Holiday Travel is Risky Business for Mobile Devices

Press Release – AVG

The holidays are a time for summer barbeques, 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.Holiday Travel is Risky Business for Mobile Devices

New survey from AVG reveals that travelling during the holidays is prime time for digital devices to go missing

Auckland, 21 December 2011 – The holidays are a time for summer barbeques, 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*, 31 percent of laptop owners and 53 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 New Zealand 13 percent and Australia 19 percent; and for mobile phones, New Zealand 29 percent and Australia 34 percent. Those never recovered: New Zealand 91 percent and Australia 83 percent.

With many New Zealanders enjoying Christmas parties and celebrations, almost one in ten smartphones were lost while at a Christmas event. Another interesting revelation is that only 18% of Kiwi smartphone owners were in a state of awareness when losing their smartphone. Over a third of the respondents were busy or distracted and one in ten smartphone owners who lost a phone admitted to being intoxicated!

Lost in Transit polled 5,620 users around the world 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 (65 percent in New Zealand and 55 percent in Australia) 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

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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About AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd —

Based in Melbourne, AVG (AU/NZ) Pty Ltd distributes the AVG range of anti-virus and Internet Security products in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. AVG software solutions provide real-time protection against the malware, viruses, spam, spyware, adware, worms, Trojans, phishing and exploits used by cyber-criminals, hackers, scammers and identity thieves. AVG protects everything important and personal inside computers — documents, account details and passwords, music, photos and more — all while allowing users to work, bank, shop and play games online in safety.

AVG provides outstanding technical solutions and exceptional value for consumers, small to medium business and enterprise clients. AVG delivers real-time protection across desktop, and notebook PCs, plus file and e-mail servers in the home and at work in SMBs, corporations, government agencies and educational institutions.


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