We've featured lots of ways to find your lost or stolen phone, but we're wondering how many of you have actually gotten your phone back after losing it.
A recent experiment by Symantec purposely "lost" 50 smartphones in cities around the US. Symantec found that only 50 per cent of those smartphones ever had a chance at being returned, and even 96 per cent of them were accessed by their finders — in more privacy-breaking ways than one:
This may have started as an attempt to discover the owner of the phone, but our research shows that the finders of these devices had what can graciously be called a curiosity about more than the name of the owner. Case in point:
- Six out of 10 finders attempted to view social media information and email.
- Eight out of 10 finders tried to access corporate information, including files clearly marked as "HR Salaries", "HR Cases" and other types of corporate information.
If you are in any way associated with securing a company's valuable information, those are pretty striking numbers. However, it is not just business-related information that is at risk and a cause for legitimate concern. Our "honey stick" smartphones also had an application that appeared to allow access to a remote computer or network. Surely, people wouldn't go that far. Well, one out of every two finders tried to run the "Remote Admin" app.
Apart from being yet another warning to lock your device, this study piqued our curiosity. I've never lost my phone, but I've returned two or three that I found on the street. We're wondering: have you ever lost your phone, and if so, did you ever get it back? Tell us your tales of success (or woe) in the comments. And hit the link to read more about the study and Symantec's recommendations for protecting your data.
Introducing the Symantec Smartphone Honey Stick Project [Symantec Blog via CNET]