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According to a new survey by phone security company Lookout, the majority of Americans would put themselves at risk to get their lost or stolen phones back. Sixty-eight percent of those surveyed cared more about their device and the data on it than the danger they were putting themselves in to retrieve it. 

People were also willing to go to great financial lengths to get their phones back. Fifty percent of phone theft victims told Lookout they were likely to pay $500 (excluding the cost of the device) "to retrieve their stolen phone’s data, including all photos, videos, music, apps, and private information." Some were willing to pay even more: one-third of victims said they would be willing to pay $1,000 for the data on their phone. 

Alicia diVittorio, Lookout's Director of Security Communications, to The Wire that the study determined "phones carry highly personal information from banking credentials to corporate email, making them extremely valuable to the owner, as well as thieves. For this reason, smartphone victims are willing to go to extreme lengths to recover their devices including putting themselves in danger and coughing up a great deal of money to keep their phones and the data they carry safe." Considering one-in-ten smartphone owners has had their device stolen, there are a lot of Americans who feel this strongly about their mobile attachments.

Lookout also gathered quite a bit of information on how phones get taken. Phone theft happens most frequently when a phone is forgotten in a public place. Around 44 percent of phones are stolen from a public setting, 14 percent were stolen from a car or house during a robbery, and 11 percent were stolen directly from the person.

As for the most high risk locations, restaurants were the most popular location in which phones were stolen, coming in at 16 percent. Bars and nightclubs were 11 percent of locations in which thieves struck, and another 11 percent of thefts occurred at work. Six percent were on public transportation, and five percent were on the street. 

You are at the highest risk for a phone theft between noon and 5:00 p.m., at forty percent, followed up by 29 percent in the early evening (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.), and eighteen percent between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. 

This means the most common way to get your phone taken is to leave it behind in a restaurant, before 5:00 in the afternoon. 

As for the aftermath of having your phone stolen, ten percent of theft victims lost confidential company information, nine percent had their identities stolen, and twelve percent found fraudulent charges to their accounts. They also suffered a variety of negative emotions:

Lookout's research proves we are willing to go to some outrageous (perhaps unnecessary)financial and physical extremes to protect our beloved handhelds.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

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