Britons are risking losing valuable images and data forever with almost one in five who own a portable device losing phone numbers and contact details on mislaid items and 40% admitting to not backing up photos on portable devices, according to research commissioned by Network Appliance (NetApp), a leading provider of storage and data management solutions.
The YouGov survey of 2,035 online adults, reveals that whilst 58% of those that own a portable device store up to 500 photos, only 6% are very worried about losing them. It also indicates that 60% who had lost a device with phone numbers on had to source the contact details from scratch.
Surprisingly, only 44% said this had made them think twice about backing up information in future. Not surprisingly, however, 25 to 34 year olds (33%) have mislaid more portable devices with phone numbers and contact details than any other age group, with over 55s (8%) losing the least.
Mark Stevens, UK Area Director at NetApp said: "Data backup and protection is not just a concern for businesses. Today's 'Digital Generation' load an increasing amount of information onto phones, iPods and laptops everyday, and with this comes risk.
"People need to be aware that saving images and numbers without backing them up means they could be lost forever."
The research findings also highlight a gender gap in attitudes towards data loss among those storing photos on portable devices, with three times as many women saying they were very worried about losing images than men. Men who have lost devices with contact details are less likely to change their behaviour than women with 54% saying they would not backup or change the way they store information, compared to 43% of women.
Mark Stevens, UK Area Director at NetApp said: "Clearly there is a level of education needed to help consumers protect their information.
"Protecting your data doesn't have to be complex. The right solution will speed and optimise backup and recovery processes, heighten data availability and you can keep in contact with friends and family, as well as retrieve lost images."
Other findings from the study include different attitudes towards data protection across Britain:
* People from the South of England are least likely to have photos backedup on their portable devices than in any other region (32%)
* Those from Scotland are the most careful with 48% having images backedup.
* Londoners are most likely to lose a portable device containing contact details (26%), compared to 15% of people in the South and 15% in the Midlands and Wales
* 47% of Northerners would change the way they store information following the loss of a device with Southerners least likely to change their attitudes (35%).