Fears of losing your smartphone, and what’s in it, to theft

The potential of losing a smartphone to theft, as well as the personal content in it, has more than a quarter of U.S. consumers worried, a new survey says.

Inhance Techology, which develops device protection programs for the wireless retail, insurance and loyalty industries, released its findings from a March survey of consumers in the U.S. According to its survey, 27 percent of U.S. consumers are more worried about being robbed of their smartphone of tablet than they were 12 months ago.

The survey also reveals that three-quarters of consumers are more concerned about losing the photos, telephones numbers, passwords and other personal data downloaded in the device than losing the device itself to theft. Women, in particular, value the content on their mobile device more than men.

Says Inhance CEO Paul Prendergast:

“The findings have serious implications for mobile retailers, carriers and insurance companies in terms of their warranty and insurance programs. Today’s smart consumer wants a device protection policy that will not only replace the device if lost, stolen or damaged but protect the sensitive and valuable data contained in smartphones and tablets.”

It is worth noting that the technology exists to minimize the loss of a mobile device to theft — activation locks, software than can remotely render a phone inoperable, even the much-debated “kill switch” technology built into the device. Most major wireless carriers offer some sort of insurance that can replace a stolen device.

None of this, of course, gets your family photos back.


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