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New research by the University of Strathclyde has revealed that Scottish contact centers are vulnerable to data theft.


The survey was taken by 45 workers in centers across Glasgow and it uncovered evidence of a "serious threat" to security.


The research team asserted that staff were secretly stealing customer details, forgetting to ask basic security questions and were regularly offered bribes by criminal gangs to hand over confidential information.


Mobile phone cameras, e-mails and even crossword puzzles were some of the techniques used by workers to try to smuggle out lucrative data, the investigation by University of Strathclyde established.


Other findings included:

11 per cent of employees allowed customers access to accounts without going through the necessary security questions. 

22 per cent worked with people they thought were suspicious.

6 per cent of employees had been offered money in exchange for information.


Dr George Weir, from the university's department of computer and information sciences, said that although the small scale of the study could not give a full