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Workers have no scruples

Or do they? Tell us your side in the data security debate

According to research by computer security show Infosecurity and the newly formed Human Firewall Council, people will happily give out their computer passwords to complete strangers.

We at PC Advisor want to know if you share the views, or mistakes, of those polled by Infosecurity. Have your say by voting in our poll and by giving us more detailed information in Consumerwatch.

The Computer Scruples at Work survey conducted by the companies revealed the most common and rather unoriginal password was 'password', while other popular passwords included mothers' names, birthdays and other family members.

"People told us they used their kids' names for all their passwords, then two breaths later they told us the names of their children. It was amazing," said a spokesman for Infosecurity.

More than half of the 150 people interviewed (51 percent) admitted they would download company information if asked to do so by a friend.

"The survey proves people's loyalties are mainly to themselves, not their employer," said Tamar Beck, director of Infosecurity.

But at PC Advisor we don't believe that 150 people is a representative sample. Nor do we think that your company should always be your primary responsibility — if there were no whistle-blowers, companies' failings would never be discovered.

On a more selfish note, though, is the finding that 54 percent of those polled by the firms said they would download contracts or competitive information to take with them to their next job.

"Staff are not necessarily uncaring about security, just naïve or ignorant. Employers therefore need to instil in their people a culture of protecting information," added Beck.

This culture of secrecy is what the Human Firewall Council is all about — it's a set of IT industry professionals who have put together a list of dos and don'ts for keeping your firm's information safe.

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