Many Cell Phone Owners Unprepared for Loss

August 4, 2011

retrevo-cell-phone-loss-recovery-plans-aug11.gifA high percentage of cell phone owners, particularly those who use the Android platform, are not prepared to act in the event their device is lost, according to data collected by Retrevo in June 2011. Almost four in 10 (39%) Android owners say they don’t know how they would get their cell phone back if they lost it.

In comparison, 31% of Blackberry owners and 26% of iPhone owners say they don’t know how they would retrieve a lost cell phone, meaning Android owners are 50% more likely than iPhone owners to be unsure of what to do in the event of a lost cell phone. Conversely, Apple owners (37%) are slightly more than twice as likely (18%) as Android owners to use a recovery service.

iPhone, Blackberry Owners Protect Data Better

retrevo-cell-phone-owners-data-protection-actions-aug11.gifiPhone and Blackberry owners both show higher rates of protecting the data stored on their devices from misuse in the event of a theft than Android owners. About six in 10 owners of Blackberries (62%) and iPhones (61%) password-protect their data, a roughly 25% higher rate than the 49% of Android owners who do so.

Similarly, around one-quarter of both Blackberry (25%) and iPhone (22%) owners have taken other precautions, compared to slightly less than one in five (19%) Android owners. On the flip side, about four in 10 (39%) Android owners have taken no steps to protect their cell phone data, 30% more than 30% of Blackberry owners and 50% than the 26% of iPhone owners who do not take any security precautions.

Many Cell Phone Owners Uninformed about Malware

retrevo-cell-phone-virus-aug-2011.JPGRetrevo analysis indicates Apple iPhones are much less susceptible to malware partly because of more stringent oversight from Apple. The open sourced-based Android phones are much more susceptible to malware. However it appears that fewer Android owners are aware of this.

Retrevo says the fact that there has been no sensational widespread attack on any smartphone platform is probably a factor in keeping phone owners unaware of potential danger. However, close to one-third of both iPhone owners (30%) and Android owners (27%) don’t know their devices can be infected by malware.

Other Findings

  • This study found a large percentage of phone owners who say they backup their cell phone regularly or occasionally, which Retrevo says is most likely because of the way smartphones can easily “sync” with computers to backup or restore data.
  • 44% of cell phone owners say they or someone they know has dropped a cell phone on the floor and had it break.
  • 36% of cell phone owners say they or someone they know has dropped a cell phone in a toilet.

Juniper: Mobile Security Sales to Near $4B in ’16

Global sales of mobile security products will produce more than $1 billion USD revenue by 2013 and approach $4 billion by 2016, according to a June 2011 white paper from Juniper Research. Data from “Saving and Protecting a Mobile Future” predicts a number of high-profile security alerts for mobile phone users will publicize the risks of using a mobile phone for data-centric applications and services and result in the revenue growth forecast.

About the Data: Data for this report came from a study of online individuals conducted exclusively for Retrevo in June 2011 by an independent panel. The sample size was more than 1,000 distributed across gender, age, income and location in the United States


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