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Many German workers don't get guidelines on dealing with computer threats (Photo: Wikimedia)

Many employers don't properly guard against computer crime and leave their workers to deal with IT security, according to a German survey.

The country's high-tech association, BITKOM, polled workers on these issues and found that 21 pc claim their employers don't provide any guidelines on how to guard against computer crime. Such guidelines would include rules on dealing with USB sticks and other threats to IT security.

Another 19 pc of those polled said that they were unaware of any rules.

"Four out of 10 workers don't get the necessary support from their employers when it comes to IT security," said BITKOM President Dieter Kempf. "Especially small and mid-sized companies underestimate the risks resulting from computer and internet crime."

Only half of workers polled said their companies have guidelines for the use of passwords, while 41 pc have rules for the use of USB sticks.

Four out of 10 workers also cited rules for internet use, while a third of those polled said they were aware or rules governing spam emails.