Lost smartphones are returned half of the time, study concludes

Our phones contain more personal information — from bank account numbers to personal texts and emails — than we've ever really carried around before. A security firm conducted a social experiment to find the rate of return on lost smartphones in an attempt to better security them.

Symantec took 50 smartphones, loaded them with fake personal data and then "lost" them in spots around 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 of the finders snooping for personal data and 83 percent for corporate data. 70 percent of those who came across accessed for both.

Half of them were returned, meaning the "smartphone finders contacted the owner and provided contact information," according to Forbes.

The aim of the study is to help improve security products, such as Norton Mobile Security, which is a Symantec product. 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.

Via Forbes

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