Our smartphones store a lot of our private data. What will happen if you lose it?

The security risk of lost smartphones

Researches at Symantec recently made the “Smartphone Honey Stick Project” to evaluate what folks do when tempted with a lost smartphone. The findings were unnerving to say the least; they found that 96 percent of people attempted to access personal information while 45 percent made an effort to access corporate emails.

Human nature and smartphone tech

The Symantec study is really an intriguing one because it says a great deal about human nature. Symantec intentionally left 50 smartphones in New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Ottawa. Each phone was packed with fake files and apps that contained no information but were labeled with enticing names such as “online banking,” “social media,” 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 see that 43 percent of people tried to open the “online banking” files things get a bit more concerning.

Protecting your smartphone

These numbers might be frightening but there are things that people are able to do to shield themselves in the event that they misplace their smartphones.

The most convenient way to safeguard the data on your smartphone is always to make a secure password. It may seem obvious, but you would be astonished at how many people don’t password protect their phones. There’s also many apps that securely lock specific apps or files. A less obvious choice is to subscribe to a service that lets you remotely wipe your smartphones memory. Regardless of which method you use, it’s crucial that you take some method of securing your smartphone in the event of loss or theft.

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