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Survey results: Taxis hailed a “black hole” as confidential data gets taken for a ride

  • 25 January, 2005 10:21

<p>Sydney, Australia, 25 January, 2005 – Businesses and individuals are being urged to use the password and encryption facilities available with the recent crop of high memory capacity mobile smartphones, in order to protect the sensitive information held on them. This advice comes in light of a survey released today which shows forgetful travellers have a tendency to leave their mobile devices in the back of taxis.</p>
<p>In the last 6 months in Sydney alone, a staggering 13,280 mobile phones (that’s an average of 2 phones per taxi), 1725 Pocket PCs and 977 laptops have been left in licensed taxi cabs.</p>
<p>The survey in Sydney was conducted by Pointsec (experts in security for mobile devices) among licensed taxi drivers to gauge the frequency and ease with which small mobile devices are lost in transit.</p>
<p>The survey has been carried out in 9 major cities around the world amongst 900 licensed taxi drivers, including Sydney, Helsinki, Oslo, Munich, Paris, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Chicago and London and has shown that mobile devices are forgotten universally at the back of taxis.</p>
<p>This warning to the business community and individuals to be vigilant when travelling with their mobile devices has never been more relevant, especially as more people than every before are using the latest range of “must have” mobile smartphones to store sensitive personal &amp; business information.</p>
<p>Many of these devices now have a standard memory capacity of 80Mb enabling users to store 6,000 word documents, 720,000 emails, 360,000 contact details or a staggering 7,200 pictures.</p>
<p>These newer devices can give a thief access to every detail of your personal life (including personal &amp; private / family pictures) and compromise the security of your employer’s IT security, highlighting the need to secure sensitive, valuable or compromising information with encryption and access control.</p>
<p>How Sydney rated against the world</p>
<p>Losing mobile devices is not a problem unique to Sydney travellers, but a worldwide phenomenon. Londoners, topped the charts when it came to forgetting their laptops, with more than double the number of laptops being left in the back of London taxis compared with other cities.</p>
<p>The Danes were the most forgetful when it came to forgetting their mobile phones, in fact seven times more likely to forget than the Germans, Norwegians and Swedes.</p>
<p>In Chicago, USA, the mobile device most likely to be left behind was a Pocket PC, with one taxi driver reporting finding 40 in his taxi in the past 6 months!</p>
<p>Oscar Moren MD of Pointsec Australia commented “It is alarming to see so many people losing mobile devices in transit - considering how reliant mobile workers are on their mobile devices and the amount sensitive information they store on them. It’s even more alarming that very few are concerned about backing up or protecting their data.”</p>
<p>“My advice to any mobile worker is to talk to their IT department about taking responsibility for security, this way your back is covered if you do lose your mobile device. Legislation is slowly becoming more specific in this area and there is a good chance we will soon see legal action taken against individuals and organisations that do not protect information that they store on other people.”</p>
<p>Taxis a safe place to lose your mobiles</p>
<p>There is some good news for our absent minded colleagues though - if you are going to lose your mobile device, you couldn’t do it a better place than a taxi!</p>
<p>That’s according to the findings of the survey; globally an average of 80% of passengers were reunited with their mobile phones and 96% with their Pocket PCs and Laptops – with the cab drivers in almost all cases tracking down their owners. However, the case was very different in Australia, with only 46% of laid-back passengers bothering to reclaim their mobiles and only 18% ever being reunited with their laptops!</p>
<p>Not just mobiles, but diamonds, animals, children and se x aides……..</p>
<p>When asked about the strangest items left in their taxis, London and Munich both appeared to have an unusually high number of se x aides and all taxi drivers had found a large number of forgotten co ndoms.</p>
<p>Sydney Taxi drivers found an assortment of questionable items including Via gra tablets, ladies underwear, Play boy Magazines and a large street sign.</p>
<p>UK taxi drivers admitted to finding a harp, a throne, £100,000 worth of diamonds, 37 milk bottles, a dog, a hamster, a suitcase from the fraud squad and a baby.</p>
<p>In Munich, one taxi driver was shocked when he turned around to find his passenger dead, and strangely enough it was not uncommon for taxi drivers around the world to find their passengers had forgotten dentures and artificial limbs. All were reunited with their grateful owners!</p>
<p>The “Taxi survey - 2005” was conducted by Pointsec – experts in security for mobile devices together with 9 separate licensed taxi companies in 9 major cities around the world, including London, Sydney, Paris, Munich, Oslo, Helsinki, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Chicago. A copy of the survey and results are available from Victoria McClelland at Text100 –</p>
<p>About Pointsec</p>
<p>Pointsec is the worldwide de facto standard for mobile device security – with the most customers deployed, highest level of certification, and more complete device coverage than any other company. Pointsec delivers a trusted solution for automatic data encryption that guarantees proven protection at the most vulnerable point where sensitive enterprise data is stored – on mobile devices. By securing sensitive information stored on laptops, PDAs, smartphones, and removable media, enterprises and government organizations can protect and enhance their image, minimize risk, shield confidential data, guard information assets, and strengthen public and shareholder confidence. Pointsec’s customers include blue chip companies and government organizations around the world. Founded in 1988, Pointsec Mobile Technologies AB is a wholly owned subsidiary of Protect Data AB, publicly traded (PROT) on the Stockholm stock exchange. The company has four U.S. offices and 11 EMEA offices. Pointsec can be found on the web at</p>
<p>Pointsec is a registered trademark of Pointsec Mobile Technologies. All other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.</p>
<p># # # #</p>
<p>For further information please contact:</p>
<p>Victoria McClelland</p>
Tel. 02 9956 5733</p>

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