Losing Your Smartphone

Our smartphones store a lot of our personal information. What will happen if you lose it?

The security risk of lost smartphones

Researches at Symantec recently came up with the “Smartphone Honey Stick Project” to evaluate what people do when tempted with a lost smartphone. The findings were unnerving to put it mildly; they found out that 96 percent of people attempted to access private data while 45 percent tried to access corporate emails.

Human nature and smartphone tech

The Symantec study is really an intriguing one as it says a whole lot about human nature. Symantec intentionally left 50 smartphones in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Ottawa. Each phone was loaded with fake files and apps that contained no information but were labeled with enticing names such as “online banking,” “social media,” and “saved passwords.”

The outcome was that 72 percent of people that found the phones, at the very least, accessed the photos. That number can be chalked up to the curious nature of humanity, but when you realize that 43 percent of people attempted to open the “online banking” files things get a bit more concerning.

Protecting your smartphone

These numbers may be frightening but there are things that people can do to protect themselves in case they misplace their smartphones.

First, users ought to protect their devices with passwords. Secondly, they should install security programs designed especially for their smartphones. These programs can lock up apps and files on smartphones. Others will help find missing phones while still others can wipe a smartphones’ memory from remote locations.

Posted on: 07.11.12