Thousands of devices left in UK bars each year

Each year in the UK, over 100,000 mobile devices and laptops are left in bars with almost two-thirds (64 percent) of them not having any security installed.

Making its way in time for holiday party season, ESET's new study surveyed 600 bars in the UK to discover that 138,000 phones and laptops are lost every year. Each individual UK bar will find around 12 devices during the course of the year. Luckily 83 percent of the bars that responded to the study advised that most of the lost devices are reunited with their owners. 

Mark James, security specialist from ESET said, “While it is fantastic news that so many of the devices in our study got reunited with their owner what people need to ask themselves is what information did the person who found the device access before it was returned? I imagine the majority of people who find a phone or laptop will actually have a look around and see if there is anything of any interest or value to be found.”

The study also revealed that 61 percent of bars contacted the owner of the lost device by accessing it, however 18 percent of the bars turned the devices over to the police. Sixty percent admitted to snooping in the device if they found it was unlocked.

Craig Young, senior security researcher at Tripwire commented, “Passwords, location history, personal photos, and even financial information often linger in the smartphone storage making them a prime target for identity theft and other crimes.  Consumers need to understand the gravity of losing their smartphone data and take advantage of security features on their devices that can minimise the risk posed by a lost phone.”

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