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'Digital Generation' risks future without memories

Britons are risking losing valuable images and data forever with almost one in five who own a portable device losing phone numbers and contact details on mislaid items and 40% admitting to not backing up photos on portable devices, according to research commissioned by Network Appliance (NetApp).

The YouGov survey of 2,035 online adults, reveals that whilst 58% of those that own a portable device store up to 500 photos, only 6% are very worried about losing them.

It also indicates that 60% who had lost a device with phone numbers on had to source the contact details from scratch.

Surprisingly, only 44% said this had made them think twice about backing up information in future.

Not surprisingly, however, 25 to 34 year olds (33%) have mislaid more portable devices with phone numbers and contact details than any other age group, with over 55s (8%) losing the least.

Mark Stevens, UK Area Director at NetApp said: "Data backup and protection is not just a concern for businesses.

Today's 'Digital Generation' load an increasing amount of information onto phones, iPods and laptops everyday, and with this comes risk. "People need to be aware that saving images and numbers without backing them up means they could be lost forever."

The research findings also highlight a gender gap in attitudes towards data loss among those storing photos on portable devices, with three times as many women saying they were very worried about losing images than men.

Men who have lost devices with contact details are less likely to change their behaviour than women with 54% saying they would not backup or change the way they store information, compared to 43% of women.

Other findings from the study include different attitudes towards data protection across Britain:

* People from the South of England are least likely to have photos backedup on their portable devices than in any other region (32%)

* Those from Scotland are the most careful with 48% having images backedup.

* Londoners are most likely to lose a portable device containing contact details (26%), compared to 15% of people in the South and 15% in the Midlands and Wales

* 47% of Northerners would change the way they store information following the loss of a device with Southerners least likely to change their attitudes (35%).

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.