Lost and Found
The amount of data that we’re carrying around with us on laptops, smartphones and tablets keeps growing. But with 70% of people having lost a data storage device, that data can literally slip through our fingers.
The average person now loses 1.24 items a year and less than half of those are ever recovered. The average cost of a lost item is $220.15, but it’s not just the value of the item itself that has an impact. 57% of people who had lost a device said that they were more upset about losing the data on the device than the device itself.
In fact, so strong is the desire to hang on to our smartphones – and the pictures, contacts and messages on them – that 93% of people who have dropped one down a toilet have attempted to retrieve it. Yet most loss comes down to human error. Just 18% of the things reported lost in the study were stolen, with most people stating that their own distraction or forgetfulness was to blame for losing their belongings.
This makes personal circumstances a huge contributing factor to loss. The times when people are busy and moving around a lot cause peaks in loss, so it may come as no surprise that 6:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays in December are relatively disastrous when it comes to hanging on to your things.
Globally, big cities and areas where people use more public transit tend to form black holes for lost property. In the U.S., New York, Chicago and Atlanta form the Bermuda Triangle of the U.S. with more items lost here, per capita, than other parts of the country. Globally, 19% of items are lost on public transport.
With such a high percentage of loss happening in concentrated bursts, there’s a strong case for businesses and individuals to make sure that they are protected by ensuring that their items are insured and that the data on their electronic devices is backed up.