This post comes from Quentin Fottrell at partner site SmartMoney.
All those absentminded moments add up to $30 billion in annual losses, the report from mobile security company Lookout claims. And after cafés, the most common places people abandon their handsets are bars and offices.
Nighttime seems to be when most phones get misplaced, the study found, given that some 67% of handsets are located between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. Chicago may be the exception, where church is the third most popular place to lose a phone, behind coffee shops and drugstores. (Post continues below.)
Thompson Nguyen, a data scientist at Lookout, says the trail of lost phones gives an insight into the social activities in various cities. New Yorkers, for example, lose most of their phones in fast-food restaurants. (In Dublin, it's the pub.)
There are apps to help people locate their phones via GPS and that allow data to be erased remotely. Lookout has free and premium-services apps for iPhone and Android that can set off an alarm on the lost device, while Apple has a free Find My iPhone app -- but the lost device must have the iCloud settings enabled. Another app, the iHound, costs $3.99 a year for Android and iPhone. It allows users to share their location on Facebook, but otherwise this app does much the same as the others.
Others say there are less scientific ways to look after your phones that won't cost $3.99 or time and worry. New York University marketing professor Vicki G. Morwitz suggests refraining from texting during church services. "You can teach yourself to be more mindful," she says. "After losing my favorite hat in a taxi, I now mindfully check the taxi seat every time after I get up and before I close the door."
The top 10 places for lost or stolen phones:
- Coffee shop
- Apartment and condo
- Grocery store
- Gas station
- Residential homes
- Pharmacy or drugstore
The top 10 cities for phone loss:
- Oakland, Calif.
- Long Beach, Calif.
- Newark, N.J.
- New York
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