A new report has revealed that over 9,000 USB sticks were abandoned in UK laundrettes during 2008.
A similar survey conducted by Credant Technologies in September indicated that 6,193 handheld devices, including laptops, Ipods and memory sticks, are forgotten in the back of taxis every six months.
"We conducted this survey to show people how easy it is to lose data, even in their local laundrette, and that none of us are infallible," explained Michael Callahan, a senior Credant Technologies VP. "If the data is sensitive or valuable then people should protect this information with encryption so no-one can access the data at any point - as it could easily end up in the wrong hands."
Callahan also cautioned consumers to help prevent identity theft by securing their mobile devices. According to Credant, modern mobile devices are capable of storing up to 10,000 Word documents, 11,000 pictures, 500,000 contact details or 1.1 million emails.
As IT Examiner previously reported, electronic identity theft remains a critical threat despite increased awareness of its dangers.
David Porter, head of security and risk at Detica, explained that there was only so much that experts and computer systems could do to thwart identity fraud. According to Porter, final responsibility rests with the consumer. "Identity fraud attacks succeed largely because of human fallibility; however there are simple steps that people can take to avoid being caught out by fraudsters," said Porter. X