Bosses put employees personal details at risk

Employers slack approach to data security is putting Brits at risk of ID theft.

 

According to research from life assistance company CPP, six in ten Brits have been put at risk of ID theft due to their employers' policies. Of those surveyed, 91 per cent said their workplace has not toughened up its data protection policy, or were unaware if they have.

 

The results revealed that personal details such as employees' date of birth, address and employment records are being compromised by their bosses who are placing them on company websites, unsecured files, or failing to dispose of such documents safely.

 

Almost one in five Brits admit they don't trust their employers to protect their personal information at work. Less than a third are satisfied with their company's security procedures and 40 per cent confess they have no idea who at work has access to their personal information.

 

A quarter of bosses admit to taking personal information out of the office, leaving employees' personal information lying on their desks (19 per cent), storing sensitive information on USB sticks (ten per cent) and one in 10 fail to shred employees' personal information.

 

The majority (65 per cent) want to be made aware of what measures their employer has in place to protect their information, while many demand that policies to protect personal information are made tougher. An overwhelming number of bosses (84%) even believe that there should be penalties for companies that lose employee data.

 

Almost four in 10 employees want companies to be fined for infringing on personal data protection, and a quarter would go so far as having prison sentences for those who repeatedly put them at risk.

 

Danny Harrison, identity theft expert from CPP, said: “Companies are holding increasing amounts of their workforce's personal information, exposing employees to potential impersonation. Employers have a responsibility to protect their staff – yet it seems a week doesn't go by without a company or government department reporting a loss of data.

 

“The problem is so widespread that the Economist Intelligence Unit has reported that 85 per cent of businesses have had at least one serious incident of data loss in the past year, a 22 per cent increase since 2007. ID theft, as a result of employer's carelessness, is now a real concern for British workers and we are at greater risk than ever before. Employees need to consider their options to guard against this.”

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