We’ve been hearing about the “kill switch” technology lately. That is a debate that will likely continue for a while, but it looks like a recent Consumer Report study may have some falling on the side of using the kill switch. Details here show that 3.1 million people (from the US) reported their smartphone stolen in 2013.

For comparison, that is up from 1.6 million in 2012. While thefts seem to have jumped quite a bit, the number losing their phone stayed close to the same going from 2012 to 2013. The number was 1.2 million in 2012 and 1.4 million in 2013.


You cannot always prevent theft, but you can take some measures ahead of time to try and make it more difficult for the thief. We are talking about using some sort of method to secure your phone. This includes the basics such as the 4-digit PIN code or an unlock pattern. Of course, there are also some devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One Max offering fingerprint security.

We suspect most would agree they need to protect their device — but it seems roughly a third aren’t doing anything. According to the report, 34 percent of those surveyed were using an unsecured/unprotected phone. But putting a positive spin on this, Consumer Reports did mention how the “proportion of those who used the simplest protection, setting a 4-digit PIN code to lock their phone’s screen, increased by about 50 percent compared with the year before.”

Other details coming from the study show that only 29 percent of users are backing up the data, and only 22 percent are using software that can track and locate their phone. That last one is a topic we recently discussed.


SOURCE: Consumer Reports