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Workers warned not to check email on holiday

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Workers have been urged to leave their work devices at home when heading on holiday this summer to avoid putting corporate security at risk.

A report from Palo Alto Networks has warned that connecting company smartphones and tablets to open unsecured Wi-Fi networks abroad could allow criminals to hijack unprotected devices.

The company found that over one third (34 percent) of UK workers would be likely to use their work device on an open Wi-Fi network when they go on holiday. 

Younger workers were more likely to admit to checking emails on holiday, with more than a third (35 percent) likely to connect a work device onto an unsecured network.

“Everyone should be extremely cautious about using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, whether it’s their personal or a work-issue device," said Alex Hinchliffe, European threat intelligence analyst, Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks. 

"And while the behaviour revealed by our study is worrying as it suggests too many people are all too ready to overlook company policy on acceptable use, it is encouraging that there are steps that businesses can put in place to educate employees properly on cybersecurity best practices."

The company is urging users to make sure their work devices are protected when used away from the office, connectiing to a corporate or trusted VPN provider.

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro, and has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and ITProPortal.