We’d like to think that people would do the right thing, when it comes to cell phones a study by Symantec argues otherwise. In this study, 60 cell phones were dropped at various locations in some major cities in Canada to see what people would do. For more details, read this article in the Vancouver Sun.
55% of people attempted to return the phones, 27% were never returned, while 93% of phones had some snooping done on them. It’s safe to say, that if your phone was lost, your data will be compromised. Don’t forget, these results are from random citizens, not criminals. Imagine if your phone was stolen what could happen to your data, things like identify theft, spam, fraud, phishing could all be leveraged. If it was a company device, that too becomes a risk.
There are numerous security applications available for mobile devices that allow you to remotely wipe data and lock your phone if you lose it, but these can all be erased. The only application that cannot be erased and survives a factory reset is from Absolute Software. Absolute installs their Persistence software at the factory level and is embedded in the bios of a device. This ensures it can never be removed and that a user will always have lock, wipe and delete functions. In addition, Absolute has a Lo Jack recovery team of ex law enforcement that goes to recover the lost or stolen device and is very successful at doing so.
So not only can you secure your data, you can get your device it back. Today, it is only available on Samsung’s Galaxy, Note’s and Tabs and will move to more manufacturers in the future.
We humans are a curious bunch, perhaps the person that picks up your lost phone won’t be one, but if people that don’t want to take that chance, make sure you’re using a security feature, have loss and theft protection, or in the case of Samsung, get the Absolute Persistence product.