Consumers are paying a high price for taking their devices wherever they go after a new study revealed they are literally throwing their personal details down the pan, with “liquid damage” being the biggest cause of data loss on mobile phones.
More than two in five (41%) cases of data loss for mobile devices are due to “butter fingers”, while other devices in Kroll Ontrack’s quarterly data loss index – laptops, external drives, servers and tapes – are more likely to lose data are due to unrecognisable or undetected devices.
More than one in five (21%) data loss scenarios are due to storage devices appearing to be unrecognisable or undetected, while over one in ten (12%) consumers experience data loss from corrupted files and around eight per cent lose data through accidental deletion.
The index covers 1,164 individual disk assessments from across 47 countries between July and September 2015 and is developed from the analysis of anonymous data collected through Kroll Ontrack’s data recovery self-assessment tool.
More than half (57%) of all data loss scenarios occur with hard disk drives (HDDs) and less than one in ten (8%) occur with solid state drives (SSDs). While this has much to do with HDDs being more prevalent, the report notes that SSDs are more robust when they are dropped onto a hard surface – one of the top five common causes of data loss.
Kroll Ontrack programme and operations manager Paul Le Messurier said: “Even with the rise of solid state drives in phones and tablets it’s important to note that HDDs make up the bulk of storage mediums in our world. As such, storage hardware on the whole is still delicate, especially when dropped or tinkered with by an amateur. Any attempt to retrieve data from a faulty device could lead to further data loss, an undetected device and warranty voidance.
“Users should do their research and seek advice before even thinking about repairing a device. If they don’t feel confident, users should get help from an expert.”
Kroll Ontrack’s DLI also highlights that around half (48%) devices that have suffered data loss are laptops and almost a quarter (23%) of data loss situations occur with users of flash and external drives. In the case of laptops this is not surprising as with the advantage of their mobility comes the risk of dropped or knocked hardware, Kroll says.
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