Data loss may cost you your job, warns Allianz

This follows the survey backed by the Home Office which revealed that 75 per cent of respondents feel their employer should be doing more to ensure secure handling of confidential documents.

The results also reveal that nearly a third of employees risk losing confidential information by using portable storage devices such as memory sticks and laptops in order to attend meetings or work from home. In response to this, Allianz Legal Protection is warning employees who handle confidential information that any loss could result in dismissal for gross misconduct or even prosecution under the Data Protection Act 1998, risking unlimited fines.

Half of those surveyed thought that businesses actually expect a certain amount of data leakage and 70 per cent felt that employers do not do enough to minimise the risks involved in taking confidential information from the office.

David Vine, Allianz Legal Protection, commented: "By properly training staff in data handling employers can secure the trust of their customers and limit the risk to their company's reputation. The recent case of a Cabinet Office official being charged for leaving top secret documents on a train should heed as a warning to employees that data loss is now taken extremely seriously and any loss can have a disastrous affect on the interests of both the employee and company involved."