Anyone who has ever lost his smartphone knows the panic that generally accompanies that loss. After all, our phones often contain more personal information, such as bank account numbers and personal communications, than we've ever really carried around before. So Symantec conducted a social experiment to find the rate of return on lost smartphones in an attempt to bolster security on them.
The company took 50 smartphones, loaded with fake "personal" data and "lost" them in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco and Ottawa. They also contained spyware to monitor what on the phones was accessed, when they were found.
The study found that 96 percent of the phones were accessed with 89 percent accessed for personal data they contained and 83 percent accessed for corporate data. Seventy percent were accessed for both.
Half of them were "returned."
The study will help improve security products, such as Norton Mobile Security. It also serves as a good reminder that, while you might have a 50 percent chance of your phone returning should you lose it, it remains incredibly important to secure your personal data.
Of course, if that frightens you too much, you can always just use your smartphone to build a sculpture.