Over 3 Million Smartphones Stolen in the USA During 2013

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Over 3 million Americans were the victims of smartphone theft during 2013 according to a Consumer Reports survey. That's nearly double the 1.6 million thefts that the company projected in 2012.

At least 1.4 million smart phones were lost and not recovered last year, up slightly from the 1.2 million in 2012, Consumer Reports projects. On a positive note - the proportion of smart phone users who set a screen lock with a 4-digit pin increased by about 50 percent in 2013. Still, the vast majority of smart phone owners neglected to take more aggressive measures, such as using screen locks stronger than 4 digits or installing software that could locate their phone or remotely erase its contents.

How smart-phone users secure their phones:

  • Set a screen lock with a 4-digit pin (36 percent)
  • Backed up data to a computer or online (29 percent)
  • Installed software that can locate the phone (22 percent)
  • Installed an antivirus app (14 percent)
  • Used a PIN longer than 4 digits, a password, or unlock pattern (11 percent)
  • Installed software that can erase the contents of the smart phone (8 percent)
  • Used security features other than screen lock (e.g. encryption) (7 percent)
  • Took none of these security measures (34 percent)

"Given how much personal information smart phones can contain - from photos, contacts, email accounts to social-networks, shopping, and banking apps - losing one of these devices or having one stolen can definitely be cause for panic," said Glenn Derene, Electronics Editor, Consumer Reports. "Our survey revealed that the number of lost and stolen smart phones is on the rise, and too many smart-phone users are needlessly imperiling their personal data by not taking basic security measures."

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Tags: USA 

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