Go lose your mobile phone in Ottawa

Where’s the best city to misplace your mobile phone?  

Ottawa, according to a recent survey by Symantec Corp. The security software company recently commissioned a study where 10 smartphones were deliberately “lost” in five different North American cities, according to CBC News.  The cities were: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York and Ottawa.

The CBC said Ottawa-based security consultant Scott Wright was contracted to place cell phones in all cities and track their recovery. Wright left the phones in random places such as office elevators, food courts, transit stops and even phone booths, CBC said.

The experiment intended to show the value of protecting personal information in mobile devices by using password protection.

“We really just wanted to see what people would do with them. We weren’t trying to collect personal information of any type, just to see what type of data they were accessing,” Wright was quoted as saying.

The results: seven of the 10 phones left in Ottawa were found. The remaining three could not be tracked and will likely never be recovered.
The study found New York to be the worst city. Only three phones were returned.

The study found more than 80 per cent of people across the five cities “snooped” for corporate or personal information. More than 90 per cent accessed some kind of information.

Wright also cautioned that if people return your lost phone, it doesn’t mean that they had not attempted to or looked into your personal data. Apart from using password protection, he advised that phone owners should attach a sticker on their devices offering a reward for its return and a contact number.

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