March 12, 2012, 3:19 PM —
Numbers aren't precise because reporting is spotty, but cell-phone users lose something like 70 million phones per year in the U.S. – about 30 percent of all the phones in use at any given time.
Only seven percent are recovered according to a study published recently by Kensington, which makes locks for mobile devices.
A lot of those devices have valuable data on them, but most aren't protected in even rudimentary ways, the Kensington study showed.
Only 57 percent had any security, but 60 percent have confidential contact lists, emails, Internet and security codes and credentials for business apps or mobile-payment services.
The data on a smartphone is valuable enough and the headaches involved in recovering it are big enough that 50 percent of Americans would rather give up all of a year's vacation time than lose all the files on a computer or other mobile device, according to a study published in November by online storage company Carbonite.
(Twenty-three percent would give up their cell phone for a month to avoid losing data on a laptop, which just begs the question of whether laptops or cell phones are more valuable to the people who have just lost one or the other.)