.
The annual IT trends survey polled businesses across a range of sectors, including finance, retail, education, government and banking.
As well as on their desks, the research also found that over a third store their passwords in their mobiles and seven per cent with the instructions that came with their PC or laptop.
The survey also revealed that smartphones (44%) are starting to overtake landlines (41%) in the workplace and the fax is almost dead, with nearly two-thirds saying this is the technology they use the least.
More than two-thirds of us are still office-bound, but over 43% spend a substantial amount of time on the road working on the hoof and nearly a third often work from home as well.
Almost half of those questioned use laptops and tablets instead of PCs, making security a mobile problem as well.
“2013 will see some major advancements in technology, with the expansion of 4G across the UK, smartphones set to hit a billion and password security being tightened up - perhaps even heading into the sphere of biometrics. It's therefore crucial that businesses stay switched-on and put the right safeguards in place when it comes to IT,” said Daniel.
Three-quarters of those questioned admitted that they think IT has become more confusing over the last five years, with over half saying they need more support with it.
In fact, more than three-quarters have said they won’t cut corners when it comes to investing in security measures such as firewalls and anti-virus software.
The research also revealed that businesses are also getting more social with Linkedin (86%) overtaking Twitter (84%) and Facebook (76).
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