Would you rather lose your wallet or your phone? If you live in the UK, it may not matter much. British tabloid News of the World,
which was embroiled for years in a scandal after allegedly hacking the
phones of everyone from the royal family to a murdered teen, was finally
shut down by News Corp.
on Thursday. The scandal calls not only journalistic practices into
question but also the amount of personal information we have stored on
For the average smartphone
user -- 40% of Americans, according to a 2010 Pew Research survey --
the damage from a lost phone could be more compromising than a few
credit cards and some cabbage. How about financial information, access
to social networks, pictures of Congressional genitalia, all neatly
concentrated in one place? The experts we spoke with unanimously agreed
that the greatest security threat to smartphone users is a misplaced or
stolen device. Free tip: Lock your phone with a passcode and get a
remote lock/wipe function, at the very least.