Business IT security threatened by the use of inferior passwords 

One in five British businesses use ‘password’ as their password despite more than 70 per cent ranking IT security as vital for their work, according to new research.

A third of business owners admit using their date of birth as part of their password and a further 15 per cent use a family member or friend’s name, with 13 per cent a family or friend’s birthday, according to a study by Lifeline IT.

The survey also finds over 30 per cent of workers make hacking into computers and sensitive information such as bank details even easier by leaving their password on a post it note by their desk.

Lifeline IT founder Daniel Mitchell says, ‘It really is quite shocking to see how lax many businesses are when it comes to simple things like data security, especially when information can be so sensitive.

‘There have certainly been some big changes in just over a year since our last report which is why it is crucial for businesses to stay switched on when it comes to IT.’

As well as on their desks, the research also finds that more than a third store their passwords on their mobiles and 7 per cent with the instructions that came with their PC or laptop.

See also: 1 in 5 employees still keep passwords on sticky notes

Smartphones (44 per cent) are starting to overtake landlines (41 per cent) in the workplace and the fax is almost dead, with nearly two thirds saying this is the technology they use the least.

A further two thirds of small business workers are still office-bound, but some 43 per cent spend a substantial amount of time on the road working on the hoof and nearly a third often work from home as well.

Almost half of those questioned use laptops instead of PCs, making security a mobile problem as well.

Three quarters of those questioned admit that they think IT has become more confusing over the last five years and half say they need more support to help with it.

A further three quarters have said they won’t cut corners when it comes to investing in security measures such as firewalls and anti-virus software.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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