Nearly half of Britons feel banks and retailers aren't doing enough to protect their personal details

New research from insurer RSA has revealed organisations must urgently address rising fears that they are not adequately protecting their customers' personal information. According to the study, 90% of people in the UK think important personal information held by companies such as banks, retailers and online auction sites is not completely secure. Nearly half (46%) of Britain think their banks and retailers do not do enough to protect their personal details.

The findings also revealed that people are becoming increasingly worried about the security of their personal information and the threat of ID fraud; 56% are more concerned about this than they were six months ago.

The research showed that over 868,000 people in the UK have accidentally left work documents or devices such as a laptop or Blackberry in a public place or on public transport.

The vast majority of people (90%) do not approve of employees carrying customer's personal information outside the office. The survey also revealed that people believe actions by company employees pose the greatest threat to their personal information. The chief concern was carelessness by company employees when disposing of confidential information, followed by a fear of fraud being committed by members of staff. Third, in order of concern, was weak management leading to insufficient checks on the actions of staff.

Commenting on the research, Desmond Cross, director of retail at RSA, said: "Companies must act immediately to address the concerns of their customers by managing risk in all areas of their business. Even seemingly 'small' breaches in customer confidentiality can lead to widespread concern – and can have a massive impact on the company's reputation, and on the reputation of their industry as a whole.