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Did you know you’re more likely to lose your phone than have it stolen?

Scatterbrains unite!

smartphone addiction
Image: Unsplash

With how much of our lives we carry around in our pockets, the thought of losing our smartphones to thievery or other skullduggery is mortifying. Our pictures of our kids, our banking details, our two-factor authentication methods (you do have this enabled, right?), even down to our bulging email inboxes and messaging apps – all in the hands of someone with the moral compunction of a rat. And that’s being harsh to the rat.

The thing is, fear of a thing is usually worse than the thing itself. Did you know that the real danger to your smartphone’s continued existence is you?

What are the chances your smartphone will be stolen instead of lost?

One of the companies who provide anti-theft products for mobile devices, Prey, released its 2018 Mobile Theft and Loss report on Tuesday. They sort all missing device cases into six categories: misplaced, pickpocket, home invasion, robbery, car break-in, and business break-in.

Now, of course, these figures are overall and might change depending on your neighborhood. That said, of all their statistics one really jumps out – the figure for “misplaced.” Yes, the only category that includes you as the sole reason for your phone’s disappearance.

It might be being held to ransom by the couch cushions, on top of the fridge, or perhaps underneath your driver’s seat, but 69-percent of the time (giggidy), you have nobody to blame but yourself.

The rest of the categories don’t even begin to come close.

  • Pickpocket – 11 percent
  • Home invasion – 8 percent
  • Robbery – 7 percent
  • Car break-in – 3 percent
  • Business break-in – 3 percent

This makes sense if you think about it. When you’re in familiar surroundings, like your home, you tend to relax your guard. That also means your brain stops tracking where you put things. Prey’s statistics bear this out, with familiar places such as home, school, the office, or your car adding up to 63-percent of the losses. Only 6-percent of misplaced phones were lost in unfamiliar surroundings.

Admittedly, Prey’s sample size was fairly small. They had 829 recovery reports in 2018, which were filed by customers around the world. Each report included details of whether the device was stolen or missing, where it went missing, type of device and other pertinent details.

People who install tracking software in case of loss tend to be fairly careful. Would the figure for “misplaced” be even higher for the rest of the smartphone carrying world? Possibly, I know I lose my phone multiple times a day at home while I’ve never lost one while outside.

What do you think? Ever had a phone stolen? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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