London top place for leaving laptops in cabs

London is the top city for leaving laptops and mobile phones in the backs of cabs, according to a new survey.

A survey of 2,000 taxi drivers worldwide found that Londoners have forgotten 54,874 mobile phones, 4,718 handhelds or Pocket PCs, 3,179 laptops and 923 USB memory sticks at the back of licensed taxi cabs in the last six months.

London tops the charts with the amount of missing mobiles with only Mumbai coming near this total (32,970). Sydney is third with 6,440 mobile phones reported as lost.

The numbers of lost laptops was also highest in London (3,179) with Munich in second place with 355 and Mumbai in third place with 349.

The survey was carried out by research firm Vanson Bourne on behalf of security company Pointsec.

The company said that with the latest batch of phones sporting up to 4GB of storage, the equivalent of 400 boxes of paper in 9 filing cabinets, this data must be securely stored.

"This survey shows that no-one is infallible and looking at this survey's findings you look to stand a pretty good chance of losing a mobile device in a cab or indeed any public place," said Pointsec CEO Peter Larsson. "With the new breed of phones being able to store 4Gb, users need to be aware of the amount of power and data they are literally carrying around in their hands."

He said if a device falls into the wrong hands people needed to about how it could affect their livelihood "especially if it has not been probably secured."

"Our advice is that if you have something valuable stored on your mobile device, then make use of all the security that comes with it or encrypt it - that way when you do lose it, no-one will be able to read your data!" warned Larsson.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.