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A large share of workers who are supplied with a laptop courtesy of their employer use their own mobile broadband connection when away from the office, according to a new survey.

Vodafone, which commissioned Opinion Matters to carry out the study, has highlighted the security risk posed to company machines by mobile broadband users surfing the web outside the workplace.

Results from the research show that 49.6 per cent of employees use their own mobile broadband connection on a company-supplied laptop.

While conceding that there is potential for laptop security to be compromised by employees' internet activities, Mike Banwell, Vodafone UK's head of business services, warned against "restrictive" company policies which police workers' web use.

He concluded: "We don't want to get to a situation where attitudes change to such an extent that policies and procedures become so restrictive that employees actively circumvent them, or that the devices become so unfriendly that the benefits employees and businesses are obtaining from mobile working are severely reduced."

It was found that 29.6 per cent of those questioned during the survey use a home Wi-Fi connection to get online with their company laptop.

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