New research from Kroll Ontrack reveals that UK adults are putting themselves at a huge risk of losing or damaging personal technology by carrying an average of £490 worth of tech on them every day. Brits rarely leave the house without multiple mobile phones, tablets, laptops and wearable technology, equating to a collective potential loss of £25 billion.
The research reveals that a third of the UK population (33 per cent), amounting to more than 17 million adults, carry more than £500 of technology daily, with the average value of items carried by this group standing at £1,039. This means that of the total value of UK personal portable tech items, 70 per cent (£17.8 billion) is being carried by a third of the population.
Kroll Ontrack, the leading provider of data recovery services, found that nearly all (97 per cent) UK adults always have their mobile phone on them. An additional 9% carry a dedicated work mobile as well, while many Brits are further weighed down by a tablet (31%), a laptop (29%) and wearable technology (8%).
Just over a quarter (26 per cent) of UK adults have experienced damage to their devices in the previous 12 months, 56 per cent of which needed repair work or replacement, highlighting the financial risk. On top of this, many Brits are unaware of the risks presented by not backing up data or by recycling their devices properly, with more than one in 10 (11 per cent) admitting they were not sure whether data is permanently deleted when they recycle or throw away old mobile phones, tablets or computers. Only 32 per cent regularly back up the data on their electronic devices, leaving 68 per cent risking the loss of personal information and many more leaving data on their device when it is lost, damaged, resold or disposed of.
Phil Bridge, Managing Director, Western Europe, Kroll Ontrack, said: “Despite the promise of a single device to meet every single personal communications need, what’s actually happened is the emergence of multiple devices for different requirements.
“With backup storage in the cloud now safe and secure, the concern has shifted from data loss to damaging or losing a device. We would encourage everyone to remain extra vigilant when carrying their devices around and to insure that they use cases or protective screens.
“While it is completely up to individuals how they look after and insure their personal devices, we would advise consumers to always perform backups and to ensure that they thoroughly delete personal data on their devices before disposing or recycling them. Our research shows that even when devices are reset to factory settings or are partially destroyed by water, fire or physical damage we are still able to recover personal data from them. Specialist erasure software that overwrites existing data several times will minimise the risk of data recovery.”
On a regional level, adults in Wales (£553) leave the house carrying the highest value of tech items, followed by London (£538) and Scotland (£528). At the other end of the scale, those in the East of England carry an average of £419 worth of tech – 14 per cent lower than the UK average.