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Lost cause: What happens when you lose your smartphone?

Lost cause: What happens when you lose your smartphone?

A recent study finds that 89 percent of those who find a smart phone are likely to access the data for personal apps and information.

March 13, 2012 4:01 by

If you lost your smartphone at the Mall of the Emirates, how confident are you that your phone would be returned to you? It is a question you may have asked yourself many times, but it is an important question even as phones get smarter and hold more and more personal and confidential data-banking and social media logins.

It was a question that Symatec was determined to investigate when they conducted a smart investigation. The company deliberately ‘lost’ over 50 smart phones in five different cities in the US. These phones were loaded with a GPS tracking device so the Symatec team could monitor where the phone was and what kind of information was being accessed. Leaving the phones in areas with a lot of sticky fingers, Symantec came to some rather unfortunate conclusions of the potential future of your lost phone.

According to the LA Times the survey found there is a:

-96 percent chance that the finder of a lost cellphone will access the device

-89 percent chance that the finder will access it for personal-related apps and information

-50 percent chance the finder will try to return the phone to the person who lost it.

-60 percent of the finders attempted to view social media information and email on the phones

-80 percent of the finders tried to access phony corporate information that Symantec had loaded on the phone

-50 percent of the finders even tried to access a bank account linked to the phone.

That 50 percent of those who found the phone tried to access a bank account linked to the phone, is scary news-especially if you walk around with your phone password or pin number free. Although on the bright side, 50 percent who found the phone were likely to return it.

Kipp just locked our smart phone with a pin number and though it is a little annoying to keep punching in the PIN, we are going to hope that if our phone should ever get lost it gets picked up by the nicer 50 percent of the population.

Have you ever lost your phone? If so, where did you lose it and was it returned to you? How about finding a phone? Would you take a lost phone or would you return it or give it to the lost and found centre? C’mon tell us what you really think.

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1 Comment

  1. roy on March 13, 2012 4:37 pm

    Wow, what a coincidence! A software security company running an unaudited piece of qual research and generalizing that we need phone security. Even the timing couldn’t be better since they’re trying to break into the phone market. I’m glad they didn’t resort to scare tactics.


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