Infrastructure // PC & Servers
10:12 AM

Your Computer Keyboard Is Covered With Germs

Computer keyboards are so dirty they could cause symptoms of food poisoning and other illnesses, says a British computing magazine.

Computer keyboards are filthier than toilets, according to a recent study.

British magazine Which? Computing requested that a microbiologist compare germs on 33 office keyboards to toilets and bathroom door handles and found the keyboards contained the most bacteria.

In fact, they were so dirty, they could cause symptoms of food poisoning and other illnesses, according to the report. One keyboard had 150 times the recommended limits on bacteria and was five times as dirty as one of the toilet seats, the microbiologist found.

The magazine said that office workers who fail to wash their hands after using the bathroom and those who eat lunch at their desks are likely to blame for the dirty keyboards.

Half the people surveyed by the magazine said they clean their keyboards less than once a month. Ten percent said they never clean their keyboards, and 20% said they never clean their mouse.

A study released last year by the University of Arizona's Dr. Charles Gerba contained similar findings. It found that women's makeup, phones, pocketbooks, hand lotion bottles, keyboards, desk drawers, and mice had the most germs (respectively). Men's wallets, handheld devices, and phones topped the male list. That study found that women's desks contained, on average, seven times more germs than men's desks.

Gerba, whose study was backed by Clorox, recommended frequent hand washing and the use of disinfectant wipes. The British report recommends turning off computers, shaking out food crumbs, using a damp cloth to wipe surfaces, and following up by disinfecting with alcohol wipes.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Server Market Splitsville
Server Market Splitsville
Just because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of July 17, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.