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Posted On: 10 July 2009 11:11 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Laptop hygiene largely ignored

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Laptop users especially in Qatar where it is fast becoming to be one of the most connected people in the world may not be aware of it but computer keyboards retain incredibly high amount of germs and bacteria, which according to studies by a consumers group in the UK, showed five times as much bacteria as a lavatory seat and to be 150 times above the recommended germ limit. Another study discovered by the consumer group “Which?” disclosed that the average person spends between six to nine hours a day and because the keyboard is so difficult to clean, it is no wonder there are bacteria colonies growing everywhere. Only one in ten people have been found to never clean their keyboard, while 20 percent never clean their mouse. Out of those who do clean them, around half do it less than once a month. Samsung Technology, which recently launched X460 notebooks and NC20 ideal netbooks in Qatar, uses anti-bacterial keyboards with Silver Nano Technology to coat the keyboards with an incredibly small, nano-sized silver ion powder, which makes it impossible for bacteria to live and breed, and creates a more hygienic personal computing environment. Silver destroys enzymes that bacteria need for breathing and digesting, and as a result bacteria find it impossible to survive. “Because laptops are such an essential part of our daily lives, Samsung felt it was paramount to invest resources in ensuring a great deal of hygiene for our users,” said Madhav Narayan, General Manager, IT Division, Samsung Gulf Electronics. “No matter what kind of materials you use to clean your keyboard, bacteria still remain and can very easily be transferred from the keyboard to the individual’s hands and so on.,” added Narayan. A few scientists from “Which?” decided to test that theory in the workplace and swabbed 33 keyboards across many London offices for food poisoning bugs ( such as e.coli, coliforms, staphylococcus aureus and enterobacteria), and compared the results to those found on a lavatory seat and a lavatory door handle. The results of the study were astonishing: Four of the keyboards were considered a potential health hazard and one was declared “condemned”. Two had “Warning levels” of staphylococcus aureus and two others had “worrying elevated levels of coliforms and enterobacteria”. The bacteria found put users at high risk of becoming ill from contact and cause a stomach upset. Not only is the keyboard a new haven for germs and bacteria, but it can also be a cause for sickness. Many users are at risk of becoming ill with stomach bugs and contracting the illness “QWERTY tummy”, named after the first six letters of the keyboard. Some of the symptoms that could be triggered from such illness include diarrhoea, nausea, and other food poisoning-type symptoms. The X460 for example, one its newest additions to the notebook line has an ultra-light and sleek form, designed for on-the-go use, indoors or outdoors. Under normal conditions, this would mean a bacteria invasion on the keyboard, but thanks to the antibacterial coating, users do not have to worry about germs infecting their keyboards any longer, and are guaranteed a germ-free keyboard. The NC20 is designed for an on-the-move use. Its ergonomic design and optimised 18.5mm key spacing helps ensure less strain on wrists, faster typing and fewer errors, which would normally also mean a bacteria haven because of the spacing of the keys, but thanks to the coating, bacteria is eliminated within 24 hours. Note: How can it be 'especially in Qatar' and 'may not be aware'. It's either fact or speculation *sighs*