Nearly 150,000 mobiles and laptops left in UK bars each year

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Study finds two thirds of these devices don’t have any security protection installed 

New research from internet security firm ESET has revealed that 138,000 mobile phones and laptops are left in UK bars each year.

The survey was conducted via phone to more than 600 bars last month, with ESET extrapolating these figures based on 11,162 bars in the UK according to Yell.com.

It showed that of the mobiles and laptops left in bars, two thirds (64 per cent) don’t have any security protection installed, meaning anyone can gain access to the information they contain.

An average of 12 mobiles or laptops will be found in each bar across the UK annually, but 83 per cent of the bars involved in the study revealed that the majority of the devices they find are reunited with their rightful owner.

Other findings revealed that upon discovering a device, 61 per cent of bars made contact with the owner by accessing it, while only 18 per cent said they handed the device into the police. Six in ten respondents admitted looking on the device if they found it unlocked.

Risks are higher

ESET security specialist Mark James said: “While the majority of the devices in our study do get returned to their owners there is still a high chance that those with no security protection are accessed by intruders.

“As our laptops and mobile phones begin to carry more and more sensitive information and are linked to bank and work accounts, there is a greater need to protect them because the risks are much higher should the devices ever fall into the wrong hands.”

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