Nearly two-thirds of business users do not use a password when they log on to their PCs or laptops, according to new research.
Of the people who do use passwords, 15% of them use their own name and 10% give their password details to colleagues. A third of respondents have not changed their passwords in the past year.
The Mori survey commissioned by Compaq polled more than 2,000 people from 12 UK regions to compare attitudes to laptop security. It found that half of those surveyed believed their laptop was susceptible to theft, yet more than a third did not make copies of confidential files on their machine.
High-profile losses of laptops this year have highlighted lapses in security procedures even in government and the secret services. In June, a minister in charge of the UK's nuclear secrets had his laptop stolen. And in March, two MI5 and MI6 agents had their laptops stolen.
Compaq advised users to password-protect laptops and not to carry the password with the machine. It also said to store files only relevant to the trip when travelling.