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68 Percent of Smartphone Theft Victims Willing to Put Themselves in Danger to Retrieve Stolen Phone

Lookout, the leader in mobile security, today released Phone Theft in America, a new report based on research from more than 2,000 smartphone theft victims in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. Among the U.S. findings, 68 percent of American smartphone theft victims are likely to put their personal safety at risk if it might lead to recovering their photos, videos, music, and other personal data. The research also found that half of victims are somewhat to extremely likely to pay $500 just to retrieve the personal data on their stolen phone – a third say they would pay $1,000 for this.

“The reality is that 1 in 10 U.S. smartphone owners are victims of phone theft and 68 percent of those victims are unable to ever recover their device after the theft occurred. This is an issue that is bound to keep growing,” said Kevin Mahaffey, co-founder and CTO of Lookout. “While there isn’t one single solution that is going to alleviate phone theft, the problem can be stifled with industry collaboration, technology, and widespread awareness for how to stay safe.”

There were a few surprising findings in Lookout’s research:

  • A significant number of smartphone theft victims said their device disappeared in the middle of the day, not late at night – 40 percent of victims said their smartphone was stolen between lunch time and the end of the work day (between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.), compared to 18 percent of victims whose phones were stolen between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Forty-four percent of thefts happen because the victim left their phone on a table or bar or walked away from it in some capacity. Fourteen percent were stolen from a car or house that was burglarized, while 11 percent of phones were stolen off the victim’s person: out of their hands, pockets, purses, or bags.

The research also revealed that the top places to have a phone stolen are:

  • In a restaurant (16 percent)
  • At a bar or nightclub (11 percent)
  • At work (11 percent)
  • On public transportation (6 percent)
  • On the street (5 percent)

The most severe consequences of phone theft include fraudulent charges (12 percent) and even identity theft (9 percent). As a result, about 90 percent of smartphone theft victims said they tried to get their phone back, including 60 percent who said they filed a police report. But 10 percent of these theft victims made no effort at all to recover their phone, primarily because they just didn’t know where to start.

To learn more, visit Lookout’s complete Phone Theft in America Report, which includes consumer tips on how to best handle a theft scenario. For more information on Lookout, please visit www.lookout.com. To download Lookout’s app, visit the Google Play or App Store.

Research Methodology

The survey was conducted online by IDG Research on behalf of Lookout between March 4 and March 20, 2014. The survey was fielded to respondents in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany who reported owning a smartphone. Quotas were set to ensure that approximately 500 respondents (2,403 complete responses) from each country had their smartphones stolen at some point, while another 100 respondents from each country were allowed to complete the survey despite never having their smartphone stolen.

About Lookout

Lookout secures the new generation of mobile computing for individuals and organizations everywhere. With a global network of tens of millions of devices and the world’s most comprehensive mobile data set, Lookout provides powerful threat protection that makes the world more secure as it becomes more connected. Lookout's cloud-based platform leverages predictive analytics and machine learning to provide unparalleled insight into malicious and anomalous behaviors, application usage and network dynamics. These insights enable Lookout to counter threats, often before they put data, devices and networks at risk. With partners and customers worldwide, Lookout has offices in San Francisco, London and Tokyo. For more information, please visit www.lookout.com.

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