Wednesday, December 28th, 2011
A new survey from AVG reveals that whether by train, plane or car, travelling during the holidays is prime time for digital devices to go missing.

  • The holidays are a time for tropical getaways, travelling to see family and friends and, according to a new survey from AVG Technologies, one of the likeliest times to lose a mobile device. AVG, a leading provider of Internet and mobile security, today released Lost in Transit, a new study revealing that across the 10 countries questioned*, 17 percent of laptop owners and 39 percent of mobile phone owners have lost or had a device stolen in transit. Alarmingly, 88 percent of lost or stolen devices are never recovered. At home, the figures for laptop loss are Australia 19 percent and New Zealand 13 percent; and for mobile phones, Australia 34 percent and New Zealand 29 percent. Those never recovered: Australia 83 percent and New Zealand 91 percent.

Lost in Transit polled 5,620 users around the world (including more than 500 each in Australia and New Zealand) to determine which devices were most often lost or stolen over the past year. Based on the results, AVG advises owners to take extra precautions to protect their gadgets these holidays.

Michael McKinnon, Security Advisor at AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd said: “You don’t want a missing smartphone or tablet to impact on the enjoyment of your holiday. Especially because those devices hold a wealth of valuable finance, travel and other sensitive personal information, it is vital that as a matter of routine, you are alert to their security.”

Based on more facts from Lost in Transit, AVG has created a list of tips to help keep mobile devices safe during the holiday season and beyond.

1. Carry your device in a place you can easily check – and where you would notice immediately if it were to disappear. Whether lost or stolen, the key to keeping track of mobile devices is awareness. An overwhelming 85 percent of survey participants said they were distracted in some way when their laptop or smartphone went missing. What to do? Designate a specific place (such as an inside jacket pocket) where you always keep it so you can easily check on its safety and readily access it for use. More importantly, consumers should stay alert and be aware of surroundings when travelling, whether it’s the daily commute or the airport security line.

2. Use a password! According to Lost in Transit, more than half of lost smartphones were not password protected (55 percent in Australia and 65 percent in New Zealand) giving thieves easy access to personal information. Without exception, passwords should be mandatory operating procedure for smartphones, laptops, tablets and any other mobile device holding valuable data.

3. Safeguarding devices. For a nominal fee, most manufacturers and service providers offer easy methods to replace stolen devices. Backup the content of your mobile phone, laptop and other gadgets so that if you do lose one, your data can be uploaded on its replacement.

AVG also encourages consumers to consider software specifically designed for the security risks associated with mobile device usage. For example, AVG Mobilation is easy to download and offers incredibly useful features such as Phone Locator, which uses Google Maps to identify a phone’s location if lost or stolen. A missing phone can be remotely locked to protect it from outside access, and users can create a customised lock-screen message with contact details to help facilitate its return. Consumers can also remotely wipe their phones, ensuring total protection of personal information.

McKinnon said: “Though travelling during the holiday season can be chaotic, thinking through the protection of mobile devices, before you leave, will keep them safe and secure. So the only worry you have is what Great-aunt Jane might have bought you this year.”

*US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and Italy

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For the series of informative security tips, how-to and fact sheets see: For video tips from AVG (AU/NZ), see:

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AVG, internet security, mobile security, cyber criminals



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