IT | Security

Smartphone Theft Hits 3.1 Million in 2013

By: Absolute Team | 4/19/2014

According to a new Consumer Reports project, 3.1 million American consumers were victims of smartphone theft in 2013. This new figure is nearly double the 2012 figure that was already pretty shocking - 1.6 million - and doesn’t include lost smartphones, which make up an additional 1.4 million devices.

Given how much personal information these devices contain—from photos, contacts, and e-mail accounts to social-networks, shopping, and banking apps—it's understandable that you'd freak out if either misfortune happened to you.

A Consumer Reports survey indicates that, despite the vast amount of data on these devices, many users still lack sufficient security:

  • Only 36% of owners use PIN
  • Only 29% of owners back up their data (despite easy ways to automate this)
  • Only 22% of owners have device tracking software
  • Only 8% of owners have software to remotely delete data

It’s kind of a grim picture, isn’t it? Despite this, there were some highlights: 4-digit PIN code use was up by 50% (even if it’s still quite low), though unfortunately PINs are very easy for thieves to crack. The report also discusses the announcement by the CTIA and participating wireless companies of the “Smarpthone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment,” which will see “kill switch” technology pre-loaded or downloadable (but opt-in) on new devices by 2015.

The report seems to indicate that consumers are not taking an active role in their security, either in preventing theft of their devices or of their data. Want to do better? Learn how to set up your smartphone security and then learn  how to prevent mobile theft.