A quarter of UK workers have committed at least one 'data security sin' such as losing a USB device or leaving a laptop unattended in public, says Fasthosts.

The 'Bad Data Habits Audit' by the web-hosting firm revealed that while just 15 percent of workers say they have lost data, 37 percent admit to putting data at unnecessary risk by using a personal PC or not properly securing the data. One in four keep work data stored on their home PC and 20 percent claim they never make back-up copies of important data.

Furthermore, a quarter of staff transfer data by storing it on a USB stick, while 24 percent use a work email account and 14 percent rely on a laptop. However, because USB sticks are small they can be easily lost and they're a common way to spread computer viruses.

"Businesses can make the mistake of viewing data security as an on-site issue. Often the risks can lie with physical loss or with personal computers.," said Steve Holford, marketing director, at Fasthosts.

"Firms should identify how their staff transfer and handle business documents outside of the work-place, and minimize the risks by providing them with clear advice and a secure and easy to use solution for handling the data".

Only five percent of staff use an online storage or back-up service provided by their employers while two percent use such a service they have sourced themselves.

"A secure online storage solution can not only enhance your data security but can also raise productivity as business materials are on-hand to staff 24/7 from any computer".