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Data Loss Moves From PC To Suit Pockets

April 20th, 2006

Research carried out by Ontrack Data Recovery, the world’s leading data recovery provider, shows that 27 percent have lost valuable data from their USB stick. The research, conducted among 400 professionals worldwide, also revealed that 65 percent of professionals own at least one USB-stick.

However, their compact size leads many people to store their sticks incorrectly – in suit pockets or bags – leaving valuable confidential data at risk. Most professionals don’t realise that memory sticks are just as vulnerable as hard drives.

To help protect mobile devices from data loss, Ontrack has put together some simple preventative steps that will help create good habits for the use of USB sticks and hopefully prevent any data disasters.

1. Minimise misplacement – Try to prevent ‘wandering’ USB sticks. The device is easily lost when you don’t exactly know where it’s kept. A dedicated USB spot prevents loss of data from a portable storage device.

2. Carry with care – Make sure your USB is stored safely when travelling to minimise the risk of losing data. You don’t keep a laptop in a plastic bag for transport, so why stick a USB stick with similarly valuable data in your trouser pocket?

3. No backups, please – A USB stick is too vulnerable to store precious information. These sticks should therefore never be used as a backup device

4. Put a lid on it – When not in use ensure that the connector of your USB is protected. By using the protective cap, provided with any USB stick, a possible data disaster can be averted

5. Unplug before you leave – Before you embark on a journey that requires a laptop and a USB stick, make sure the devices are separated. This way, both the laptop and the USB stick will run less risk of damage

“Even though USB sticks seem the easy, no fuss way to transport data, they are very vulnerable and therefore susceptible to data loss”, said Phil Bridge, Business Development Manager, Ontrack Data Recovery. “We have noticed a growing reliance on USB sticks by professionals, who do not seem to realise that data can be lost far more easily on a stick than on a laptop. If a presentation is lost on route to a sales meeting, it could cost the company thousands in lost business. Staff need to recognise how precious these mobile devices can be, not simply see them as a quick way to transport data.”

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