Over 80 per cent of white-collar workers regularly travel with their company laptops.

According to research conducted on behalf of laptop security provider Absolute Software, 41 per cent of respondents confirmed that they take their business laptop out of the office on a daily basis, while a further 42 per cent leave work with their laptop at least once a week.

Although the vast majority of respondents (83 per cent) sensibly helped protect confidential data by remembering their laptop passwords, a worrying 24 per cent admitted to having left their laptop unattended while travelling.

Stephen Midgley, vice president at Absolute Software, claimed that the results prove that the work/life divide is blurring, but IT security is failing to recognise this.

Midgley said: “When asked the question ‘Do you take more care of your business laptop than your personal laptop?', a staggering 49 per cent of respondents said they treated them the same, despite the qualitative difference between personal and commercial data.

“With laptops continuing to increase in popularity among businessmen and criminals alike, the survey shows that though human carelessness can be reduced, errors will and do occur, making some form of additional remote security essential.”

Midgley further claimed that the laptop is an item that can be resold very quickly, and Absolute is now recovering three out of four laptops that are reported stolen.

Midgley said: “We give control back to IT and how they manage mobile data and assets, they are responsible for integrity of data yet the challenge has never been greater. The challenge is for the CISO as they are feeling the pressure from different aspects, as budgets are being flatlined so they need to do more with less.

“Stealing a laptop is a crime of opportunity, reselling for quick money so it depends on the individual to backup data. What we see is a blurring between personal and business use, losing a laptop is like losing a wallet so a lot of privacy is lost too.

“By making a laptop unusable you are making it un-sellable, it will continue to delete itself over and over again and you can identify who is using it”