If you're someone who tends to forget where you left your phone, you should seriously consider installing a cell phone locator on your device. According to studies, once you lose your smartphone, there's a 50/50 chance that you will still get it back. However, chances are higher that the person who will find your lost phone will look into your apps and whatever private information is in your smartphone.
Clearly, there's a lot of risk that comes with losing a cell phone, especially when it comes to sensitive information. Thus, proper data/device management and security policies need to be in place.
The Honey Stick Project
In this case study by Symantec, 50 smartphones were left intentionally in various places, including, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York, and Ottawa, Canada. The smartphones were placed in locations that were easy to find, like public restrooms and food courts.
None of the smartphones had any security features like passwords to restrict access. Instead, they were loaded with numerous apps and dummy files which contained fake information. Researchers also installed some cell phone spy software on each phone to keep track of what finders would do with the smartphones. Not only did such software track a cell phone, but it also send reports to the researchers.
What Are the Findings?
It was found that among 72 percent of those who found the devices attempted to access photos, and 57 percent went on to open a folder named 'Saved Password'. Also, 43 percent attempted to open a file named 'Online Banking'.
According to experts, what the finders did can be considered as an unethical access attempt. Another alarming fact is that of all the people who found the devices, only half of them tried to contact the owner of the phone although their contact details were stored and prominently listed in the contact list of the phone.
How to Protect Your Personal Data in Your Smartphone
a. Make sure that your phone has a password, or the 'draw to unlock' pattern to block unauthorized access to it.
b. Utilize any security software specifically designed for mobile devices and smartphones. This software has the ability to wipe the phone's memory from remote locations, so you can erase all the information on your phone.
c. Install a cell phone locator on your smartphone. Certain programs like Highster Mobile phone spy come with cell phone locator features that allow owners to track the exact location of their devices. What's amazing about Highster Mobile also is that it allows you to monitor the activities on your phone, such as text messaging, web browsing, and social networking. It also has a stealth camera feature that activates the phone's camera and takes photos of its surroundings.