Apparently 9000 USB drives have been left at dry cleaners over the last year. The figure comes from a survey released by data security vendor Credant Technologies.

Credant surveyed 500 dry cleaners that said on average they found two USB sticks during the course of a year. Taking this figure and multiplying it by the number of dry cleaners in the UK - 4500 - got the 9000 figure.

Michael Callahan, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Credant Technologies, said:

"We conducted this survey to show people how easy it is to lose data, even in their local laundrette and that none of us are infallible. If the data is sensitive or valuable then people should protect this information with encryption so no-one can access the data at any point - as it could easily end up in the wrong hands".