Workers have been warned to protect their mobile devices before their office Christmas parties in case they lose them when they are out celebrating.

More than 138,000 mobile phones and laptops are left in bars each year, and 64 per cent of these do not have any security measures in place, according to a report.

Research by Eset found that many lost devices are not protected, and that 60 per cent of those who have found a lost phone in a bar have had a look at the data on it. But 83 per cent of the phones and laptops left behind were eventually returned to their owners.

Mark James, a security specialist from Eset, said users should consider looking at their security settings before they set off for their office Christmas parties.

“This could mean people taking work laptops and mobile phones along to parties and, based on the figures from our study, accidentally forgetting them when they leave for home,” he told Yahoo News.

“While the majority of the devices in our study do get returned to their owners, there is still a high chance that those with no security protection are accessed by intruders.

“As our laptops and mobile phones begin to carry more and more sensitive information and are linked to bank and work accounts, there is a greater need to protect them because the risks are much higher should the devices ever fall into the wrong hands.”

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