A third of consumers have lost a USB stick with under a half using encryption.
A privacy and encryption survey conducted by Steganos found that consumers are not using encryption to protect their online identity. The survey of 120 consumers in America and Britain asked them about how they protect their privacy online and how they protect their data in transit via email or USB key.
Nearly three quarters had left their data unprotected, while 15 per cent of those questioned did not know if their data was protected or not. Despite this, 47 per cent felt that the privacy of the information they stored on their USB keys was adequate Twenty eight per cent thought they did not use adequate protection, 22 per cent did not know and three per cent stated that they did not use USB keys.
When asked if they had encryption software installed on their computer, just over a fifth admitted they were ‘unsure' or ‘didn't know' if they did.
Michael Marzy, managing director for Steganos, said: “Consumers wouldn't leave their diary or wallet open for anyone to see in a public place, and yet they don't seem to take the same care when online.
“The increasing risk of theft means that everyone, be it a home computer user or business user, needs to take responsibility for protecting data, both by encrypting current files and shredding those that are no longer needed.”