Data loss from left devices expected to have spiralled over holidays

Average UK citizens are expected to have lost thousands of devices over the Christmas period as over four million of us upped sticks and travelled by plane, train or automobile and transport hubs are collecting the laptops, smartphones and memory sticks that go missing as a result of the hustle and bustle.

This news has come as the result of a study commissioned by Credant Technologies, which involved contacting major UK airports and asking the lost property departments to tally up the number of data-holding devices which were left over the holiday season.

In total over 5100 smartphones and 3844 latptop computers were found at 15 locations across the country, including busy airports like Heathrow.

Those who do leave their mobile phones or laptops at the airport or on the train, can usually expect them to be sold on or given to a recycling charity if they are not claimed within an allotted period, although this does require that they are handed in rather than stolen.

It is significant to note that rather than stemming the damage of data loss, this could actually accentuate it as once the phones and computers are sold, there is no guarantee that the information stored within will be correctly erased, potentially delivering it into the hands of an unknown third party.

Identity thieves are harnessing data found on lost mobiles and the problem is only getting worse, so experts believe more needs to be done in order to ensure that losing a device does not necessarily have to result in serious data loss.

The place at which travellers are more likely to misplace their mobiles is during the rigorous security checks, according to a spokesperson representing Luton Airport. With the stress that is endemic to having your belongings scrutinised, it is thought that people are much more susceptible to forgetting to pick up their mobiles.

Mobile insurance can play a role in limiting the number of handsets which are subsequently reclaimed, as many who are covered simply make a claim and ignore the lost data which they have left behind.

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