RESEARCH commissioned by online back-up and data access solutions provider, mozy.co.uk, has revealed people lose more belongings on public transport than anywhere else.
In the last year, people who have lost property said that 4.7% was in a taxi, 6.5% on a train and 5.8% on a bus, adding up to 17% of all items lost.
Add to that property lost while in the car (9.2%) or a rental car (2.5%) and 29% of belongings are lost while on the move.
The research also looked at the time of day that belongings are lost in the UK and showed that the hours of 8am and 9am are when people are most likely to misplace their property, with 18% of all losses happening during that time.
The journey home reveals a similar trend, with 6pm also being a hot time for people to lose belongings.
While items lost include low-value items, such as an umbrella or sunglasses, 24% of all losses are smartphones, eight per cent are laptops and a further eight per cent is paperwork.
This trend is not restricted to the UK. Mozy surveyed people from France, Germany, Ireland and the US and the findings showed smartphones account for 30% of losses across all five of those countries and 7.5% of losses were laptops.
Mirroring the UK, the global results showed that 19% of all losses happened on public transport and that losses are more prevalent early in the morning and at the end of the working day.
Clare Galbois-Alcaix of Mozy said: “It’s no surprise that when people are on the way to work in the morning they are a little more forgetful than they might normally be.
“However, what is particularly worrying about these findings is that during this period of the morning they aren’t just carrying expensive devices but expensive or precious data held on those devices.
“We’d encourage employers to think carefully about what they allow their employees to carry with them to and from work and also consider an online back-up solution as a precaution.”
When asked what item people would be most disappointed about losing, the majority (15%) said it would be their laptop, with 57% admitting that when they have lost a device that holds data, it is the information on the device rather than the device itself that they have been more upset to lose.
Clare Galbois-Alcaix added: “While many people expect theft to be the primary reason for losing belongings, our research showed that this is actually a smaller concern than some might think.
“More common reasons for loss include having too much to carry, being distracted and just being forgetful.
“Human error, it seems, is more likely to result in expensive losses of devices and important data than anything else and, therefore, having effective disaster recovery should be at the top of every IT manager’s list.”