Americans lost nearly $30 billion worth of mobile phones in 2011 according to a new study from mobile security firm Lookout. Globally, over $7 million worth of handsets are lost each day and that number only increases on special occasions.
During Christmas, people lost nearly $11 million worth of phones and on New Years, that figure jumped to $14 million. And if you live in Philadelphia, Seattle, Oakland, Long Beach or Newark (in that order), the odds of losing your handset are even higher. On average, Philadelphia and Seattle residents lose their phones twice a year. Those living in Austin, however, only lose a phone once every four years on average.
Lookout’s study found that users are most likely to misplace their cellular in coffee shops, drugstores / pharmacies, church and at the gas station – and the chances are greater at night. If you live in New York, you’ll likely misplace your phone at a fast-food restaurant.
Data for the study was comprised from 15 million users that have downloaded the company’s app on their handset. Lookout says they were able to locate roughly 9 million phones last year, or about 17 phones every minute.
Kevin Haley, product management director for Symantec notes that losing a phone can be a very costly experience. In addition to the $200 to $300 price of the hardware, many users don’t password-protect their devices which makes it very easy for someone else to access all of their personal information including e-mail, texts and contacts.
iOS users can utilize the built-in password feature and Find My iPhone feature to secure and help locate a lost phone. Android users are encouraged to check out apps such as the one from Lookout or another called Where’s My Droid.
Phone picture from Shutterstock.