Employees have a dangerously relaxed attitude towards security on their laptops, according to research carried out by SafeBoot, a leading data encryption specialist.

The survey found that nearly half of respondents had security on their laptop but had no idea how to use it what it did, or they found it too complicated and hadn’t bothered to learn anymore about it.

Nearly a quarter had lost their laptop or had it stolen, with nearly one in four of these having lost it more than once. And more than 25% of the 750 UK xworkers questioned said they didn’t see the point in shredding documents.

“This makes disturbing reading for organisations that let their employees walk out of the office everyday with a company laptop under their arm,” says Tom de Jongh, encryption and security specialist at SafeBoot. “It also raises the question about whether companies are doing enough to encourage their employees to understand the security on their laptops and educate them about the consequences if safety is breached or compromised. Would people be happy to let someone walk into their home and just walk out with their computer? No, so why let this happen at work.Businesses need to show a little more common sense and protect corporate information. ”

There was also a worrying level of indifference to credit card identity theft, with 44% saying they didn’t worry about it because it would never happen to them and over a third saying it was because they could get their money back from the bank.

Respondents are also paying as little regard to their own personal security, with a quarter sharing their PIN with someone, and a third had the same PIN for multiple debit and credit cards as well as mobile phones, even though 71% of those did not think it was sensible. Around 60% also shared their personal information including bank account details over the internet.