In a survey commissioned by Norton, it was discovered that over a third of all Americans (36 percent) either lose their cell phone or end up having it stolen. Broken down by city, that number jumps to 52 percent in Miami, which ranks No. 1 on the list of top 20 U.S. cities for cell phone loss or theft. Last on the top 20 list is Minneapolis at 29 percent, while San Francisco, home to Silicon Valley, took the No. 13th spot at 35 percent. So what does it all mean?
It means Norton wants to drum up interest for its newly released Mobile Security 1.5 for Android. In that regard, you can consider this a self-serving survey, albeit one that was conducted by a third party.
"The survey results are clear: cell phone loss and theft is a significant issue for consumers today," said Laura Garcia-Manrique, vice president, Consumer Business Unit, Norton by Symantec. "Norton Mobile Security lets you determine your phone's location, lock it up, or even wipe it clean in the event you'll never see the device again. The response to the offering thus far -- with more than 140,000 beta downloads and a 4 out of 5 star Android Market rating -- confirms that consumers trust the Norton brand to protect them everywhere, regardless of the platform."
According to Norton, the average cost to resolve a lost or stolen cell phone comes out to $125.30. By comparison, Norton's Mobile Security 1.5 app, which is in beta, is still free to try. Once we inputted the beta code that comes with the app, our license jumped from 8 days to 91 days, after which time it's anyone's guess how much Norton will charge for a subscription.
The way it works is you create a password that you'll text message your phone in the event it's lost or stolen. When you send a text message with that password, you'll have the option to locate, lock, or even wipe the device. The app also comes with an anti-malware scanner and call/SMS blocking capabilities.