Only a quarter of UK police websites are secure, and most fail to employ even basic security measures particularly when it comes to protecting data sent to the website by members of the public.
The figures come from the Centre for Public Safety (CPS) which said they showed that forces need to do more to protect themselves and users of their websites.
"While 27 per cent of police forces and affiliated organisations achieved the best grades in our tests, the others should be considered a cause for concern," the CPS said.
"We call on those forces that fell short to demonstrate the best practice observed in other forces, and we offer a number of recommendations to tackle the current and future threats facing the police service's public-facing digital infrastructure."
The CPS went on to explain some of the major problems that were uncovered. "Almost one in four (24 per cent) of the sites lacked support for secure connections at all, meaning that information is communicated in plain unencrypted text across the internet," said the report.
This could put citizens who contact the police, perhaps to report a crime or seek help, at risk as the messages can be intercepted.
"Around one in 10 [police websites] were found to have significant vulnerabilities in their implementation of a secure connection, including the National Crime Agency's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, which has a specific online focus, along with six territorial police forces," the report added.
British Transport Police, which also stores personal detail in plain text, was noted for poor security, while the National Crime Agency and the College of Policing were identified as 'U grade' performers.
Only the Civil Nuclear Constabulary and the Independent Police Complaints
Commission achieved A+ results, as well as the CPS itself.
Three of the 16 forces to achieve an A rating - Suffolk, West Yorkshire and Norfolk Police - were notable for having scored an F or U as recently as July, showing that website security can be improved in a short space of time.
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