The added security at Britain's airports this summer increased the number of lost mobile devices - and the risk of the sensitive corporate data they contain falling into the wrong hands.
For some reason, British travellers seem disinclined to reclaim their lost phones and laptops. Between 40% and 50% would rather claim from their insurance company or let their company provide them with a new upgraded version than trek back to airport lost property, according to research from Pointsec Mobile Technologies.
Unfortunately, this creates a significant security risk. Around 25% of lost mobile phones and laptops have no security on them, so when they are sent for auction after three months, the contents of many will be freely available to whoever buys them.
Business travellers in other countries are significantly more likely to track down and reclaim their lost mobile devices. In Australia and Sweden lost laptops are reclaimed in close to 100% of cases; in Norway the figure is 95%; in Finland 91% of people reclaim them.
'Often people do not realise how valuable their information can be to others such as hackers, competitors or thieves,' says Peter Larsson, Pointsec CEO. People who travel with mobile devices containing sensitive information should ensure it is encrypted.