Nearly everyone has experienced it: that uh-oh moment when you realize your cellphone is missing.
If you've ever lost or had a smartphone stolen, you're not alone. In the United States, about 113 smartphones go missing each minute (that's 160,000 a day and about 30 million a year!). When an iPhone costs over $800, this becomes a very pricey problem. In 2011, 40% of all robberies in New York City included smartphones according to David Anderson, director of product for niche insurance company Protect Your Bubble. Based on research by mobile security firm Lookout, smartphones are most at risk of being stolen or lost in major metropolitan cities.
The top 10 cities for lost or stolen phones (as determined by Lookout's "Find my Phone" feature which allows smartphone users to track their missing phones) are:
- 1. Philadelphia
- 2. Seattle
- 3. Oakland
- 4. Long Beach
- 5. Newark
- 6. Detroit
- 7. Cleveland
- 8. Baltimore
- 9. New York
- 10. Boston
Some other surprising facts about lost or stolen smartphones from Lookout:
- Two-thirds of phone loss happens between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. local time
- People in Manchester, England have the highest likelihood of losing their phone out of any other population in the world
- In the U.S. people lose a smartphone about once a year
In order to prevent theft, individuals should always be aware of their surroundings, says Anderson.
"Just do your best to keep [your phone] out of reach," he notes. Anderson also recommends buying insurance for phones so that they can be easily replaced if stolen. In New York City, 70% of stolen smartphones last year were iPhones, according to Anderson.
A lot of missing cellphones are also a result of being accidentally left behind.
In Chicago 120,000 smartphones were forgotten in cabs last year alone. But people most often leave phones in bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and office buildings.
"I think it mainly has to do with places where you take your phone out of your pocket…and put it in the table or put it on the bar and set it down for a moment," explains Anderson. "All it takes is just one second to forget that the device is sitting there."
Why are people so forgetful about such expensive products?
"There's a disconnect that exists between our phones and how much they're worth and how we treat them haphazardly throughout the day," Anderson says. "What if you pulled out $800 in cash and left it on a table the way you'd leave your phone?"
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