UK consumers are failing to secure content on their digital devices as research reveals that more than two-thirds (68%) have lost valuable data.

According to a study1 by CRM specialist Capsule, more than a third (36%) of Brits have lost photography, 30% have lost their contacts, 26% have lost messages and one in five (20%) have lost important documents.

Furthermore, two in every five (39%) said they were not confident their digital life was securely backed up. Of these respondents, 28% admitted to not knowing how to back up their data, whilst 24% deemed the process too complex.

“The coronavirus pandemic, and accompanying social distancing, has served to accelerate the digital transformation of both business and society,” said Duncan Stockdill, CEO of Capsule.

“Out of necessity, we’ve turned to technology to stay connected, embracing digital content, cloud services and online apps like never before. This development is likely to have a sustained impact on how we live and work.

“Our latest research, however, highlights a major concern we should all heed. The failure to adequately back up our digital lives can lead to significant psychological and emotional distress and, in some cases, considerable financial loss. In the workplace, it can cause costly business disruption.”

The reliance upon digital tech was reinforced by the finding that 42% fear losing their smartphones more than they fear losing their wallet or purse (25%), their house keys (16%) or their car keys (13%).

Also, more than two-thirds (70%) said they feared losing content from a smartphone, tablet or laptop in the future.

“The call to arms should not just be for greater awareness, but also for due diligence in the adoption of technologies that can help protect our digital content – both personal and commercial.”

According to the study, more than a third of tech users (36%) have lost important work documents and data, and more than a quarter (27%) believe the digital information they use at work could be vulnerable to accidental loss or deletion.

“Businesses of all sizes should ensure their vital business intelligence is not being compromised,” Stockdill added.

“Old habits can die hard and the paperless office still remains little more than an ambition for many companies. Securing paper-based records, however, can prove extremely difficult. At the same time, many employees work across a multitude of separate digital devices, often storing data locally or in a variety of disparate locations, which also makes managing information challenging.

“Cloud-based software suites, such as CRM platforms, which centralise data storage and ensure robust data management and security controls, offer an effective workplace solution.

“Such systems can provide a single version of the truth and automatically replicate data across multiple locations in real-time to maximise availability. Furthermore, the data will be constantly backed up so it can be restored should users accidentally delete records or in the unlikely event that the replicas, in all locations, fail at once.

“Whatever option you choose to protect and back up your data, don’t leave it until it’s too late. Regret can be a powerful motivator, but it can also prove a costly and distressing one.”

1Research conducted among 2,028 permanently employed respondents