Credant Technologies, the trusted expert in data protection, today announced the results of its second survey of the number of missing mobile devices at 15 of the largest 44 shopping malls in the United States. In the last year, 5,754 devices were lost or left behind by consumers, more than double recorded in Credant’s same survey of malls the year before. These latest survey results underscore the need for users and their employers to take proactive steps in securing both personal and corporate data, especially with the increased use of mobile devices for personal use and for work.
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This year’s research revealed that for a second year in a row, nearly all of the missing devices left behind were smartphones or tablets (95 percent). The good news is that more and more mall visitors are checking with security to reclaim their devices, up from 50 percent to almost 75 percent this year. The bad news, however, is that an overwhelming number of shopping malls - like airports, hotels and athletic venues - are donating unclaimed smartphones to various charities without ever removing sensitive data from the device.
Credant also found that:
- Mobile devices are most commonly found in food courts (40 percent)
- A marked increase in lost devices occurs during the holiday season – from Black Friday through the December holiday season (67 percent)
- All of the devices found are kept at security, many being locked in a safe while waiting to be claimed
- Interesting items left behind included $1,000 in cash and a chandelier
“These survey results again underscore the need for mobile device users to take the security of their valuable information seriously,” said Bob Heard, CEO, Credant. “There really is no substitute for following basic security protocols on the device and best practices for handling sensitive information. An individual’s misplaced device should never land their employer in the daily data breach headlines.”
With Black Friday just a week away, unsecured devices make for easy targets for criminal and malicious behavior. A 2012 Verizon Wireless Databreach Investigations Report found that a relatively small number of 855 hacking incidents can translate into 174 million compromised records.
Credant offers several quick and easy ways to safeguard information stored or accessed on a mobile device:
- Set a long password unique to each device you have. Do not choose a password available to people on social media channels.
- Always encrypt information. Whether your work information is financial, healthcare or government related, always lock it down as much as possible.
- Store your device safely. Leave your device in your purse or pocket. Do not leave it in your car, out on a food court table, on a bathroom sink or next to the cash register.
- Have a last resort by enabling “remote kill” services that can clear all your personal and corporate data with the click of a button.
Credant Technologies interviewed lost and found departments in 15 of the largest U.S. shopping malls to find out what wireless devices were most likely to be left behind by customers. Outreach was conducted to 44 malls. Respondents represented every region of the United States.
About Credant Technologies
Credant Technologies is the trusted expert in data protection. Founded in 2001, Credant's solutions comprehensively address the leading enterprise security issues of controlling, managing and protecting data located on desktops, laptops, smart phones, removable media or private or public cloud infrastructures. Credant Technologies' flagship product, Credant Mobile Guardian, offers the broadest range of integrated enterprise solutions. Investors are Austin Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Crescendo Ventures, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), and Intel Capital (NASDAQ:INTC). For more information, visit www.credant.com.