Symantec Canada purposely ‘lost’ 60 trackable smartphones filled with personal and corporate data across six Canadian cities, part of their widely known experiments from “The Honey Stick Project,” to see which location would return the phones.
The devices had fully charged batteries and ‘dummy’ apps filled with decoy data which were able to track what information was accessed, all sent back to Symantec. Here are the key findings from the 2014 experiment:
- 93 per cent of lost smartphones were accessed by the finders of the devices
- 83 per cent of devices were accessed for personal related apps and information
- 63 per cent of devices were accessed for corporate related apps and information
- 58 per cent of devices were accessed for both corporate and personal related apps and information
- 55 per cent of smartphone finders contacted the owner and provided contact
Out of 60 devices lost, which clearly had owner contact information within the contacts app, only 33 offers were received to help return them.
The results concluded Vancouver was the city least likely to return a lost smartphone, as out of 10 ‘lost’ phones, only three attempts were made to locate the owner. Below is a list of the cities ranked least likely to return a lost phone as part of the experiment:
1. Vancouver (3 offered to return phones)
2. Montreal (4 offered to return phones)
3. Halifax (5 offered to return phones)
4. Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa (tie; 7 offered to return phones)
The conclusion of this experiment? Losing a smartphone is like losing a mini personal computer filled with your sensitive data. Setup a secure passcode and ensure something like Find My Friends is activated so you can have a chance to recover your phone.
PS – Here’s a pro tip: DON’T LOSE YOUR PRECIOUS IPHONE