When employers dispose of company computers there is a real risk of work secrets ending up in the wrong hands.

Most businesses do not appear to be aware of the risk of confidential information being used by fraudsters. A survey of 329 British companies by Pointsec reveals that under half of companies use expert firms to destroy their PCs and shows that only 17% of companies destroy the computers themselves.

Most companies sell the units to employees or on the second-hand market.

Confidential information can be accessed through computer hard drives giving fraudsters access to information such as passwords and bank account details.

A good idea, if you want to recycle your computer, is to donate them to charities such as Computer Aid International. This organisation clears hard drives and sends them to developing countries.