Let's face it: 99.9 per cent of surveys are just inbox spam, dreamt up by PR agencies in need of a quick coverage fix for their demanding clients, and with such a small pool of respondees that you'd be better off asking your Facebook friends for their opinion instead. Not this one, though.

Oh sure, Credant Technologies (data protection experts, in their words) may've only polled 400 dry cleaners—and in the UK alone—but those 500 laundrettes are claiming they counted 17,000 USB sticks that were left rattling around their washing machines from forgetful customers. Supposedly this is a 400 per cent increase from 2009's figures. I'm just surprised they've been counting for that long.

As most surveys include a choice quote from some like the Vice President of Marketing (in this case, Sean Glynn), we can only offer him his 40 seconds of fame here: "Inevitably, unsuspecting consumers leave the USB sticks behind, creating a potential risk for their employers if these devices have proprietary information on them and end up in the hands of criminals."

So tell Uncle Giz (in the comments below), have you ever left a USB stick in the pocket of your trousers, and had to hightail it back to the laundrette when you realized your mistake? Perhaps this stick contained some highly-confidential work material? Incriminating photos? Maybe that's why the little old lady at your local dry cleaners always laughs at you now? [TechRadar]

Image Credit: Nick James