Internet and mobile security giant recently performed a very interesting test. They spread out 50 smartphones in major cities like New York, DC and LA, just to name a few. They strategically placed these smartphones in public, high traffic areas, for the purpose of being found.
Symantec wanted to see how honest the general public was when finding a smartphone. Remember, your smartphone may have only cost $200-$300 but on an American subsidy you may have a $600-$800 smartphone. Not only that but as Kim Titus from NQ Mobile reminds us, a smartphone is a mini computer that’s an extension of your life. In most cases your smartphone holds more personal information on it than your computer ever did.
With all that in mind Symantec went on a journey and placed the “lost” smartphones in shopping malls, tourist attractions and obvious spots on the streets of San Francisco and New York. The results were not good…
All but two of the phones were accessed by the person who found the phone. This may only be a natural reaction and perhaps the finder just wanted to contact the owner.
More after the break
Symantec planted some information and apps on the phones that would have perked interest. They planted a document called “HR Salaries” as well as an app that said in plain sight that it offered remote access to a company server. 80% of the phone finders tried to access the “HR Salaries” document while 60% tried to access that company network.
After all of the snooping 50% of the people who found the phones did make some sort of attempt to get the phone back to it’s rightful owner. This actually seemed on the large side to us.
Here are some tips to protect your smartphone:
– Password protect your phone. As phone voicemails have been reminding you for years, with a password that’s “Easy for you to remember, and hard for others to guess”. On Android phones you can use a gesture unlock screen. On Android phones with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich you can use your face to unlock your phone.
– Use an app that protects your business or highly personal numbers from the main mailbox like NQ Mobile’s, Secret Vault
– Make sure your owner information is filled out and also have an owner contact and or a “reward if found” contact.
– Use a full security suite like NQ Mobile’s “NQ Mobile Security” that offers complete virus protection along with a remote wipe function, and cloud based back up.
– If your phone has been stolen, file a police report. Most phone insurance companies that offer any kind of lost/stolen protection are going to require a police report.