Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Smartphones: What to do if You Lose One

Many if not most of us have smartphones these days and they hold a lot of information. What will happen if you lose it?





The security risk of lost smartphones





Researchers at Symantec found that 96 percent of individuals that pick up a lost smartphone attempted to access personal or business data stored within the device. The study also found out that 45 percent of individuals who found a lost smartphone made an effort to access the corporate e-mail client on the device. This is certainly scary news. After all, smartphones are designed to be tiny. It's easy to misplace them.





Human nature and smartphone tech





The Symantec study was in essence studying human nature. 50 smartphones were left in large cities in North America; namely New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Ottawa. Lots of files the phones contained were fake and had enticing labels that include “online banking” and “saved passwords”.





The results were 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 lot more concerning.





Protecting your smartphone





The Symantec study makes us understand that we have a ton of data on our smartphones which should be protected. Luckily, there are several easy ways to achieve this.





The simplest way is to generate a very secure password which is hard to guess. As an added measure there are many security programs that lock apps and files on smartphones. There are also some services and apps that can wipe a smartphone’s memory from a remote location. Whatever you decide to go with, it is now clear that smartphone security measures should be taken.

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