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What happens if you lose your smart phone? How safe is your data?

submitted on July 5, 2012 by HouTex in "Products / Gadgets"
Here's a shocker - details about computer security firm Symantec's "Lost Cell Phone Project" conducted in the US and Canada. The elaborate study followed 50 cell phones that were deliberately left on newspaper boxes and park benches, in elevators and other places where they would easily be found. I just read this story today, but the results were actually posted in March of 2012. I think it's still worth sharing.
These weren't just any phones -- they were loaded with tracking and logging software so Symantec employees could physically track them and keep track of everything the finders did with the gadgets. Collectively, 89 percent of finders clicked on something they probably shouldn't have. Only 50 percent of finders offered to return the gadgets, even though the owner’s name was listed clearly within the contacts file.

Symantec says the point of the study was to see how many people would look at someone else's personal information.

The real point of the study tells us that users of smart phones absolutely must password-protect them (75% of those people don't Eeek ). Even if lost smart phones are recovered, the banking and other important data stored on them could have been compromised. This study tells us that even when the phones were wiped clean, the data was viewed first.

Read all the details here -
1. Have you ever found a smart phone?
2. Did you view other data besides contact information?
3. Did you (attempt to) return the phone to its owner?
4. Have you ever lost your own smart phone?
5. Do you have an application to locate your phone or erase the data remotely?
 Locate the phone
 Erase the data
6. Was your lost phone returned to you?
 or See Results 


  • 155106
    10 5 1
    Posted by DebsFreebies on July 5, 2012 [reply] 0 0
    One of the issues w/my smartphone is that the battery doesn't last more than 24 hours between charges. While I have a tracker on it, it is no good if the battery goes down and whomever would find it doesn't have a charger.
  • 155112
    1 1 2
    11 8 2
    Posted by laaya on July 5, 2012 [reply] 0 0
    I lost my phone once in restroom Smile which was found by and handed over to the security. Later i collected from them.

    I don't save much info or contacts on my phone. Even though i paid for it
  • 155236
    1 1
    12 6 1
    Posted by mooncow728 on July 7, 2012
    [reply] 1 0
    I just don't store much data on anything. My home computer should be safer for me to store things on then my phone but I still don't. I figure that at any point my house could potentially be robbed so if my computer gets taken, not only is it password protected but it also doesn't have anything on it that could be too useful to criminals. I do have a few tax documents with social security numbers removed and such but not much else.

    I can't even imagine storing important data on a phone. A phone would be so much easier to lose, set down and forget, to be stolen, and so many other things. If you keep that kind of data on your phone make sure it's password protected.

    I heard a scary story a few weeks ago. A 16 year old girl dropped her droid in the parking lot at my husband's work. She didn't even realize it was gone until her friend got a phone call asking why there were naked pictures of the 16 year old getting posted on facebook. Apparently the girl had taken some pictures of herself and whoever found it thought it would be fun to upload them. I couldn't believe it when I heard that. It makes you think twice about having certain things on your phone.
    • samm_is
      12 8
      Posted by samm_is on July 7, 2012 [reply] 0 0
      Totally agree - however good/close to a pc the phone might be (and the differences are shrinking - literally). I do have a wipe/track/recover software with hidden modules, since the micro-USB or Apple 30 pin have become de facto standards for smartphones.
  • 155315
    23 14 8
    12 10 2
    Posted by CouponNut on July 8, 2012 [reply] 0 0
    I carry my phone like my wallet, always protected and shall never be misplaced! Smile
  • 155317
    Posted by YanBz on July 9, 2012 [reply] 0 0
    I hate to think of losing my phone. I heard in the news recently that in some recent opinion poll the majority have said they would regret more to have lost a mobile device than a wallet...
  • 155443
    Posted by shawndiaz on July 10, 2012
    [reply] 1 0
    There is an application called Lookout. It is available as a free application for iPhone and Android. It allows me to locate my phone by satellite (using the GPS feature that all phones have for E911 services) and I can also make it "Scream" as long as it is powered on (it can even be on vibrate Big Grin and it will still scream) which produces a very, VERY loud alert. It also backs up my contacts, and scans all my applications for malware. The premium version for Android will enable a browser viewer that lets you know if the link is safe or not. It will also remote lock and/or wipe the data.
    • mooncow728
      1 1
      12 6 1
      Posted by mooncow728 on July 10, 2012 [reply] 0 0
      i recently installed that app on my phone and love it. i decided to test it by having my kids hide it and then seeing if i could find it. our house is nearly 2000 square feet but no matter where they hid it i could hear it. the only downfall is you have to keep gps location turned on for it to work which kills batteries faster. this app was better able to find my phone then apple's program does for my ipad. my ipad shows a few block radius but my phone shows the exact location on a map. i dont have a 3g ipad though so that may be the problem.

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