What people do when they find a smartphone

What people do when they find a smartphone
Anti-virus firm Symantec decided to see how honest people are when it comes to finding a lost smartphone. So the company set up a test that involved dropping 50 smartphones in 5 cities (New York City; Washington D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; and Ottawa, Canada). The phones were dropped in high-traffic areas like a mall food court and a bus stop. So just what are the odds that the smartphone you just lost will be returned to you?

The results were not good. All but two of the devices were accessed by the person who found it (although the finder could have been looking for a contact number or some way to identify the owner). Only half of those who found one of the lost phones made any attempt to return the unit. Even worse, Symantec created bogus files on the "lost" devices with tempting titles like "HR Salaries" and a stunning 80% of those who found one of the phones took a peek at the planted information. Half of the finders tried to use a bogus remote access app trying to connect to a corporate network. 60% tried to read social media information and email.

The test was called "Honey Stick" in reference to the honeypots tests used to test a security process that leaves an open server in an attempt to tempt hackers to take control of it. Symantec's blog mentions a number of things you should do before your phone is lost or stolen. First, you should password-protect your phone, install an app that can wipe your device remotely and install find-my-phone software from your online app store. For a complete list of Symantec's suggestions, visit the sourcelink.

source: Symantec via ReadWriteWeb

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26 Comments

1. GALAXY-S

Posts: 701; Member since: Jun 07, 2011

Take the battery out and hope for the phone not to be password protected and if not make a bunch of purchases and long distance calls!!! :) soo evil JK ive lost 2 phones in the last 6 months and it sucks cuz i didnt have any password on it or data that wiped my phone remotely :( im still pissed!!! We all know humans are crazy like this so these numbers are not suprising at all :0

2. aar0983

Posts: 51; Member since: Sep 26, 2011

My personal suggestion would be that if you find a phone return it to the owner and once you see the person tell them to pay it forward. That would be a practical solution and not try to sell the phone or keep it. Now if all your attempts to return the phone fail then you can go ahead and keep it.

3. spindoctor55

Posts: 18; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

People basically suck...I found a smartphone a few years back...a high end device for it's timeframe...checked out the contacts and found "Dad". Called dad and told him I had what I thought was his son's phone. Needless to day he was quite happy and impressed...Pay it forward...it feels good!!!

20. Skyrim

Posts: 36; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Someone surprisingly did everything you described for me and i too was pretty shocked when i got it back.

4. hello

Posts: 25; Member since: Jan 21, 2011

people could of tried to open social networks, business documents, or emails to see who the person is and how to find them.

8. ddxmms

Posts: 170; Member since: Feb 09, 2012

you dont need to see a personas states or tweets to fine who they are.. all you need to open is the caller on contacts names..

5. kastor

Posts: 43; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

well nothing like that happend to me but i will prodably keep phone,but maybe i will turnt it back to owner.dont know until taht happens

6. carp45

Posts: 8; Member since: Oct 09, 2009

A lot of the phones are not good anymore after the people notify the provider especially verizon and sprint that it was lost or stolen because they de activate it and black list the phone and it is useless at that point

7. CivicSi89

Posts: 349; Member since: Jul 23, 2011

This is one of the reasons why i prefer CDMA a bit. on a GSM phone all they gotta do is pop the SIM out and they can use it whenever they want as opposed to CDMA where you cant sell it or do anything with it. and it can be blacklisted.

9. cybervlad81

Posts: 89; Member since: Apr 04, 2011

Areas would vary a lot I think on this, I live in a small town in Mississippi, and 99% of the time if you loss something it gets given to an attendant or like on mentioned with a phone, they will call the Mom or Dad contact. When I was a manager at a major retail store here, we had at least 3 phones a day come through and wallets too, half of which had cash hanging half out of them returned to the main desk. Best lost and found was a guy found a baggy of weed and brought it up the the desk.

12. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

lmao. id keep the weed.

10. RaKithAPeiRiZ

Posts: 1488; Member since: Dec 29, 2011

first thing ....take out my camera ,take pictures and upload to facebook

11. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

I would play around with the smartphone, check some apps and features then return it.

13. Cwebb

Posts: 501; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

So thats where I left my Evo!

14. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

what happened to finders keepers? if the owner really cared about the phone they never would have lost it. some might say that the owner subconsiously wanted to lose the phone just to litigate the person who found it. f**k that passive aggressive a$$hole. take the battery out put it in your pocket and walk away. serves him right.

15. shimmyx20

Posts: 280; Member since: Mar 03, 2009

Lots of Good Guy Gregs here, judging by the comments. Glad to see that. :)

16. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

I look for dirty pics to upload on the internet or an SD card I can re-purpose. Then I take a pic of my junk and send it to all the contacts on the phone. Err, I uh... I mean I take it to the nearest place of business to be recorded in their Lost & Found records. O:-)

17. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

hahaha! dont forget to text the wife that you want a divorce and check-in at the nearest stripclub. send a mass email warning all previous sexual partners that you contracted "e. all of the above". and leave creepy comments on the owners underage cousins' facebooks.

18. _idan_

Posts: 10; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

I'm actually surprised that half of the people returned or tried to return phone. My faith in humanity is somewhat restored. Although I'm not necessarily against those that think salvage rights apply... Still remember case 18 years ago of dude returning $100000 to Royal Bank that fell off Brinks truck and got big fat nothing in return. After a public outcry they gave him $100 gift certificate.

19. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

If it's an iPhone, sell it...If it's anything else, probably try to return it...

21. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

Why can't I ever be the one that finds a new smartphone that a dumb company puts down somewhere as a test? And if they really wanted to see if the person would return it or not, they could've made it easier for the person to contact the supposed owner by putting a direct-dial shortcut for "HOME" on the home screen. I bet most people would've called it and left a message.

22. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

I witnessed someone drop an iPhone. A person picked it up and bought it into the restaurant where the phone was dropped and gave it to one of the cashiers. Several minutes later, the person who dropped the phone returned to the restaurant and retrieved his phone. This was in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Mind you, the person who dropped his phone, dropped it while getting into his car and then ran over the phone while driving away. It appeared as though the phone did still work afterwards, but the glass was cracked. After reading this article, I decided to use a security lock on my phone an tablet.

23. A.aoudi

Posts: 125; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

Symantec will say any kind of crap to make you buy their security solutions and besides people always feel some sort of strange feeling when their phone is not around them and are quite used to its weight so you automatically know something is missing.

24. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

If I found a Smartphone I would return it to its' rightful owner. If iFound an iPhone iWould wipe my A$$ with it and then return it to the rightful Shē€p because to keep it would be baaaa-haaa-haaaa-aaaaaad… If I found a Galaxy Note I would go to town and then use the money I would have spent to buy one and go on vacation.

25. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

ive found a few phones. Most got returned... some people never called back and their phone got trashed... because it wasnt a nice phone. lol

26. iami67

Posts: 330; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

the big problem with putting passwords on this is when the phone is found who have no way of contacting the person or knowing who it belongs to. I have found phones in the past and would call home or mom. But if you have it locked i cant see these numbers there fore your out of luck

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