Nearly one in two estate agency staff in the UK are thought to be at risk from data theft at work, because they are using an out of date web browser.
New research has revealed 45 per cent of all internet users don’t keep their browser – such as Internet Explorer or Firefox – correctly up-to-date.
And national computer support company Ulysses IT is warning that leaves estate agencies’ computers vulnerable to malicious programs.
Technical director Peter Turner said the risk comes from surfing the web.
He said: “If you don’t keep your computer up-to-date it is easier for a piece of malicious software, known as malware, to install itself and transfer data from your computer over the web. For estate agents and their staff that is a very worrying prospect.”
Peter added that keeping computers up-to-date is free and easy – but people simply forget to do it.
He said: “Updates for programs such as web browsers are released a couple of times a year, and are mostly free to download and use. It’s remembering to do it where most companies go wrong.
“The answer is not to ban staff from using the internet at work. Instead the managers of estate agencies should stay aware of when browsers are being updated and take time to protect their company.
“We recommend every agency gives someone specific responsibility for keeping their computer’s web browsers up-to-date, or hire in IT experts to keep them protected.”
The browser security research was done by Google and IBM.
Ulysses IT specialises in computer support for law companies across the UK.
The business was established in 1998 and operates as an outsourced IT department for clients, mostly on a pay as you go basis.