Data defenders: A blog on data protection issues

Mar 13 2012   2:43PM GMT

Symantec’s ‘Honey Stick’ experiment: Finders of lost smartphones likely to dig through data

John Hilliard Profile: John Hilliard

How honest is the average person when they find a lost smartphone?

Symantec’s Kevin Haley tells us it’s not just whether they return it, but whether the finder starts digging through personal and business data you have stored on the device, as well.

In a blogpost at Symantec’s website, Haley describes an experiment where the company intentionally scattered 50 phones in several cities to learn whether they’d be returned and if the data on them would be left alone. Haley wrote that the devices could be monitored remotely, and were loaded with faked corporate and personal data.

So what happened when the phones were found?

Most were accessed by their discoverers, who tried to dig in to the simulated personal or corporate info, some of which was rigged to look like salary information or a remote network access app, wrote Haley.

Also, apparently there are still a lot of people out there who believe in the schoolyard chant “finders keepers, losers weepers” even with a device loaded with the name and contact information of the owner, according to Haley.

The post includes a lot of good tips for organizations to follow in case a mobile device is lost — you should definitely check it out.

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