April 21, 2014 Leave a comment
As of January 2014, 90% of American adults own a cell phone, and 58% of adults own a smartphone – that’s a pretty large percentage of the population.
Unfortunately, that just means more and more smartphones are being stolen. According to a survey by Consumer Reports, the number of smartphone thefts almost doubled last year.
More than 3 million Americans were victims of smartphone theft in 2013, compared with 1.6 million the year before. Another 1.4 million smartphones were lost and never recovered last year, according to the survey, which projected these numbers using a poll of 3,000 adults.
Law enforcement and officials have been trying to decide the best way to prevent this from getting worse. Earlier this week, smartphone makers and wireless companies announced they would introduce new anti-theft technology next year that would make it so the user could not use a stolen phone. This feature that would allow victims to disable stolen devices could reduce phone thefts because criminals would no longer have an incentive to steal them. However, I’m sure there would be ways for some criminals to get around this, but it would make it harder for the common person to steal a smartphone and actually be able to use it.
“Our survey revealed that the number of lost and stolen smart phones is on the rise, and too many smartphone users are needlessly imperiling their personal data by not taking basic security measures,” said Glenn Derene, the electronics editor at Consumer Reports.
A Consumer Reports survey found that only one-third of people lock their phones with a four-digit pin, and only 22 percent have installed a software that can find their phone if it is lost or stolen. If this kind of device was installed on all smartphones, would people actually use it?