Data security compromised as 9,000 USB sticks taken to the cleaners

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Data security compromised as 9,000 USB sticks taken to the cleaners

Antony Savvas

An estimated 9,000 USB sticks have been left in people's pockets when they take their clothes to the dry cleaner.

This is according to a UK survey carried out by data security firm Credant Technologies to gauge the frequency and ease with which mobile devices such as memory sticks are lost or forgotten in strange places such as dry cleaners.

A similar survey conducted by Credant Technologies last September among London taxi drivers showed that 6,193 handheld devices, such as laptops, iPods and memory sticks, are left in the back of taxis every six months.

The latest survey found that dry cleaners in the suburbs, on the commuter belt or in city centres find the most USB or memory sticks.

One dry cleaner in the heart of the City of London said he finds an average of one USB stick every two weeks. Another said he had found at least 80 in the past year.

Rolex watches, credit cards, drugs and an envelope filled with diamonds were among the other items found by the cleaners surveyed.

The survey figures were based on phone interviews conducted with 500 dry cleaners across the UK, which had found on average two USB sticks during the course of a year.

These figures were then extrapolated among the total number of dry cleaners in the UK, which is 4,500 according to the Textile Services Association.


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