You're more likely to misplace a phone than have it stolen, new report says

Your missing device is more likely to be wedged between the couch cushions than in the hands of a criminal.

Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Shelby Brown
Mobile theft report

Prey released its findings on Tuesday.


There's nothing quite like the panic of losing your phone. With an app for everything, we essentially operate our lives from the device. New data, however, shows that you're likely a bigger threat to your phone than a thief.

Prey, a company that provides anti-theft solutions for protecting mobile devices, released its 2018 Mobile Theft and Loss report on Tuesday. The company compiled six categories that all theft or loss cases can be sorted into: misplaced, pickpocket, home invasion, robbery, car break-in and business break-in. 

According to Prey, 69 percent of the time, if your phone is lost, it's because you misplaced it. The other categories' numbers were drastically lower:

  • Pickpocket: 11 percent
  • Home invasion: 8 percent
  • Robbery: 7 percent
  • Car break-in: 3 percent
  • Business break-in: 3 percent

Additionally, Prey found that you're most likely to lose your device in familiar places like your home, office, car or school. These places saw 63 percent of device losses last year.

Over 2018, Prey looked at 829 recovery reports filed by its customers around the world. Each report included if the device was stolen or missing, where it went missing, the device type and other details.

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