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190,000 phones lost in London cabs each year
If you’ve never left your phone in a cab then you’ll almost certainly know somebody who has, as more than 190,000 devices are left in the back seat of London taxis each year.
An ESET survey found that the average driver in London finds eight mobile phones a year, ultimately meaning – with 24,000 black cabs on the road – 520 phones go missing every single day. It’s not just smartphones that Londoners leave behind either, with some of the more unusual items to turn up including 400 packets of jelly, an inflatable banana, a dog and a NATO chief’s briefcase.
While inflatable bananas come and go all too easily, worryingly for those who have lost their smartphones is the finding that half of them are left unlocked, putting the user’s confidential information at risk.
ESET security specialist Mark James commented: “Today we use our mobiles for a multitude of tasks, whether it’s our online banking or connecting to corporate email systems, and we do not want our devices to fall into the wrong hands. Our study shows that despite the huge publicity cybercrime receives in the media today consumers still do not see themselves as a real target.
“Consumers should as an absolute minimum use a password to protect their device in case it is ever lost, however a good security posture would include encryption and a remote wipe facility.”
Of the 300 taxi drivers surveyed, 68% said they would not snoop around a smartphone that they found unlocked – but, of course, it may not be a taxi driver who picks it up. Extra security measures for your smartphone are advised, then – and do try your best not leave your dog behind as well.