London, Sept 19 : In the last six months alone, London taxi passengers have left more than 60,000 hand-held devices in the back of black cabs, according to a new survey.
The survey of 300 taxi drivers, conducted by data protection company Credant Technologies, found that Londoners have forgotten a staggering 55,843 mobile phones and 6,193 other handheld devices such as laptops, iPods and memory sticks.
The survey in London was carried out to gauge the frequency and ease with which mobile devices are lost in transit and to highlight the issue that if you do travel with information that is sensitive then consider encryption so no-one can access the data at any point, or at the very least, password protect it - as it could end up in the wrong hands.
Fraud experts said that such devices could give criminals crucial data.
New devices - including mobiles, MP3 players and memory sticks - have the capacity to store tens of thousands of documents or pictures and millions of contacts and emails, making them a target for identity theft criminals and hackers.
The data protection company said that losing personal information could be "disastrous" for individuals as well as companies, and advised users to encrypt or password-protect equipment.
"If it gets into the wrong hands of a criminal, hacker or opportunist, losing your mobile device can have serious implications, so our advice is always encrypt it and password protect it to stop it ever being accessed by anyone other than yourself," BBC quoted Chief marketing officer Michael Callahan, as saying.
The survey's findings follow a number of high profile data-loss scandals, which have highlighted the risk of identity theft.
The company also suggested the back of a cab was not such a bad place to lose a mobile device, with 80 percent of London taxi drivers surveyed claiming the owners were reunited with it once found.
The survey also found that drivers discovered other strange objects in the back of their cabs, including a sawn-off shotgun, 12 dead pheasants, two dogs, toilet seats, a casket of funeral ashes and 2,700 pounds in cash.