One in six users suffer loss or theft of mobile devices – Kaspersky Lab

Kaspersky Lab (image: A.Penkov /

According to the Kaspersky Consumer Security Risks survey carried out by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab in 2013, every sixth user has experienced loss, theft or catastrophic damage to a portable digital device – a laptop, a smartphone or a tablet – in the last 12 months. But users aren’t just losing their devices; they’re losing their valuable personal data as well.

Kaspersky Lab (image: A.Penkov /
Kaspersky Lab (image: A.Penkov /

Laptops, smartphones and tablets have long been an irreplaceable part of everyday life – at work, at home relaxing, or while socialising with friends and relatives. But what if a laptop, a smartphone or a tablet gets lost, stolen or damaged? What happens to all those holiday photos, the video of your child’s first steps, correspondence with old friends; and  passwords for social network sites, e-pay and online banking accounts, and  email accounts? Could they realistically disappear along with the device?

According to the survey, mobile devices are regularly lost, stolen or damaged: over 16% of respondents reported at least one of these troubles over the last 12 months. A closer look reveals that 9% of the users’ devices were irreparably damaged, 3% of gadgets were lost and 4% were stolen. This data confirms that the loss or theft of a mobile device is a common problem. But apart from the loss of the gadget itself, what problems does the owner face?

The Survey highlights several types of data stored on mobile devices:

  • personal photos and video: 76% of smartphone and 65% of tablets;
  • personal email correspondence: 64% of smartphone and 61% of tablets;
  • Passwords to social network accounts and email accounts:  22% of smartphones and 23% of tablets;
  • work emails: 32% of smartphones and 28% of tablets;
  • business documents: 20% of smartphones and 29% of tablets;
  • Financial information, specifically passwords to online banking accounts: 10% of both smartphones and tablets.

In other words, people store all types of information on their mobile devices, and the value of the data is often more valuable than the device itself.

Losing this data is more than just distressing. If sensitive data may also fall into unfriendly hands, the consequences could be disastrous: your company’s confidential information might be circulated; your own accounts on social networking sites, email services and online banking systems may be compromised.

Staff writer