Guard Your Pocket: Over 4.5 million Smartphones Were Stolen In U.S. Last Year

Kinkoo-smartphone-theftBased on a survey involving 3,100 adult Internet users in the U.S., Consumer Reports says that over 4.5 million smartphones were lost or stolen in the U.S. in 2013, that’s a big jump from 2.8 million in 2012. They also estimate that 1.4 million smartphones were lost and never recovered in 2013.

These incidents on rise surprise many users, with more and more people owning smartphones. Besides the obvious tragedy of not being able to use Facebook, the greatest fear is from thieves stealing people’s personal information – photos, contacts, email accounts to social-networks, shopping, banking apps and even the texts that you sent out, where you’re going, what your schedule is, who you’re meeting.

consumer-reports-survey-for-2013However, according to the statistics on the degree to which they protected their smartphone data, Only 14 percent, for example, have installed an anti-virus app, while just 11 percent use a PIN longer than 4 digits, or a longer password or unlock pattern. Incredibly, 34 percent took no security measures whatsoever.

The good news is that most smartphones will come installed with anti-theft kill switches by the summer of 2015, and The initiative is backed by tech giants such as Apple, Google, HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia, and Samsung.

Until then, what about getting your phone back?

The simplest step is taping your email address to the back of the phone. Another precaution is changing the password on all your important accounts and file a report with the police, Consumer Reports says.