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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Did You Know You’re More Likely to Lose Your Phone Than Have It Stolen?

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Imagine how much of our lives we carry around every day in our pockets, with the thought of losing our phone to thievery or other trickery is modifying. Pictures of our treasured moments, our banking details, our two-factor authentication methods (I hope you have it enabled), even down to our bulging email inboxes and messaging apps, all in the hands of someone with the moral reluctance of a rat. That is an offence to rats.

Fact is, fear of a thing is most times worse than the thing itself. Do you know that the real danger to your smartphone’s continued existence is you?

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What are the chances that your smartphone will be stolen instead of getting lost?

The 2018 Mobile Theft and Loss report were released last week by Prey, one of the companies that provide anti-theft products for mobile devices. They sort all missing devices cases into six separate categories: pickpocket, misplaced, home invasion, robbery, car break-in, and business break-in.

However, these figures are overall and might change depending on your neighbourhood. That said, of all their statistics one stood out, the figure for ‘misplaced.’ It’s the only category that includes you as the sole reason for your phone’s disappearance.

It might be being held responsible by the couch cushions, or on top of the fridge, perhaps underneath your driver’s seat, but 69 per cent of the time, you have nobody to blame but yourself.

The rest of the categories don’t even come close

  • Pickpocket – 11 per cent
  • Home invasion – 8 per cent
  • Robbery – 7 per cent
  • Car break-in – 3 per cent
  • Business break-in – 3 per cent

This statistic makes a lot of sense if you think about it. When you are in familiar surroundings like your home, you tend to relax and be off guard. That also means your brain stops tracking the movement of your possessions. Prey’s statistics bear this out, with places such as school, home, the office or your car adding to 63 per cent of the losses. Only 6 per cent of misplaced phones were lost in unfamiliar surroundings.

Admittedly, the sample size was relatively small. They have about 829 recovery reports in 2018, which were filed by customers from around the world. Each report included details whether the device was stolen or gone missing, where it went missing, type of device and other pertinent details.


People who install phone tracking software in case of loss tend to be reasonably careful worth their devices. Would the figure for ‘misplaced’ be even higher for the rest of the smartphones carrying world? Maybe, I know sometimes I misplace my phone at home like more than once a day, but I have never lost one outside my house.

Have you had your phone stolen before? Share your thoughts with us by using the comments section below.

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