People Fail to Protect Their Phones From Thieves

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More than one-third of people surveyed said they did not password-protect their smartphones.
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Ninety-two per cent of music festival goers are more likely to bring a smartphone to an event than cash or ID, but many fail to guard against loss or theft, an industry survey indicated.

Symantec, maker of Norton security software, quizzed 6,500 adults in 11 countries who have attended big music events at least twice in the last two years to gauge the role of smartphones in their festival-going experience.

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"We found that mobile devices have never been more crucial to their (festival) experience," Norton's Internet safety advocate Marian Merritt told AFP in a telephone interview.

One in five said they used their devices to present their admission tickets, and one in 10 reported using their smartphone as a digital wallet to buy festival-related merchandise such as T-shirts.

However, 31 per cent admitted failing to password-protect their smartphones, even if 35 per cent have had their devices stolen, lost or misplaced -- more likely than not on public transport.

Furthermore, among those who downloaded event-specific apps, one in four reported getting deluged with spam afterwards.

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Regionally, having a smartphone at a festival was most important in Australia, Brazil, China, Japan and Mexico, Merritt said, while theft was the leading cause of smartphone loss in Brazil, China and Mexico.

North Americans were least cautious when it came to taking precautions such as password protection and special apps to combat malware. Latin Americans were most prudent on that score.

"We're very curious about our customers as they migrate more and more of their behavior to the mobile world," Merritt said, but "we've got to get people to consider the possibility that their phone will be lost or stolen."