Workaholics Take Laptops, and Insecure Data, to Bed

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London — May 19
More than a quarter of U.K. employees are so work-obsessed they can’t resist using a mobile device such as a laptop in bed before they go to sleep, according to a survey released today by Credant Technologies, endpoint data protection specialists.

The survey discovered that of those people who do work in bed, 57 percent do so for between two and six hours every week, little wonder that the survey also found that the majority of their bed companions found their partners’ obsession with their mobiles “a very annoying habit.” A staggering 8 percent of people admitted they spend more time on their mobile devices during the evening than talking to their partners.

The survey into “laptop use in bed and the security implications” was conducted amongst 300 city workers who were interviewed to determine whether the U.K. has become a nation of work-obsessed, laptop-dependent, key tappers and to highlight the security implications of unsecured mobile devices.

Almost half the respondents (44 percent) admitted they are holding important work documents on their mobile devices, of which 54 percent were not adequately secured with encryption. This will sound alarm bells for the many in-house IT departments who are tasked with trying to secure an ever increasing mobile workforce who are using data on the move and consequently losing more unsecured data than ever before.

Additionally, snooping neighbors or even malicious infiltrators could hack into the devices that are being used in bed, as a fifth of people are not using a secure wireless network as they busily tap away under their duvets.

Michael Callahan, vice president at Credant Technologies explained, “This survey confirms that there is a growing population that is no longer restricted by working hours or confined to the office building itself. People are mobile and will work anywhere, even in bed. Therefore, when sensitive and valuable data is being held on these devices and they get lost, it can have pretty detrimental and far-reaching consequences to both the worker and their employer.”

“With increasing pressures on companies to comply with regulations, such as the Data Protection Act, we all have to respect our customers and employers by protecting the data held on our mobile devices, wherever we may be.”

The most favored way to connect to the Internet, and subsequently back to the office, whilst lying in bed is via a wireless network (87 percent). Disturbingly, almost a fifth of people use a wireless network that they know is insecure, with 56 percent down/uploading company information.

When staying in hotels, people are happy to connect to the hotel’s wireless network, expecting the hotel to ensure it’s secure. Forty-seven percent admitted they do so without even considering the security implications.

When asked, “What is the last thing you do before going to sleep?” it is reassuring to learn that, for 96 percent of the people questioned, it is kiss their partners goodnight.

Five tips when engaging in electronic pillow talk:

  1. Credant recommends the following hints to ensure data remains secure, especially when working in your pajamas:
  2. If your laptop or mobile device contains sensitive data relating to your employer, especially clients’ information, the data protection act requires it be adequately protected. Ask your IT department to encrypt the mobile device.
  3. Always use a strong password by combining numbers, letters and symbols. Don’t make exposure easy.
  4. Be aware of all the points of connection and access so you don’t risk disclosure.
  5. Don't leave your mobile device open to access (e.g., leaving Bluetooth or Wi-Fi turned on) somewhere visible and unsecured.
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